There are days that I feel angry. Incredibly angry. Days where I’m not positive or happy or hopeful, but more like cheated, picked on and pissed off. Days when it’s not fair and I can’t convince myself that everything is a blessing. There are days when the world is sucky and mean and I worry I don’t have the strength to handle it any more.
I recognize there are so many people who have it worse than me. People who struggle harder burdened with more. People who have to deal with grief or pain and it’s a effort just to function. Most of the time I’m able to keep that in perspective, but anyone who’s ever dealt with a life changing event/situation will tell you that there are certain days where perspective feels impossible and all you can think about is yourself. I recently had one of those days and as I sat in my doctor’s office beside a woman on oxygen, her tank puffing away as she struggled to take a deep breath, all I could think was “please God, don’t let that be me”.
The thing about dealing with something like a chronic illness is you have to adjust and learn to live within your new perimeters and still function with some sense of peace. This doesn’t mean you’re less scared or sad, it just means you accept that life goes on and you must too. If you’re able to do that you have the chance of living a relatively “normal” life. You’re able to put the anxiety aside just enough to exist on the same plane as your friends and family. My problems arise when one extra thing goes wrong. It’s like I’ve tamped down my feelings of fear and anger just enough to operate, but if one more thing is added to my bucket it spills over and I find I’m unable to regulate my emotions. All my feelings come pouring out at once, the most prominent one being anger. My recent trip to the doctor was one of those times. As I sat beside that nice woman trying to get her breath, I was in a state of extreme agitation. That morning I’d awoken to a, not insubstantial, indent on the side of my head. As I looked at myself in the mirror it looked as if someone had taken their thumb to the area just above my left temple, pushed it in, and my head hadn’t recovered. It looked as if my skull was caving in and I just lost it. I hold it together every day. I deal with my possible death, our abysmal finances (owed in no short measure to my possible death) and our often ludicrously bad luck. I deal with the up and downs of Sean’s business and the ridiculous strain of Loch’s approaching entrance to kindergarten in the twelfth worst district in the country. I spend every day attempting to push my fears aside so I can play my role of full time mom (and aspiring writer) properly, but seeing that divot in my skull – a possible side effect of a vitamin D/Calcium deficiency due to one of my drugs – was the preverbal straw. I called my doctor and he had me come in immediately. I knew my horror was based more in vanity than mortality, but what I felt was “Give me a f*^#ing break!! On top of everything I’m going to be deformed?! Are you f*^#ing kidding me?!
I put a lot of weight into holding on to my old life, who I was before I was sick. It grounds me so I don’t feel as if I’m about to float away. The thought that I might end up with a collapsed skull as an outward reminder of my inward deficiencies, just pissed me off. No matter how calm I may appear, I am intensely angry this is happening and occasionally my control tips from restrain to panic. As I sat through my bone density test and my skull x-rays I started thinking about all the other people in the world who are living with anger and how tiring it can be. Someone we know recently lost her son to Cancer. It happened relatively suddenly after years of fighting. Though I have no doubt she’s devastated and heartbroken, my guess is she is also angry. How could you not be? Life isn’t fair. Who gets sick versus who doesn’t seems arbitrary. Good people die and s*^#ty people live. Bad things happen to lovely people while some hideous people live perfectly charmed existences.
Sean and I work incredibly hard to try and better our lives. We got pushed seriously off track but we’re back fighting every day to make our dreams a reality. So far we’re still waiting for that ship to come in. A while back I broke down and said, “When is it going to be our turn? What are we doing wrong?” If we don’t make it, it won’t be from lack of effort or skill. It won’t be because we were lazy. It’ll just be. I’m just so tired of waiting. So tired of compromising our life and our plans. I realize what’s important. I see it every morning in my bed with my boys for our morning cuddle, but it doesn’t make me any less frustrated. Why does it have to be SO hard?
As it turns out, my skull is not caving in. A number of people saw it, so I can safely say I’m not going insane, but my skull and bones seem to be holding up under the strain of my meds and the wildness of my mind and these days my forehead looks way less like I was just delivered with forceps. So, I’m back to maintaining and as the cliche goes, some days are better than others.
I look forward to the day when all the effort pays off. When I can truly breath a sigh of relief. When my general stasis can return to calm and I can meet my challenges with the energy to rise above the fear. I’m not an angry person. I’m a person who’s circumstances have made her angry. I await the day where I can just let it go. In the meantime, I’ll keep watching the horizon and working to stay afloat.