There is another low coming for me. A tidal wave of negative. So here we are again at the keyboard to spit it on a crowd. Cut it open and let it bleed. I have a lot on my mind so lets go piece by piece in putting this part of the masterpiece together. This post needs to address the biggest force that brings my lows….pain.
The third wheel of all my relationships and the heaviest weight I am forced to carry every single day of my life. Let me go over briefly what pain I am referring too so new readers are not lost. I have a nerve tumor in my back, I have a tarlov cyst in my back, I have anklyosing spondilittis or A.S, I have fibromyalgia or FM, and recently I found out I have a heart problem.
Today I woke up to my left shoulder throbbing so bad I had to cry. I am forced to sleep on my sides because sleeping on my back paralyzes me from waist down due to the tumor next to my spine. I had to wrap up in heat, put on that wonderful smelling perfume called Bio-freeze, and medicate.
The shoulder has been a bigger problem for almost a week now. My shoulders always hurt but lately it has been especially bad. It very well could be from my A.S and if that is the case there is nothing I will be able to do about it. A.S is a progressive spine arthritis but also affects shoulders, rib cage, hips, knees, feet, it can cause lung and heart problems. Even though the shoulder has been a major source of pain for me the past week I have been able to push through it and go to work.
Ah, work…the one place I feel normal. The one place I have found that I can be myself completely and I’m accepted. Not only am I accepted but I am loved by many. I am very much in love with my job. I drive a school bus for those who didn’t know. My coworkers brighten my day. Even though they know about my medical problems they look at me with eyes of normalcy. They don’t look at me with pity. I know I am blessed that the job fell into my lap when it did. My students are absolutely fabulous! They brighten my day too. I can’t help but smile when I pick them up. They are very attached to me and the feeling is mutual. I think they are all going to grow up to be outstanding individuals. When I first took the job there were many times I was ready to throw in the towel. It is very hard during the winter months for me to physically do the job, but the kids I drive around have made me feel like such an important small part of their lives that they have actually helped lower my pain threshold.
I know that if this job had not come to me I would have killed myself. I was at the lowest point in my life when I was hired. I was pushing 200 pounds. I had been disabled and stuck at home since 2005. I lost all but two of my friends because I could no longer go out. I was being treated poorly by my husband. I had no support at all. I spent most nights crying myself to sleep. I spent most of my days orchestrating an easy way to leave my children, by me killing myself. I wrote letters saying good bye to those who truly meant the world to me. I wrote letters of apology to those who I have hurt throughout my life. It was a scary low. It was the first time in my life that I actually felt helplessness. I NEVER want to be back there again. When I say my job saved my life…I mean it literally.
I met my best friend at this job. I am so in love with her as a person that I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it now. She is my angel…and she is now my family. I love her very much.
Now getting up to start my day is truly a war for me. I have to fight through the stiffness to get out of bed. I have to fight through pain in my feet to walk into the bathroom. I have to cringe through the shoulder, back and hand pain to turn on the faucet to the shower. I have to cringe through the pain of stepping over into the tub to take my shower. I struggle reaching the body soaps, shampoo, and hope I can get them opened easily. Most mornings it isn’t so easy even with them strategically placed, which they are. A 30 minute super hot shower usually helps with the stiffness for about 20 minutes. By super hot, I mean hot enough to turn my flesh pink with a hint of red. I fight with pulling the shirt over my head, the jeans are causing excruciating pain as I bend to put my feet into them. The button and zipper are a nightmare for my hands.
So 20 minutes of relief has long passed and I have brushed my teeth but now have to combat the lower cabinet to bring out my make up case, hair dryer, and hope my hands will allow me to open my hair products and body sprays. I slowly walk to the kitchen to attempt to get my coffee mug ready. My daughter has already set up coffee pot because I have a hard time setting it up. The water is too heavy for my hands, the coffee is difficult to open, and my mug is set there with lid removed because well I can hardly remove it myself. Depressed yet? At this point in my morning I am not…yet….
I sit to do some heat therapy now in my recliner. The easiest chair for me to get out of. I wrap my back with heat, then wrap my neck and shoulder area. Ah another few moments of relief…..
I carry my coffee mug into the bathroom with both hands to prevent dropping it to continue getting ready. I take my medication with some coffee and have to fix my hair now. Raising my arms above my head feels like I am trying to lift 100 pound dumbbells over my head. The burning muscles begin from neck, down into my shoulders, radiating down my entire arm length in both. Depressed yet? …I am…at this point in my day I am starting to feel very low…
I got my hair done, ear rings in, make up is on finally, and now another battle to fight. My socks and shoes! I sit down because I can’t bend over to put them on like I could 15 years ago. What use to take less than 2 minutes…now takes 10 or so to complete. Another battle I’ve won…only to have a staircase to contend with.
