Fibromyalgia, parenting, love and loss

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Chronic Illness

My 5 year old daughter just asked me if I’ve always been sick. Her innocent question gutted me. You see, I have 5 kids, ranging in age from 20 to 5. With my older kids, I was well. I had boundless energy and no pain.

With my two youngest, I have had fibromyalgia and CFS. It all began after a car wreck on the way to work. It started with neck pain and within two years it became full-body pain. I have daily fever, ranging from in the 100’s to 102’s. No one can understand the toll this takes unless they have chronic illness, too. I support my family and commute three to four hours a day. My job is extremely stressful, which makes me more symptomatic. 

My not so helpful doctor told me to find a less stressful job. No shit! I look daily. So far, it has not happened. I’m extremely frustrated. I feel like I’m not the Mom that I wish to be. Sure, I can still love my children and I do everything that I can for them. Yet, I am plagued by guilt. I want to be able to do so much more. I have tried every new idea on how to be cured. Different meds, no meds. New supplements, cutting back on certain foods or eliminating them altogether. Nothing has helped. I am still alive only for my family. I could not cause them pain by ending my life. I wonder how much longer I can do this, though. Every single day is a fight for survival.

I do believe that we experience certain trials in life to teach us the lessons we need to learn. I  just don’t know what the lesson in yet. I know that others have it worse and I am grateful for my blessings. I’m just tired of being in constant pain and feeling exhausted all the time. I wish to have joy in my life again for more than mere moments.

There’s also constant pressure from well meaning people to try this or that. I know my illness better than anyone. I know all the theories, believe me.  There’s also endless frustration with insurance not covering certain treatments that might help. I feel very alone in this battle, though I know that I am not. People at work stay home because of a backache or cold, yet probably make fun of me for being sick even though I work in levels of pain and exhaustion  that would keep them bedridden.

I don’t have any answers tonight. I just know that I want my quality of life back.

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Life Changes

I’ve been miserable in my job for years. It’s meaningful work and I am proud that I’ve been of help to people who need it. I have met folks I never would have known. However, spending 3-4 hours commuting and the constant needs of those with whom I work have drained me. Add to that the fact that I have fibromyalgia and am thus in constant pain and you understand why change is needed!

I interviewed for a new job and was told that I made the cut and was among the final three candidates. The HR Manager said we would soon schedule the panel interview. Then radio silence. I haven’t heard from him since. I guess they decided to change course in their search, but still..he could’ve told me. Brutal. In all honesty, I wasn’t thrilled with the job itself and knew it’d be stressful. Yet, it would have paid really well and alleviated the financial stress I have been under.

I believe that there are things unknown occurring and that I need to have faith that things do work as they need to. I’m just feeling disheartened by it at the moment. No one can make these life changes but me, so I won’t give up. I’m just so very tired of the struggle. Literally waking up, getting out of bed, showering, everything is hard when you are in pain. I’d welcome some good fortune to come my way!

You are my ex for good reason

My marriage ended in 2007 after 16 years.  I’m the one who pulled the plug. We got along fine, well even, the majority of our marriage. Yet, something was missing. We were best friends and he felt passionate about me, but I didn’t share those feelings. I desperately wanted to, but you cannot force such things.

We came together at a time when we needed each other. I think it was a successful union. We shared three beautiful boys. Before we had them, his support helped me get sober. I was a stay-at-home mom then, so I provided a stable home for our family  and that stability helped him grow in his career. It seemed like we could divorce amicably, and for a time we did. Then he met (and later married ) a woman young enough to be his daughter. She did not have the maturity to accept that he had a past. She created a wedge between us and he went along with it. He becomes whomever he is with. I call him a chameleon. She’s bipolar and can go through bouts of rage. Out of the blue, I received nasty emails from her. She inserted herself into my marriage with him, insulted me and it was vicious. Her darkness is palpable. As an INFJ personality type, I feel other’s energy. This makes conflict really hard on me emotionally and physically.  Through the years,  I’ve received many cruel emails from him regarding our kids.

We are different kinds of parents. He’s more hardcore, I’m more understanding.  I pay attention to their emotional well-being while his sole focus is their grades. I care about their grades of course, but I would rather come from a point of finding out what the problem is, rather than just grounding them. So, because of our boys we still have to interact. It’s always via email. There have been some friendly emails, which is nice.  However,  I never know when he is going to go off about something. He has taken on her darkness as his own. I don’t even recognize him anymore.

Every time I see an email from him, I have an anxiety attack. I meditate,  pray about it, try to distance myself from his anger. I still struggle,  though.  I wish I could successfully let my anxiety go. I’m also chronically ill, so any additional stress makes my pain that much worse. I don’t want to wish the remaining years I have with my boys away until they’re adults. I know this time is precious.  Our 18 year old moved out already, and it’s bittersweet. Yet, I cannot wait until I do not have to deal with him. He’s poisonous. I’m a peaceful person. I do not want conflict.  I tried to help all of us be friendly,  but she would have no part of it. I know their relationship will end eventually and maybe he’ll truly find himself then. I hope so.

