“Because I Am”

Black balloons

Image by stvno via Flickr

Tonight I am having a pity party for one; I am the guest of honor. You are welcome to join me but motivational speeches and happy clichés are not allowed. I’ve learned that the sun will probably not come out tomorrow, it will be cold, dark and windy just like the last few weeks. Some of my friends with chronic illnesses seem to be feeling the same way: Is it the weather?  Seasonal Affective Disorder? Pain and unhappiness? Other friends that don’t have chronic illnesses are also fed up and feeling down. I’m wallowing in self-pity and I am allowing myself to do so. Wallowing and venting are the main attractions in my self-imposed symposium.

1) Both my husband and I have been very discouraged because of the job market; he has been unemployed for a long time. He is always the best candidate, the one they love, the one they want. We get excited, euphoric even, and then the final news hits us like a tsunami: “We would love to have him but there is no funding approved for this job now” or “There’s a hiring freeze that just  started.” We plummet, like rapidly deflating black balloons.

2) I need to protect myself from future painful disappointments. While, in the past, I have tried to feel positive and hopeful,  I am now keeping my defenses up because it is too damn painful to feel excited and then let down over and over again.I am tired of feeling bad and blue and not having anything to look forward to. Yes, I have tried to be positive, I count my blessings and I list the things that I am grateful for: nothing works. A good friend of mine told me she was depressed last week and I asked her “why?”  “Because I am” she said. I now understand that completely.

4) Physically, I have no energy. I’ve been over-eating and sleeping way too much these past two weeks. I’m trying to sleep straight through to May but the chances of that are pretty slim. I stopped taking the autoimmune drug that was helping my energy level because it made my legs ache continuously and I wanted to rid myself of extra pain. This is what happens when I try to rid myself of drugs and toxins in my body. I end up asleep. I made the wrong decision.

5) The holiday season is not joyful for me. After my father died, the holiday spirit died with him. We go through the motions for the children. I’ve accepted this but each year after his birthday in November things start to go downhill fast, straight through to New Year’s Eve, the night he passed away. Why can’t I prepare myself? Why is it only familiar when it is happening again? Think of it as a long, a really long extended period of situational depression.

6) I’m having a default Thanksgiving in my house this year. My mom broke her wrist and I just couldn’t let her have it in her house. She is also depressed because of her broken bone and pain and having to be dependent on others, this affects me too. I feel bad for her. I can’t begin to talk about my self-involved sister, there is too much to say and at the same time, nothing to say. Thanksgiving is in one week, I have nothing prepared and I am both overwhelmed and underwhelmed.  I will rally for the holidays because I have to; it’s a necessity not a choice.

Let me tell you directly what I want:  Accept how I feel and allow me to have the emotions I do have. Don’t analyze, debate or criticize me. Try active listening. Help out during Thanksgiving and be kind to one another. I would truly be grateful if you could do just that.

4 thoughts on ““Because I Am”

  1. Always expecting the worst means that sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised when the worst doesn’t happen. I know there are theories that postive engery creates positives, while negative energy generates negatives, but there are times when its best for the psyche, the emotions, the heart to not get your hopes up. Negative, I know, but it’s how I protect myself from feeling worse about something that didn’t go my way. I know — if you expect to fail, you will fail — but if I expect to succeed and don’t, I feel twice as bad. (Remember, I’m chronically, clinically depressed and on minimal meds for it right now, so I’m probably not the best person to give advice).
    I am sorry that you are forced to play host for a holiday called Thanksgiving and you are finding it hard to be thankful for what’s going on in your life right now; sorry that your hubby is having re-employment problems (see comments on your next post); sorry that your balloon’s been burst.
    It is okay to feel bad, rant and rave as Tammy suggests, and get it out of your system. While you might not want to celebrate thanksgiving, make it as minimally invasive into your life as you can. Get help where you can in preparing and serving the meal. Could you ask folks to bring a side dish, or a dessert? Can you trim dowing the trimmings so you don’t have to exert too much effort? If you wanted to turn the pre-functionary meal into something more special: ask folks to make a donation to a food bank (or bring food that you can take to your local food bank). That way Thanksgiving 2010 was the year a new tradition was started that includes a trip to the food bank.
    Good luck getting through the coming week. Remember, by Friday morning, the “ordeal” of one holiday tradition is finished; don’t feel like you have to be involved in any other traditions during the holiday season unless you are up to it physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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  2. I remember when Jim was laid off for soooo long. He felt so defeated. Putting in app after app, getting nowhere. He became depressed and had to get medication. It was awful to watch him go thru that, plus him having to take care of me all the time…I feel he got a raw deal in the wife category…lol, but I know its hard for men to not be working, alll you can do is stay supportive forhim as I’m sure you are. I feel hewill get a job real soon….my grandma always says “things happen the way they are supposed to happen, what will be will be” and thats how I try to think of things…they r happening for a reason…but I’m not tryin to give u a pep talk!!!! lol…dont get mad! 😉 I’m just sayin how I dealt with jim being laid off….it was awful for all of us, lost the house, the car, our self esteem/respect. NOw our lving situation is so different. But we lived thru it. We have food and a roof over our head. Good friends (u among thm!) and family. I still get so damn angry and sad at God, at the world for my health & our situation then I feel guilty for doing it. but ithink we have to cave in sometimes and just cry and rant and rave and cleanse our emotional system…so we can then regain our strength to fight on. Life just blows sometimes. I wish I could help u. but feel free to vent all u want. I am actively listening! I cant fix it, but I can sympathize. You are a great person. A strong person. A caring person. My friend. Luv u! xoxox

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  3. I’m so sorry Laurie. I can understand and relate to alot of it. I;m depressed and totally sick of the rlentless pain also,. I have pity parties for me alot. I’m sorry about your dad and I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way over the holiday season….and are the one responsible for hosting and doing it all. I pray someone will help you get it all pulled together. Being sick all the time sucks. Plain and simple. You are in my thoughts and prayers. We will get thru this together. Hang on. xoox
    tammy

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