I have written about how I feel broken – physically – some. I have a broken sterum that won’t heal. I have chronic migraines and kidney stones. I have damage to a shoulder/neck muscle. I have no lymph nodes on the left side of my neck, so stuff doesn’t drain well from my head and face. I have joint/bone pain and I don’t move well some days.
All of this is nothing compared to how it feels to be broken mentally and emotionally.
I went through some very hard years as a young woman. It was at least partly chemical and hormonal. That didn’t help people understand it any better though. I took handfuls of pills that were supposed to make me feel better but didn’t. At one point I took over 20 pills a day – of medication, no supplements. I struggled through life, loosing jobs, loosing friends, loosing touch with my family for the most part.
One day, with the help of some good friends, I decided I could be more than this. I got a temporary job cleaning and I started going to work every single day. Even though it was really hard. I stopped taking all those pills, even though my doctors thought it was a bad idea. I stopped going to those doctors. I don’t recommend this to anyone. It could have very bad bad bad side effects. But for me, it worked. Those pills were just all counteracting each other and doing nothing to help me. Instead I started making sure I got enough sleep, eating properly, meditating, and exercising every morning. I quit drinking, quit smoking, quit doing any kind of mind changing substances. That all did more for me than any pills.
The darkness isn’t totally gone. After my son was born, my husband was stuck in Russia, and I was diagnosed with cancer I was a mess. We tried some antidepressants and right away I could feel the old problems coming back. I’d rather be a little depressed than screw up my life again. I stopped them. It comes back now and then – those down days, those broken times. For the most part I can really help myself out of it through these few things I do.
I have had a rough 3 weeks. My mom died and I got through the funeral, the visitors, the family, and got home with a sick kid and my wits barely intact. I found out over the past 2 weeks that 3 friends have had a “return” of their cancer. (some have just never gotten rid of it) One friend just got DONE with chemo – I mean last week – and although the cancer in her stomach is gone, the cancer in her neck and breasts isn’t. One friend they can’t even FIND her cancer, but her blood work and her other stuff is pointing to it. I have an appointment coming up – on the 14th I go in for blood work and to schedule and ultrasound. Again. It feels like a treadmill I can’t get off of: take a pill every day that makes me feel like crap but hopefully keeps the cancer away, figure out what aches and pains I have to deal with that day, every 6 months go get my blood drawn and an ultrasound done. This last time my bloods weren’t where we want them to be, so this time I am really nervous. Does it help to be nervous? No. Does it help to worry about an appointment I have over a week from today? No. But I can’t seem to stop. I am also worried about some of my family – hoping they are doing ok since all of this with my mom has happened.
I can understand my mom’s feelings. I know some of it was chemical. Alzheimer’s steals the chemicals and connections in your brain that allow you to function properly. But I also know some of it was that she knew she wasn’t her old self – that she knew she was becoming a different self, and that she couldn’t stop it. Some people might not understand the loneliness and desperation to just not hurt anymore, but I do – I have been there when I was a young woman, and fight to never end up there again.
Today I woke up like I did the past 2 days – wanting to stay in bed all day, wanting to just hide from the world. But I have a son now, and I can’t just stop life.
Yesterday I promised myself I’d get out of the house. I’d take my son and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I’d take a walk and get some activity. I’d have a fruit smoothie. Yesterday I also felt physically ill – stomach problems, kidney stone, migraine trying to rear it’s ugly head. I had hoped I would feel better physically today. I don’t.
I suppose one more day of wallowing won’t hurt. (that’s how the cycle starts by the way) I suppose waiting until my husband is off tomorrow and going somewhere with him would be better – he can help my son and I can just “show up”, go through the motions, and know that it WILL help in the end.
One time when I was in high school a church teacher asked the class if any of us had had serious emotional pain. I had – that’s another story for another time – I had experienced a very traumatic situation when I was 15 involving someone I really loved. I had serious emotional pain after that. He said that most people would rather go through physical pain than emotional pain and I agreed with him. I had had 2 surgeries by then and thought I knew what physical pain was. Now, I do know what physical pain is. I have been in pain I can’t describe with my sternum surgeries. Really bad, paralyzing pain. I would still take the physical pain over the emotional pain any day.
It WILL get better. Don’t worry about me when you read this. I WILL be fine in a few days or maybe weeks. But I just needed to get some of the darkness out of my head and into words. That has always helped as well – a kind of purging of my mind.