I remember my repulsion at the word coping as though it was an old sandwich I ate. The thought of learning new ways to cope, instead of doing away with the need to find a covering, seemed useless, and left me feeling irreparably broken. I didn't want to cope; I wanted freedom.
Right now I am sitting in a cafe, drinking coffee and writing. I'm listening to some Beethoven. Before that I played a podcast I had saved. I've got Proverbs open, and obviously, I'm writing this. All that is to say, I'm resting. It's not because I'm tired though; it's because I am overwhelmed -- or more accurately, I was.
I took the kids to a party earlier this afternoon, and I left remembering why I hate taking the kids to parties. I spent the 10 or 15 minute ride home trying to understand my feelings of inadequacy, awkwardness, and abandonment, but when I arrived home still near to pieces, I toyed with the idea of heading out alone. Then I picked up my laptop and got out of there. After driving, aimlessly, for probably near an hour, I ended up here. In quiet.
And it's excellent.
It occurred to me, as I sit here sipping a hot cup of my second-favorite drink, that the driving, the not settling for sitting in a crowded restaurant, the walking about, the gorgeous instrumental music, the pumpkin loaf -- all of it is coping. Sitting in the corner of a Starbucks, listening to a couple of my heroes, while writing about the experiences of the day, has no doubt saved my night and the next couple of days from the all-encompassing dissociation I would have resorted to once I reached desperation -- had I reached desperation.
I have some serious weaknesses. They are complex, and I will not necessarily be free of any of them in my lifetime. It's ok to say that. It's ok to know that. It's ok to admit it. I am broken. I will be fully freed, true, but it might not be today.
So, the word cope is not a dirty word. It is not a cop-out to settle for coping over complete health.