Slip Sliding Away

In a lot of ways I’m still trying to stop the slip so please bear with me, I’ve tried to write this a few times and it just comes out in disjointed gibberish.  I will try to keep everything as simple as I can without too much fluff, which is when I get generally get lost.

I don’t remember what day last week I slept through my early AM pills.  Because it was late I didn’t take them but I did take the one I should have taken after breakfast.  It had been close to a full week since I was taking all my meds early, morning and evening pills.  I was barely holding on.

Tuesday I finished my CNA course and we had a certification program where we were all presented our papers which is my ticket to take the state test to start a new path.  It wasn’t that big of a deal to me until it was.  I made a point of getting a picture so I could put it in my journal.  I looked horrible.  The crush of the room was bothering me and ramping up my already jarred psyche so when it was over and the eating began I left.  I knew if I started to eat I wouldn’t stop and no one and nothing would be spared.  And there was food waiting for me at home and I could binge to my hearts contempt.  What I forgot to mention is that though I laid out my meds the night before, I didn’t take them…..and you can repeat that all the way to Saturday morning but by then it was too late.

Thanksgiving for my family was on Friday.  I was in a full blown anger hurricane and no one was safe.  I stayed in the corner and pretended I was ‘tired’….well, tired of all of them.  I ate only what I wanted; turkey, potatoes and dressing.  I was kind to the kids, although the youngest was put on my lap and when he felt the disruption in my aura he began to cry and try to get away from me….I really couldn’t blame him.

Saturday I took my pills again but my heart was racing, my breath was shallow, my blood pressure was all over the place and I just wanted to scream – I took a tranquilizer….and tranquil I did become.   My emotions flattened out and I slept for three hours, but my mind still hasn’t returned, it still can’t grasp anything and hold onto it for a long time.  Words slip off the tip of my tongue, ideas float just out of reach and my memory pulls up the wrong information and my mouth can’t stop it from tumbling out.

I’m back on my three doses a day.  I don’t know if I need to continue to slip to get back down to stable ground or if I need to start the climb again to where I was.  I just hope which ever it is it doesn’t take me back to a place I don’t want and can’t be again.   If there is any take away from this whole hellish experience is: DON’T GO OFF YOUR MEDS.  I’m not well, I’m not better, I’m not quitting.

Entitled to Surrender

I’ve been looking for a definition that encompasses my meaning and feelings for the word entitled.  Microsoft wasn’t helpful, nor were the additional sites it sent me to.  Merriam Webster Dictionary  was accurate but didn’t quite go far enough.  I went to the Urban Dictionary and it was almost spot on but the language used on the site isn’t as refined as I would prefer it for my use here.  So, I’m going to give you my definition:

Entitled

The belief of when you are doing something that benefits the whole you should be compensated, taken care of and/or relieved from your efforts from time to time.

That said, I’ve been fighting with this concept all through the holidays.  It really hit home when my nephew gave his 18 month old nephew an iPad mini.  I’ve wanted one for like ever but I never have the money in hand at the best time to buy so I’ve just made due with my iPhone and my Kindle.  Honestly, this almost brought me to tears.  It shouldn’t but it did.  I feel like I’m completely forgotten by the outskirts of the family.  The Grandkids know what a handful their Grandmother is but as long as it doesn’t impact their schedule or cause them any hardship they deign to visit for an hour or so or call once every eclipse. [Don’t get offended, I’m not done yet.]  After I wiped the tears away about the give before anyone could see them, I started to get angry.  I’m doing all the heavy lifting both emotionally and a good portion of the time physically but the 18 month old is entitled to an iPad to help him learn his ABCs.   (I’ve got an opinion on that but it’s not suitable for this forum….I’ll have it on Psyche-Stew soon.  Then on top of all of this, my sisters have been pulling back and recognizing I need a break but only willing to dole it out in one to four hour increments.  I need a Freaking Vacation….one that doesn’t include Mom, or a massage, or even just a weekend away so I don’t have the constant static of the baby monitor hissing in my ear while I’m trying to sleep.  But mostly the recognize it but are too busy to do anything about it.

