I’m struggling today, and as I’m struggling I’m noticing things that I wonder about. Why do some blogs that I follow send an email notification when they update and some don’t? Why do some show up only in my reader on my iPad? Why do some blogs have a ‘like’ button on the computer, but not on the iPad – and there are blogs that I supposedly ‘follow’ that I’ve never heard of? It’s all too, too strange.
I have cats. Right now two of them are curled up napping in my room. One is pressed heavily into my leg on my bed, the other has taken over my chair (one reason why I am sitting on the bed right now). I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the cats. Okay, by all the animals. But the cats are the ones who keep me from turning over in bed, take over my room, my clothes, my covers. They are the ones who claw at my screen and let the bees and lizards in. I love my cats, but I wish they were a little more aloof, as cats are supposed to be. Instead I have the equivalent of a 5 kilo tumor on my leg. Ouch.
Today is a really rough day. I have mentioned before that I have M.S., I am disabled. I have chronic pain. At times it is barely noticeable, at other times completely debilitating. Today it’s just there. Adding to the mental malaise that is part ptsd, part simply being overwhelmed by stress and all the extremely difficult things I am living through right now, and part hormonal crankiness. I’ve got it all, baby.
Today’s deep question is about feeling so bad and being around other people. Long, long time ago, before I was even diagnosed with the M.S., my plan of action was set. I had small children. It was my job to put on a good face and not to share my pain and my bad days with the kids. Sometimes, obviously, I couldn’t help but have some of it spill out; but as a general rule I smile, I find things to be grateful for, and when people ask how I’m doing I say things like ‘Not dead yet,’ or ‘Barukh Hashem.’* I try not to complain and I will avoid people rather than listen to myself listing off my miseries.
To a greater or lesser degree this has worked through physical pain, horrible flashbacks to childhood abuse, marital difficulties, financial stress, social traumas, … I may not be happy, but nobody has to see how miserable I am. The kids are protected from the worst of it at least, and I have felt better about myself for not being a constant whiner and complainer (yeah, I only do it intermittently. *sigh*).
Only I think I’ve reached my end with this. My kids are almost all grown, my physical condition and living conditions are fairly awful, I’ve just had the motherlode of garbage dumped on my head, and I do not want to have to pretend any more that I am okay. I do not want to work at being happy. I want the right to just be miserable for a while. I’m tired. I’ve put on a good face for long enough I say.
So I run through various scenarios in my head. Do I call all the kids together (those that I are talking to me I mean) and say – ‘I’ve done with working at being happy for you, I’m miserably unhappy, just deal with it’? I mean, really? So — what? Truth is people have walked in on my crying enough times in the past week alone it shouldn’t require such a dramatic announcement. But we are all so accustomed to acting as if nothing is *really* wrong. Sure, I’m having a bad day, or I’m in a lot of pain, or whatever, but that’s normal and we all carry on.
This isn’t just being in a lot of pain. It’s not just a bad day. I am sick and tired of having to hold up my end. I don’t want to have to put a smile on my face and listen attentively when one of the kids wants to tell me something they are excited about. I don’t want to say I’m generally okay when what the truth is is that I am terribly unhappy and everything sucks.
Okay, my kids don’t suck.
The animals don’t suck.
Just for the record.
The Husband sucks, sometimes. So it goes.
This isn’t one of those times.
But anyway, … *sigh*
I’m overwhelmed. It’s all too much. And I’m so-o tired of pumping sunshine. When do I get to stop? HOW do I stop? This is no ordinary bad patch. I was actually coming up with fantastical plans to get myself admitted to a mental hospital. Wanting to be dead. NOT suicidal, please note. There is a difference, at least for me, between wanting to be dead and wanting to kill myself. Maybe I’ll tell a story about that another time.
I don’t take these things lightly. I take them as a sign that I have gone as far as I can, and I have to stop something. Of all the things I can stop – I can’t stop moving house; I can’t stop The Husband’s job hunting; I can’t stop being disabled; I can’t make myself not have ptsd. So what do I have a choice about? I do, theoretically, have the choice to stop pretending that I am coping better than I am.
So now you know why I’ve been avoiding writing lately. This is what it is. Not always as bad as today, but … bad. It can’t go on forever. One well aimed rocket and I can stop worrying about packing up my stuff. (The point being that the stuff would get blown up, not me). Or something else will come along to distract me. Maybe (it’s just possible) we’ll get moved and settled in, TH will get a new better paying job, the wheelchair van will finally show up, and I will suddenly find myself living in such a way that I will be able to be genuinely happy, instead of just working at not being too unhappy. At the moment I find it hard to believe in any of that, but theoretically it all has to happen eventually. Assuming I survive that long.
Hopefully next time I’ll have something more upbeat, or of more general interest, or at least that won’t require me explaining that I’m not *really* suicidal. *wry grin* In the meantime, be well, all, and Gd bless
* Barukh Hashem – literally ‘bless the Name,’ I use it most often as ‘Thank [insert name of deity/higher power of choice here]