Lately, I’ve found myself slipping more and more often into that nasty little place where everything is annoying and everyone is a moron. People can be so thoughtless, and my tolerance for it, normally rather generous, has been burned down to about zero. I wish I could blame the pain, but I’m in a lot less pain than I was before, for the most part. I’m still not sleeping through the night, but part of the reason is that I stopped taking the medicine I take for my insomnia because it was interacting poorly with the muscle relaxants I take at night.
But maybe that’s not the only reason my sleep is such a mess. My dreams are awful, vivid experiences which inevitably involve me being thwarted in what I’m doing, or blamed for hurting someone, or trying to put something together or get someone to understand what I’m saying and they and everyone around them all insist that I’m doing it wrong. I wake up tensed and cramped, and as exhausted as I was before I went to sleep, and this happens two or three times a night, sometimes more. I’ve started staying up later because my bed hasn’t been much of a refuge, so my sleep schedule is getting perturbed and I’m sure that’s not helpful, either.
I’m not angry at everyone else, though. I’m angry at myself for not handling this better, and when I’m angry about something, it usually means that I’m upset or afraid. My life is starting to come apart and I’m torn between a sincere desire to hold it together and an inability to summon the inner reserves to do so. I’m tired, not just physically tired, but emotionally spent. I’ve been trying to keep my chin up about all of this. I’ve been trying to get to a place of acceptance of the new order of things, or at least trying to pretend I have some sort of acceptance of it, in hopes that it will help the process along. But it’s not helping it along, it’s just making me bitter and short-tempered.
Pain and disability are by their nature lonely ailments. I’d give anything to have someone to share this with, but it doesn’t work that way. My friends and loved ones can walk away from this from time to time, but I can’t. I can’t escape back into my life like they can because this is my life now. And I’m angry about it and I’m upset about it and I don’t want to accept it and I don’t want to be strong about it. I just desperately want it not to be true.
I’ve lost someone, someone close, someone I knew well, lived with, loved, and had even learned to like. I’ve lost my physically strong, capable, helpful self who was always there lend a hand. Helping other people made me feel good and now I can’t do it any more; I have to ask other people to help me and I don’t like it. It took me so long to accept myself for who I was before this happened, and now I have to start over and learn to accept this new self and I don’t want to. I want the old one back and I’m angry that I can’t have her. I don’t want to learn to like this diminished, broken, needy creature now living in the house I used to live in, who doesn’t look right in my clothes and isn’t comfortable my bed.
It’s not that my life was perfect before – far from it. But I’d give anything to be back there dealing with the ordinary challenges of living. This burden I’ve been saddled with is so heavy and I’m so tired of dragging it around with me. I keep wishing someone could help me carry it rather than me having to do it all by myself. I keep waiting for the time to come when I can put it down and that time keeps getting farther and farther away. I’m starting to realize I will never be able to put it down, that there isn’t anywhere to put it, that I just have to hold it and wait until I get bigger, or it gets smaller, or maybe both, or maybe neither.
I know that my life has undergone a permanent and significant change, but the idea of that is so overwhelming that I don’t even want to approach it, never mind try to wrap my head around it and deal with it. I’m afraid to let myself feel how upset I am about it, how sad I am, how beaten down. There’s so much emotional pain inside me that it feels like is has no end. And I’m afraid that if I start to cry about it I will never, ever stop.