Coming apart at the seams

Two weeks ago, my long-loved flannel robe split right down the back. That robe predates my marriage, it kept me warm and sheltered on nights when I felt like the loneliest woman in the world. As soon as it happened, I realized– and was sad, because I knew it couldn’t be repaired and reworn. My robe had simply come to the point where it was so old, so well-worn, that its ability to serve its purpose was all used up. The Better Half was sympathetic, but then pointed out that I could wash the robe and cut it into dust rags and dish rags and swiffer pads. It made me feel better, realizing that my good robe could continue to be put to some use, now that it could not longer do its original job.

A pair of pajama pants gave out on me today, and I mourned again. I thought– it’s not just my clothes that are falling apart. I’m feeling faded, thin, likely to break under the slightest pressure. Part of it’s this sickness, and having no reserves. Part of it’s the Effexor withdrawal. But most of it is the feeling that I’ve lost my ability to serve my original purpose– and I’ve no fixed plan for what to do next. I have some ideas, of course, and have been working toward them. But I sure could use the help of an inner-life quilter, to help me turn the remaining fabric into usable pieces. to figure out how to best put them together, and to guide my trembling hand as I take the hardest, first cut through the old fabric, and try to turn it into something new.


21 thoughts on “Coming apart at the seams

  1. Cricket

    It’s rough to lose your comfort clothes when you’re sick.

    I think the restlessness is a definite sign you’re feeling better. Maybe you could take a quilting class – literally and figurative – heh!

  2. jess

    i had a pair of gap jeans that i wore and wore and wore until the butt finally ripped out. they were my favorite…i’ll never forget them. they fit perfectly. my mom sewed them into a quilt for me… and while it’s not the same, i still have them…

  3. Angelina

    Oh that’s so sad! I have an old plaid flannel robe I wear every day and I don’t know what I’ll do when it finally splits. But I guess this gives you the opportunity to wear in a new one. All robes have to start somewhere.

    I hope you get to feeling a lot better soon.

  4. Camellia

    The transformation is happening. When you are sick, you have to languish to heal. If you jumped up and started training for a marathon, you’d relapse. Just as you don’t force a bloom, you don’t force healthy regrowth. Happy quilting, slow and steady.

  5. Grandy

    Hey there lovely lawyer lady! I’ve not been in for about a week or so, and I see you have this compelling post. I can so feel what these things mean to you, and think I get what you’re saying. Your commenters above all have equally strong points of their own.

    I know I don’t suffer from the same afflictions as you, but am I being too cheeky in suggesting that perhaps getting new items could be looked at as a new beginning? New opportunities for you? A sign of things to come??

    Just my 2cents. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  6. Mrs. G.

    I’m sorry about your loyal and comfy robe, and I understand your ambivalance about your future. And the withdrawl just mucks everything up. When faced with similar disequalibrium, my mantra is to shower daily, sit in the sun if you can find it and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  7. Emily


    You can do it. The lovely thing about life is that you can take the same fabric of yourself and use it over and over again in new and different and fulfilling roles. Take my mom – currently on her third career, she’s doing the best of her previous two worlds.

    I’m sending you lots of luck and lovely healthy vibes so your physical health can stop slowing you down.

  8. standing still

    I find that at moments like these, when there isn’t a scrap of anything remotely intelligent or clever left in me, a good cry and a good night’s sleep do seem to help. Sometimes. And, sometimes, we just need a new god-damned robe.

  9. Janet

    Inner-life quilter…I like that thought. What you thought was your original purpose in life might really only turn out to be what you thought…and not what actually is.


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