Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Mental Monster


    So here I am sitting in my living room in Western NY watching the sky decide if it wants to rain or snow. I am feeling my head decide if it wants to go full on meltdown or let me off with a warning. And I’m watching my favorite “Dumb Criminals” on TV. Again. And that’s the problem.
    I don’t consider myself depressed, yet I am. I know I am. It’s hard not to be when you fight an invisible illness and pain day after day and you know it will never go away. As much as we learn to accept the fact that our diseases are incurable-and I have-it’s still hard when you get down to the brass tacks of the matter. The days, hours, and minutes-even the seconds-they all add up to wear you down. And that’s on top of the indescribable fatigue that already exists within the disease itself.
    And that’s the point of this post. Because today, my Mental Monster is sitting in the room with me. I’m bored. I’m fidgety. I’m tired. And I’m sore. And I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. I don’t have a job because I can’t work anymore. I already did my exercises and my back needs to rest. I have no car so no “sightseeing”. And the majority of the friends I have-which is few-are at work. They cannot just drop everything to run over here and entertain me. And I don’t expect them to. Because if I did, they’d get sick of this really quickly!
    So what do I do. OK, I write. But it doesn’t always work out that my mind lets me write. And I am a movie junkie. But I can’t keep running up pay per views and a lot of the time, the same movies are running for weeks. I make jewelry, but that requires stamina I don’t have right now and my back just isn’t up to it yet either. And I go on Facebook. But let’s face it, that’s not “real”.
    It’s not that I don’t enjoy the conversations I have with my friends on Facebook. I really do. And I get to talk to my sister whom I still can’t figure out a way to go visit. (It’s been way too long and she’s not even that far away!) But the conversations are all in my head because I have to read them. I have to give them inflections and accents and sarcasm and wit. (And I can’t hug y’all out in FB land either!) So as much as everyone makes me laugh and I look forward to the dancing spiders and awkward cats, I’m still here alone.
    And that’s when The Monster shows up. And I never know quite what to do with him. I’ve told my family. They all have their own suggestions too but I don’t really think they understand. My husband tries but he thinks I should be used to it. (I know he wants to fix it for me and is frustrated he can’t) My mom says to call her and we can go for a drive or play cards at her house. But I’m not always showered or dressed or able to do so. My boys suggest music. Which I do love but and can really help change my mood, but can also remind me that right now, I can’t risk my back by dancing. So I sit.
    But even sitting in the room with my Monster staring at me, there is one thing I make sure to keep doing. I think. I think of things I could try to do. From going on a walk to doing laundry, I keep thinking of ideas. Why? If I don’t, I feed the monster my inactivity and my dejection and he grows. And he gets harder to beat the next time. But more importantly, something might actually click. Two days ago, it hit me during such a time of thinking that I would absolutely love to sit on my back deck in the sun in February and have a cup of coffee. (It was really warm for February here.) So I did. And it was Amazing! I even had enough energy to hang a birdfeeder and fix the windchimes. And guess what? When I came back in...


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