My feet are killing me more with each step. Holding onto the rail going one step at a time with the crackling sound of my knees and pain from knee into my shin with each step slowing me down in this mission to get to work, I fight on. At the bottom of the steps I have a few more battles to get through…in the winter, even more with snow pants, and hat etc. The few I have now before winter gets here is my purse, coat, the door, and the car. The coat is the easiest battle. I have to cringe through more pain in the shoulders to get it on along with burning in my arms, and neck. OK battle won! Coat is on and now I just have to put my purse on one of my painful shoulders, grab my keys and turn that door knob to get into the garage to the car. The door knob is NOT going to win. I bite on my lip as my hand wraps the knob to turn it. My fingers are aching so bad I want to just let loose but I don’t. I HAVE to get to my car.
YES! I got the door open and was able to close it. Battle won! I start feeling accomplished at this point in my day…just briefly though…I walk around the car and realize this is the toughest thing I do at this point in my day….this battle reminds me everyday just how sick I am…getting into my car.
I fight to get the car door opened. SUCCESS! Now toss my purse hard enough to land in the passenger seat because bending over the driver seat to place it is not an option for me anymore and opening two car doors is not an option anymore either just for a purse. By this time I am breathing hard…feeling my heart starting to race and my entire body hurts. Now I have to get in…thankful I have a Jeep now so at least I don’t have to bend lower to get in though the Jeep is difficult too. Ah, bending to sit at the steering wheel I can feel the tarlov cyst pressing against the tumor…I can feel the tumor starting to pulsate from being pushed by the tarlov cyst….now I start to pray….dear God let my medication kick in and please be with me Lord in my pain…help me stay positive, happy, and not angry over these trials…please help me get to work safely so I can be a positive part of the kids day…help me be a positive force in my coworkers day…most of all Lord help me with my addiction, please help me stay sober today, and thank you for all you do for me…amen. ((I am a recovering opiate addict))
Yeah that is a normal morning for me….and I haven’t even covered the parts when I actually get to work. It is so exhausting. It is very hard not to roll over and just give up…it exhausts me so much…it has changed me forever…in some ways it has been wonderful change…but other ways it has been a scary secret of wanting to die, thoughts of ramming my car into buildings, thoughts of jumping off bridges, thoughts of stepping out in front of a driver….a loneliness that makes me want to just climb inside myself and disappear from the public and family…a scary shadow following me daily urging me to find some opium…or oxycotin…begging me to find it so I can feel good for just one day…a whisper in my ear telling me one day won’t hurt…two won’t hurt…come on….someone has to have them….just ask…a whisper reminding me just how good it felt when I was high on it…a craving in my gut for that euphoric feeling that opiates give you…
The low is creeping in…as it normally does…and it has me sitting at the keyboard once again…exposing my scars…my flaws for all to see…for all to use if they choose too…you are a witness to…me being painted blue…by this strange thing we call life….a masterpiece in the making.
My nightmare is my own
There isn’t a place you belong
It is in my mind
And it never ends
It numbs my core
But not before
Not before I’m crashing
Crashing into the wall
Paying myself back
Paying me back for it all
All the fucked up things I’ve done
All the hurtful things I’ve said
All the weight from everyone I’ve carried
Some things don’t belong
Something is wrong
The way you speak to me
The way it repeats
Yeah it repeats
I’ll carry that like a disease that has no cure
It will linger on forever
Until I’m crashing
Crashing into a wall
Paying myself back for it all
Then words will fall
“I’m all fucked up inside
And you don’t understand
You want control and you want to be the man
But you don’t live inside my head
You don’t feel the urge to want to be dead
Or the urge to walk out on everything
Because I feel caged even with you not around
But you make it feel like suffocation
Your presence suffocates me
Because I will NEVER be what you want me to be
I have no energy to explain to you
I use it up to fight my mind
The war raging inside
That you don’t seem to understand
Because maybe..just maybe…
You are the man
You’re all fucked up inside
Living life based on a safe mind
You have no flooding emotions
That drowns you out
You’re lucky to have a quiet mind
You have no fight inside..