I will keep searching for ways to help myself cope. I know this is happening to teach me to deal with conflict, but I’m tired of this lesson already! It’s all just too much. I don’t regret leaving him, but I would have been shocked if anyone had told me then the person he would show himself to be now. I never saw it coming. I take it as a lesson that you truly never know someone. Anyone can leap into the darkness.

 

 

 

 

a successful marriage,  even though it ended. It wasn’t a failure.  We had three beautiful boys together.  His support helped me get sober and I gave him a stable home. I developed feelings for another,  and I knew it was time to end it. What was missing in our marriage,  at least for me, would never be found. 

Struggle

I’ve decided that I’m over the struggling. It’s taken many forms throughout my life, and probably yours, too. What purpose does it serve? To help us grow, appreciate the joy when it comes?

It doesn’t need to be this way. I’m making a statement to you, Universe! I am choosing joy. The question is- how do I get there? I am meditating more. Not daily yet, but more and that’s something, right? Baby steps.

I had two weeks of sheer hell at work. Not just the usual stress, but over the top, I am seriously about to tell you all to suck it stress. If I weren’t supporting my entire family, I would have walked the fuck out. Then there has been financial stress. I’ve been the sole breadwinner for 15 months. I work for a nonprofit, so I’m far from wealthy yet. I say “yet” because someone has to win Powerball. It might as well be me!

My anxiety has gone through the roof. I ordered rhodiola rosea as well as suntheanine herbals. They are supposed to help with mood among other things, so worth a shot! My first try will be tomorrow. Wish me luck!

I wonder about folks who seem to coast through life. No big problems, they seem happy. Was it a before life choice they made on a soul level? Why didn’t I choose that? And can I change that choice now? My moodiness is becoming my undoing. I cannot be the Mom, mate or human being in general that I wish to be if I can’t get my moods under control.

I used to be pretty content. I mean, I was always somewhat neurotic, but aren’t we all? I was more positive, though. I didn’t work outside of the home then. When you commute 3 hours a day in Seattle traffic, work for a job that pays you too little and does not appreciate your ass-busting, the bills are overdue and it’s all your responsibility to pay them, it’s harder to be cheery. Not to mention the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. I realize that on some level, I’ve chosen it all. I simply do not choose it now.

Life is making a turnaround for the better. The times they are a changing. I am making it so.

Finding the Light

In-The-Darkness-I-Wait-For-You

It’s been a time of darkness. Of course, moments of lightness have found their way into my life, too. I wouldn’t recognize the light if it weren’t for the dark, so there is gratefulness in it all. I must admit that I’m ready for more light.

Life needn’t be such a struggle. I would enjoy learning from joy, not just pain. Why is it that we pay closer attention to the pain? Some of the most beautiful, moving songs are born of great sorrow. At least, those are the melodies that move me. Maybe some souls have a leaning toward melancholy.

I told you that our annual beach vacation was coming up. We went and it was lovely and painful. My family spent time on Oregon’s rugged coast. We had campfires and laughter, standing in awe at the magnificence of it all. It takes your breath away, it’s so beautiful.

Rich and I had a late night walk on the beach, as we love to do. We talked about our relationship, and how we seemed to have reached a crossroads. I said I couldn’t help feeling that he kept secrets. I also said I couldn’t really move forward until he told me whatever it was he was hiding. He said that when he did that in the past, it didn’t help us. I just held onto the anger, so why would it be any different this time? I understand his logic, but his saying that reinforced my belief that there are secrets. Always the secrets.

I’m not naive. Every couple has things they do not share. It’s the big things that are the silent killers, though. Harmless flirting or money spent but kept hidden. Maybe a new shirt that she just had to have. Or a small wager on a game that he felt a need to make. Little, fairly harmless secrets that live in the dark.

What of the massive, murderous secrets you know in your gut are there, but no confirmation is ever given? Or they’re simply dismissed altogether?  They eat away at your trust and destroy your love. It’s possible that the only way I can find the light is to accept that there are some things I’ll never know. Maybe I’ll be able to make peace with that.

Hidden Away

dark forest

Guide me through your passageways
Those seldom traveled paths
Tucked away inside your head
Your secrets they keep masked

Present in body but not in mind
You float with the ether to worlds unknown
Vibrant magentas and soul-soothing blues
A world of magic that I’m not shown

So here I sit and question
All that I cannot see
The world you’ve tucked away
Forever hidden from me

Wildflowers are calling…

wildflowers

Drowning out the noises of the world

but mostly those in her own mind.

She wanders, seemingly closed off

from the world, the pain, the questions.

In her bubble she is safe, free

from the clutching demons so desperate

to drag her down.

In her silent escape she comes upon

a field of wildflowers.

They are everything she is not-joyful, vibrant, fearless.

And in that moment she knows what she must do.

So she lies down among the brilliant, swaying petals

and lets them envelop her with their beautiful hues.

She is no longer herself, but returned to the earth once more.

No pain, no noise, no fear.

Just peaceful silence.