So, for kicks and giggles I sat down and figured out just what I feel I’m entitled to.  We have someone during the day to take care of Mom, which is very helpful for me. However, that leaves me with 18 hours a day M-F and 24 hours per day for the weekend when Mom is all mine.  I would want the three of us to rotate the weekends, for the sisters to come three to four times a week to spend time with Mom so she’s not completely glommed onto me all the time, help with cleaning the house and cooking [because, honestly, I suck at both]. send me to a spa on a regular basis and understanding when I reach out to them for help and/or support I don’t get a litany of the things they’re doing and a bright “Hang in there” before I hang up.

To sum it up, I want them to take over preferably all of the work and leave me with the praise and accolades I receive when people see me and I tell them what I do. Not much, really.  😉

NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO THAT.

The only thing I am entitled to is my life and my free agency.  Beyond that, if Iwant to be entitled to something Ihave to find it within myself to provide those accolades and care I crave.

That said…..

I surrender.

Merriam Webster got it right this time defining Surrender as:

Surrender

: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed

: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else

: to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you

I’m not talking about backing away from my commitment to my mother or to my family.  I’m not going to quit anything that I am already doing,  that is not an option unless I plan to surrender who I am entirely.  No, I mean I’m going to stop fighting with reality and waging a spiky-word warfare with unsuspecting siblings.  My life, for now, is to be here for Mom, and I can’t do that fully if I’m allowing unhelpful thoughts discourage me and distract me into thinking that I’m being taken advantage of by the whole family.  I surrender the  illusion of entitlement.  I realize everyone is doing the absolute most they feel they can do and I can’t ask, demand, or whine about them giving more.  I’m the one who volunteered for this, to be the caregiver, and I will continue to give until my service is complete  My choice.  My free agency.  And that is how it is for every persons life.  I know that kind of has an over tone of I’ll-show-them, but I’ll assure you it’s not.  I’m anxious to live my life, to get out and meet the oncoming trials head on and ready to wrestle them to the ground.  For the first time I think in ever I am going to put my needs (writing, meditation, mental health, etc.) before anyone else’s.  I will be my next caregiving opportunity, for that, I believe, I am entitled.

“I just want to spend all the time I can with you…”

Raise your hand if you don’t think is a guilt trip…..

Yea, that’s what I thought.

Wanting Vs. Doing Vs. Needing

I want……….

  • to go back to school to spiff up my phlebotomy credentials (long story)
  • to write at night and on weekends
  • to have a clean and neat room, with my bed made and laundry done
  • to go on hikes on weekends and maybe learn to Glamp from time to time
  • to make jewelry for gifts and for myself….maybe even to sell
  •  to keep working a full time job so I can have a full time pay

Vs.

I’m doing……….

  • 8hrs a day on a less than taxing job but still need to take a nap in my car
  • I’m registering for school but will have to do it in person instead of online, terrified I’ll sleep through it or fail
  • I clean my room by turning off the light and turning on the TV
  • I get out of bed late on weekends and then require a few naps to get through the day
  • The thought of pulling out and putting away all my jewelry making stuff is exhausting in itself
  • Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve been able to keep a full time job.

Okay, I’m tired right now. I really have no reason to be, other than I stayed up too late last night. But when I’m in these moods I wonder if I will ever be able to have a normal life, if I’ve ever had a normal life. My Mom is insistent that I just need to “push through” and “fight back” and basically “get over it” and I will be fine. Sometimes I think she’s right, very rarely, and I try and spin myself back out of control. I think I need a routine…a “doing” and slowly build from there. I keep changing this idea of what my day should look like beyond going to work, going home, going to bed, getting up and going to work, going home, going to bed.

Right now I’m thinking that Mediation is the direction I should be going in. Of course I can’t do that until I have a space cleaned in my room, which means I need to work in my room, which means I need to do my laundry and find a meditation pillow and make hand knotted-silk strung beads and a tassel for meditation……See how the wanting and the doing are always dancing?