No battlefield of planted landmines
You can feel things you’re supposed to feel
You can keep what’s real
And I can’t understand that
Because I’m not the man
I’m a shell of who I use to be
Guess you shouldn’t have married me…
Because I have to be free
I have to feel free
You just can’t see
I’m crashing me…”
We all have those times when we get lost in the past. You know those times don’t you? Times when you think about some decisions you’ve made in your life that you consider to be mistakes. You feel guilty about some memories that haunt you because they scarred you in some way. So you continue to carry about the baggage even though you know you shouldn’t and it destroys everything around you. The stuff that prevents or provokes you from finishing projects, beginning projects, staying in relationships, staying in bad relationships, finding peace in the day, loving freely, trusting anyone including yourself, preventing you from living life and enjoying it to the fullest.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We feel as though we should punish ourselves because of the wrongs in our past. We sit and dwell on what if this, what if that? We’re human that is why we do these things. That really is the only answer I can come up with.
We yearn for perfections. We want a perfect world. We want a perfect life, perfect love, perfect home, neighborhoods, friendships, childhoods…ah perfections is what we ache to acquire but we never own.
Flaws are a unique part of every one of our personalities, lives, and world’s within worlds. The flaws are what make us who we are. The fact I was raised in a very poor household makes me the giver I am. It makes me more compassionate as a person today then I think I would have been if I’d grown up differently. Even though some of my past is very hurtful it has made me into the woman I am today. Sure it would have been lovely to have not had those terrible things happen to me but it happened and staying back there isn’t going to allow me to go anywhere in the future. I will get lost back there. I have been lost back there many times as I’m sure some of you have been lost in your own past. Wondering how to get out, how to stop thinking about certain times, memories, wishing you had some sort of way to fix what had happened to you, wishing you could have made a different choice. There is no way of fixing it, forgetting it, changing it. All one can do is learn to live with the fact it happened and accept the fact it’s shaped them forever.
Certainly you can’t go forward if you are too busy looking backwards. I’ve learned that the hard way. I held on to my past for so long and so tight thinking that if I didn’t hold onto I’d NEVER get over it. Well, let me tell you first hand that is not the way to get over bad choices, regrets, abuse, scars, and loneliness. You have to let go. You have to embrace it, work through it, and LET IT GO!
We can start to feel sorry for ourselves too at times and we end up right back there don’t we? It is bound to happen from time to time. The key is not to stay there for too long. You have to get out of there as quickly as possible. Being back there saps your energy, your future views and dreams, it reminds you of things about yourself that are easy to hang onto instead of allowing you to view yourself as a survivor. It’s harder to see yourself as a survivor because ultimately you still have self esteem issues. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be dwelling on those past issues still today. It’s so easy to see yourself, as a screw up isn’t it? So easy to see yourself as a loser stuck in a life you’re unhappy about isn’t it? So easy! I know I’ve been there many times too.
It’s hard to see all the great things you’ve done, especially when you get low and want to go back there. It’s hard at times to see how much good I bring to my children at times. It is hard at times to see that I’m a great wife to my husband. It gets hard to see those things when you feel so low I know. You really have to fight it and try hard to see those things. Find something that will help guide the way for you. Could it be bible verses? Could it be dance music? Find what brings you out of the lows and surround yourself with that. Try to avoid what brings on your lows. I know eventually one will come on no matter what you do. The lows still hit me at times. I write a lot of those times. Maybe you should try that as a release of those past demons. You have to learn to recognize them lows and go to what brings you out quickly. Sometimes lows can be very dangerous. If you feel like you are not coming out of the lows soon enough or feel suicidal you should seek professional help immediately. You might have a chemical imbalance that needs medications to level off. Please don’t delay.
So while you’re back there visiting your ghosts, demons, joys, memories, or whatever it is back there in your past….just remember not to stay long because you can’t go forward looking back. Also those things you see back there made you the wonderful you that you are today. God bless.
I called my FNL yesterday. He sounded good. I was so glad to hear he was in good spirits. He said his pain wasn’t so bad and he is drinking ensure everyday like I asked him to do. He said his appetite is great and he has only lost ten pounds so far. He lost that due to diarrhea. The chemotherapy is causing it. They told him to drink Imodium to prevent it next treatment he has.
There is so much going on in my life right now. It almost makes me feel nausea. I feel at the verge of throwing up. Ever have that feeling?
I have kids to take care of. A home to keep up, a husband to keep happy, medicine to remember to take, doctor appointments out the yin yang to keep, yard work to try to get done little by little, flowers to put out for this season, my brother says something is wrong with his blood work he had done, my uncle just had a stroke, my mom keeps getting pneumonia, my fibromyalgia seems to be out of control, I’m not sleeping well, I’m trying hard to lose weight and I am not winning that battle! I’m falling back into depression, and I can’t finish my book The Seed Of Infidelity. WOW that is a lot I think. Oh and sometimes I forget to eat through the day.
