When It’s Hard

Moxie, out of the bath

I’ve learned something about myself in the past month. I’ve learned that while I used to deal with BIG STRESS by falling asleep (by dint of narcolepsy), I now puke. And eat. Not eat-then-puke (that would be bulimia and I’m not bulimic), not puke-then-eat (I don’t know what that’s called). It just puke. And eat. Two entirely different things.

I first puked for a week over our stuff getting stolen. I mean, I couldn’t stop, I’d think about it, my stomach would start roiling and there. I’d puke. You guys started chipping and the financial piece of it didn’t look as bad and my stress went down and I started eating. And eating. I was like a machine that was stuck at ‘on’.

At my mom’s house in the Bay Area, more stress! More eating! The stress cranked up a notch by all the talk about how much work there was to do at home on the Lost Coast, how the place smelled like mouse pee, was chock full of dead mice (“at least they are dead!”) and then there was no solar power so I couldn’t even call Mikey to touch base (our phone is run off of satellite/solar).

I started worrying about how on earth I was going to get all the supplies purchased and what supplies?! Is there a fridge? Does it work?! The guestimated list would need to last for a couple of weeks, with/without a fridge. And then I’d drive for 7 hours on the road pass that was supposedly icy from the recent rains and cold – with a BROKEN FOOT?! Have I mentioned that my foot is STILL BROKEN?! (- in fact, it was kind of funny how almost everyone I saw in the Bay Area was like, “OH! Man, I didn’t know your foot was STILL BROKEN!”)

Supplies. Hard manual work…with a broken foot. Thoughts of being lonely again. Bleh. And there – sick again.

Mikey connected with us when we stayed overnight in Cloverdale (- that’s also where the car battery died) and arranged to meet us in Blue Lake so that I wouldn’t drive the steepest part of the trip on my broken foot (you know, the part where it’s all cliff overlooking the ocean and a slight mis-step will land you to your very own watery grave! That part).

The whole entire way, my stomach wouldn’t stop. I can’t even explain it. The cumulative everything just kind of reached in and started messing around with my innards. The ride back should have been enjoyable. Lord knows it was heart-stoppingly beautiful. My head was just screwed on wrong by all the nausea.

Now, I have to admit that if I were you, if I was the one reading this and not writing it, I would be wondering why, if you (- meaning me, because I’d be you and you’d be me, right?) are so stressed out about going home, why do it? I mean, why choose that kind of life? And were you for real about all those rainbow farts anyway? Why are you all puking over stuff that you said ends up like the colours of a rainbow, the good and the bad?

I suspect the answer to those questions lie in the clouds that come right before the rainbow. It’s dark, uncertain and unclear. It takes time for the rainbow to shine through.

Living off the grid isn’t easy. Coming back to a world on a hill after 5 months of traveling around Mexico as a family isn’t easy. Building friendships in an area that is extremely private takes time and in the wait for that, there is loneliness. Trying to accomplish physical tasks with a non-functional foot is difficult. These are the non-easy parts, and the stress of these non-easy parts makes me puke.

That stress is the dark, uncertain part that, like a cloud, exists before the light of the rainbow can shine through, and maybe exists to serve as a catalyst for the rainbow to come at all.

I know what we are doing now is the right thing. But the right thing is not always the easy thing. You know what I mean? It’s like that for you, too, isn’t it? Sometimes you just KNOW that what you want is good for you, you can feel in your heart that it is the right thing to be doing, but it scares you so bad you feel sick, right?

But we ­­made it. We arrived back home.

And I quit puking.

***

A few photos:

small boy - Mack - (wearing a curious george shirt) looks at the camera
small boy – Mack – (wearing a curious george shirt) looks at the camera
Moxie getting ready to ride the razor scooter
Moxie getting ready to ride the razor scooter
Mack and Moxie playing side by side on plastic horsie toys. they are smiling. this is , I think, before they knocked each other over, screaming
Mack and Moxie playing side by side on plastic horsie toys. they are smiling. this is , I think, before they knocked each other over, screaming
Moxie, seriously colouring in her princess book
Moxie, seriously colouring in her princess book
Micah, working on his project
Micah, working on his project
All 3 kids in the supermarket, two of them in a cart and the third (Micah) alongside them
All 3 kids in the supermarket, two of them in a cart and the third (Micah) alongside them
one small shopping cart with food in it with another shopping cart just ahead of it with Mack and Moxie in it.
one small shopping cart with food in it with another shopping cart just ahead of it with Mack and Moxie in it.
happy Moxie, fresh and clean!
happy Moxie, fresh and clean!
coming home
coming home
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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a deaf artist, tech-junkie, Counselor (and sometime teacher), mom (one with Down syndrome), cat-lover, Trekkie, yurt-dwelling off-the-grid farmer's wife. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done.

1 Comment

  • One of my biggest revelations in life was that easy does not equal happy. Easy, for me, can be downright miserable! And the payoff is so much sweeter when you have to go through a lot to get to it. I hope you are finding reprieve now that you are getting settle in.

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