I need to……….

  • JUST meditate

    • I don’t need a clean room to do it
    • I don’t need my laundry clean to do it
    • I don’t need a special pillow to do it
    • I don’t need specially strung beads to do it (yet, I want them because it means shopping and creating)

The only thing I need to do is make time. Or in my case take time.  And take comfort in the hope that the needful will allow for the mental space for doing the wanting.

Control is an Illusion

I know this. I’m not stupid. Yet to gain the serenity promised in the SERENITY PRAYER I need to exert the kind of control over my life that I’ve never really wanted before. I need to become a machine. I need to make a list, check it twice, and then methodically, mechanistically go through each one with the promise there will be sleep at the end. It doesn’t help that my goal of coming off the anti-depressants isn’t working as well as I’d hope and staying in bed hiding among the varied dreamscapes I find there is all I want to do.

The lack of meds, the lack of control over the type of control I want in my life and the anger that’s welling up in me for having to have to shut down a goodly portion of my emotional life again in favor of sanity is making me want to take back the realization of March 2013: my name is Pamela and I’m a compulsive overeater. Maybe I’m not. (Anyone else catch the compulsively long run-on sentence?)

I am. I know I am. And try as one might you can’t unknown something without a fairly major stroke. It’s just right now it seems like one more thing on my over crowded to-do list.

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Anger Stay Down

This weekend was mostly dark and angry but I didn’t let it rule me and I found ways, which in some cases were fairly natural now, of not losing my temper or pecking anyone’s eyes out. But my abstinence took the biggest hit.

Friday I worked a full day, had physical therapy for my wrists and thumbs (really not the brightest idea to type this blog on my cell phone, I know) mother insisted since I promised to do the shopping on Fridays that I needed to do that. I understand her point; she makes out a list based on the sales and spends a food part of her day doing that. My plans fell through for Saturday so I figured I could just stay in….I think you know how my relationship with my mother works. Mother demands and daughter angrily abides. I hate myself for not holding my ground. My reason to her was sound but she wouldn’t hear it.

I came home with food she got out of bed and was just all happy (and feeling so much better physically and willing to eat junk food on her tortured intestinal tract telling me how wonderful I should feel for doing everything I prided to do blah blah I wish I could do everything I set out to do blah blah blah. I tried to explain to her several times how doing that undid all the good physical therapy did and she thought that was a good thing. I had to explain to her again and again. And it just occurred to me I’m not really helping myself to recount the angery exchange when my goal was to illuminate the darkness I’d experienced over the weekend. So that was the ignition. And though it wasn’t a raging flame it was an intense long burn kind of fire and lasted all weekend. Well until S’mores.

I have become acutely aware of how sugar effects mood. This is the second time I’ve become blindingly aware of this effect from sugar. I love it. But no matter how much the wife loves her abusive husband she needs to leave for her own preservation.

I don’t want sugar to be on my abstinence program. I want to be able to eat birthday cake on my birthday or pecan pie at Thanksgiving. I don’t want…I don’t want to be a slave to it for emotional balance either. That’s what the Lexapro, Buspar, and yes, even Xanax are for. I don’t know what to do because I really don’t want to give up anything yet, some days I don’t believe I’ve been blessed with the level of desperation needed to take that first step out of the epicurean forest and then when I have clarity on some days I don’t think it’s bad enough to jump on the abstinence wagon and hold on for dear life either. Even though that’s exactly what I am suppose to be doing.

Playing in Traffic

Just when I think things are going well the urge to go play in traffic and/or the compulsion to play Death-By-Chocolate reasserts it’s self into my consciousness. What’s really frustrating is I’ve made the decision to go down another step on the Lexapro and now because of these ugly specters I’m second guessing my recovery in general and abstract. I’m still going to reduce, of course. I won’t know that I’ll unravel unless I start pulling at the threads holding me together. I can always go back up if I find myself standing in the middle of the street.

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