I’m so tired. I can’t do this blog anymore right now….
So my older brother called me the other night, the only one that calls me, and tells me that mom is in the hospital again. I wasn’t shocked. My first concern was to find out whether or not it was the usual reason or if it was her heart. It was for the usual reasons so I was relieved. Listen to me, “I was relieved.” It has become so normal that it doesn’t even phase me that she is once again in the hospital in the mental ward.
Living with a schizophrenic mom has taken a toll on my entire family. I live over four states away and there isn’t a thing I can do for her or her illness. I’ve tried in the past believe me. I’ve tried so hard in the past that it broke my family apart for a time when my oldest daughter was around two years old. I even went to live with mom in hopes coming back home would improve the situation. It didn’t. It seemed to have escalated it now that I look back. She is good at getting attention. All schizophrenics are. It is apart of their illness. Most of the family has tried to help her in some way but no one has been successful on helping her stay on track. She always ends up back at square one.
I have often wondered if she was really sick or just pretending simply to get pity. Growing up with it and not understanding it makes you view it in that way. She wasn’t a good mom I can’t sit here and praise her. I can however sit here as a grown woman and start to understand a little as to why she didn’t do some of the things she needed to do. Now some things she refused to do there are no excuses for. Like getting me ready for school as a little girl. There is no excuse for that in my opinion. Even in my worst day of a fibromyalgia attack I get up and make sure my daughter is ready for school the proper way. That is a mother’s job.
Mom probably decided to pull this episode due to the holiday coming up. Good ole’ Thanksgiving. It was my dad’s favorite holiday. She does this every year. Last year it was Christmas she went into the hospital. She either takes too many of her pills, or she’ll stop taking them all together. We haven’t had a problem with her overdosing in a long time. She now just stops taking her meds.
She was in the hospital about three months ago too though. She was staying with T whom I wish she would have nothing to do with and my cousin R, who is my aunt Eve’s son, attempted to run her off I heard and long behold she ended up in the hospital shortly after going over to the house I use to call home. I believe that is what set her in motion on that particular episode.
I’ve talked to counselors. I’ve asked for help from everywhere and there seems to be none that is worth the taking. The best I get is there are far worse people off then her who live on their own or who are homeless. I believe this illness has deadened my family and what it was meant to be. I believe it has been the sole component that has so easily allowed the barriers to be put up between my brothers and I. It silences our communication even though we need it so badly. We don’t know what to say or what to do to help our mom or ourselves in this continuing battle of schizophrenia.
When dad was around he was the caretaker. He was the one who handled her. He handled her well so we thought. We thought he handled her well because we didn’t have to “deal” with her or the illness first hand like he did. What a life he must have lived dealing with his wife having the illness and trying to raise five kids and having no money along the way. God bless him for being a great man and dad.
Throughout the years my mom has lost a lot of her family. Some have disowned her because of her actions that she has kept repeating. Some have disowned her because of her choice of being with T who is a shit bag. I can’t candy coat it here. I have no love for the guy and I never have. I tolerated him because he was married to my aunt Eve and while she was living I put up with him for her. After she died I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to have anything to do with him ever again. Well, so I thought! Long behold my mom decides to be “best friends” with him. I think there is more then friendship going on myself, and many others do so too.
I am angry that she did this once again. She pulled another selfish act. She wasn’t thinking how it would affect my nephew or my youngest brother and his family who expected to cook dinner with mom. He was looking forward to having that this year. Another holiday for him that will have an absent void in it. How can I be angry with him after all he’s lived with on his own since dad has died? I don’t know…whom should I be angry at?
Should I be angry that he couldn’t fix her? I couldn’t even fix her! Should I be angry at my oldest brother because he couldn’t fix her? I couldn’t even fix her! Why am I angry at all? Schizophrenia has destroyed my family. I only talk to one of my brothers on a regular basis out of four. There is something wrong with that. I’ve tried to reach out to each of the others. It has done no good. There is so much resentment for things said and done in the past that the wall just doesn’t seem to be coming down anytime soon.
We all have done everything you can think of to try to fix our mom and in the process of doing that we’ve hurt each other and never looked back. We all stepped in at different times to try different approaches in attempts to make her life better and along the way we’ve stepped on each other in one way or another.
So, I will call my mom tomorrow in the hospital to wish her a happy Thanksgiving. I’m not sure what conversation we’ll have except to ask why again? Like I have so many times before…
Times like these I wish my dad were here more then any other time.
Until next time, be safe…and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!