the first of many goodbyes

i called my social worker, crying.  i need help, i said.  i am overwhelmed with everything from my broken laptop to my inability to consume sufficient calories each day.  i don’t know where to start.

things seem to be falling apart around me in slow motion.  i close my eyes and imagine that if my life were captured with a time-lapse camera and then played back at 12 times speed, the whole thing would look like a building crumbling in an earthquake, or a house of cards tumbling down, or, maybe, a better version: a thunderstorm that gathers ominously, rumbles powerfully and then leaves a clear calm in its wake.

perhaps it’s because the big things are so bad that the little things have come to seem unbearable.  or because some of the things that used to seem little — inconsequential even — have become giants.

i used to take it for granted that my body would alert me when i was hungry.  i would eat, and it would then alert me when i was full.  now, it’s all topsy turvy.  my body feels hungry, starving, much of the time.  but my brain doesn’t.  food has morphed from an enjoyable necessity into an almost unpalatable one; from a friend into an enemy; from a pleasant fact of life into a task that must. not. be. left. unperformed.

the same goes for other realities that previously seemed typical, expected, and thus manageable: recalled seat belts, defunct laptops, broken iphones five days out of warranty, relationships with family and friends.

it’s all just too much, i told her.  i used to have the energy and wherewithal to live life, and it didn’t seem like a big deal, but it now seems insurmountably difficult.

her advice was as unexpected as it was powerful:  “naomi, you have to say goodbye to the old you.  i know it’s hard because you’ve known her for so long and you’re so close to her.  but the sooner you’re able to say goodbye to her, the sooner you and everyone else around you can come to love and accept the new you…the you who needs help, the you with limitations, the you who is not as independent and self-sufficient as the old you.”

saying goodbye is hard.  and sad.  but i feel like, in some ways, this first goodbye will prepare me for the many difficult goodbyes yet to come.  and so, as i begin to grieve for this dear friend whom i have known all my life, i hope you will help me mourn her and accept, in her place, a girl who is, perhaps, not as capable, not as independent, not as energetic, not as well — but who is still quite strong, determined to be happy, dedicated to making a difference, and open to loving and being loved as ever before.

and while we’re on goodbyes, i’d like to give a shout-out to you lovely jewel-toned and patent leather and nude and strappy and chunky and stiletto and all other varieties of devilishly sexy high-heeled shoes i’ll browse through longingly on piperlime and endless and zappos but never be able to wear again.  know that you are loved and missed.

7 thoughts on “the first of many goodbyes

  1. Hi, just wanted to tell you that I love you and that you’re amazing and courageous. Your friends and family (including me) are here for you no matter what — no matter your limitations. Thank you for sharing your feeling with us!

  2. I don’t know you very well. The few times I have been around you have been nice. I would accept you anyway you might be. I don’t feel the old you is gone, just displaced for now. I believe part if not all of the old you will return some day. It may be in a little different way but you will recognize her.

  3. Naomi:
    You are so loved, by so many… it is true! Even the people who seem to be so far in your past are awaiting on the side-lines grasping at the opportunity to come to your aid in whatever manner we might. One of the hardest things for us to do is to ask for help from someone, for fear of being rejected. NEVER think there might be a rejection on the other end of your request. Just ask, God will place the right person there who will speed to aid you in whatever need may be, small or large! We are never to far away and always willing! Wishing you Peace, and many Blessings 🙂
    LOVE, Chris and Paula

  4. Hello to my new girl! You will always be my special Dollie…no one can ever change that! Clear to me that you have the jazziest, coolest shoes of any girl in LA! Stunning….not just anyone has toe shoes! Let us mourn for the old Naomi just for a little while…but not too long for we are blessed to meet our new girl-a girl with a greater heart, one whose own challenges will take the new Naomi to greater heights and unleash the spirit for which she was created. Hello…to my new girl….I love you as much as I did the old Naomi…even more! mom

  5. Oh girl I said goodbye to heels a long time ago ;).
    I love the old AND new version of you and am here to lend a hand and/or ear anytime so take me up on it damn it! You will feel better tomorrow. Hugs.

  6. Naomi, you may have changed, but your soul remains the same. Just as determined, loving and strong… maybe with a few different mannerisms 🙂 Having not had the pleasure of seeing you for the past six years, I can still tell you that is true!! Un besote, Evvie

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