Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Confession

So I've spent the last week going back and forth on whether to write this post or not. I feel like I try to keep my blog, when I do post, fairly positive. However, I also think about how frustrated I get when people "put up a front"; whether on their blog, email, FB, Instagram, etc and I know that things aren't actually going well for them. Society seems to look down on people who aren't happy- we're always told to "suck it up and move on", "appreciate the things you have", "find the joy in the small things", "if you don't like it, change it", "this won't last forever", and I could go on and on. People are convinced they need to put on a happy face so their friends and loved ones don't pity them or pull away. 

The reality is that everyone handles stress differently. Everyone reacts to things that the person next to them may not consider all that bad. I've been reading for my upcoming pathophysiology exam and one of the first chapters deals with stressors and how the body does or doesn't adapt to them including how much one person may differ in what they consider a stressor compared to the next. It also (being a school book) goes on to explain what happens when a person cannot cope with a stressor(s) and how the body is actually affected. 

It's also been said, depending on what you read, that psychiatric help is one of the hardest things to get and the need for psychiatrists/psychologists is at an all time high. I work at a fairly large hospital that doesn't even have a psychiatry ward; most in this area do not, and the places that do are always full and turning away people that, sometimes, really need the help. One only has to read CNN to see that this country, and this world, are full of super depressing things. If you're one of the people who finds yourself 100% happy with your life, God bless you. Feel lucky that you're in a situation like that.

Now that all of that rambling is done, I want to admit to something: I am not happy. For whatever reason, I am the person in my immediate family who cannot handle stress well. My parents have always appeared to "go with the flow", my middle sister just "doesn't give a shit", and my youngest sister handles change extremely well and makes the best of the situation. I started seeing a psychiatrist (aka shrink) and a therapist a few months ago because I was experiencing an unusual amount of anger. If you asked my husband, he'd say I was mad as hell all of the time. I couldn't seem to control it and I couldn't seem to get past it. My shrink put me on a mood stabilizer while my therapist tried to help me talk things out. After a while the mood stabilizer seemed to calm me down, but then all of the stressors that I couldn't avoid happened all at once, and I switched to depressed and crying all of the time. Both my therapist and shrink are concerned I might be bipolar, but I find it hard to believe that I'd just now be getting diagnosed when my entire life I've been moody and temperamental.

With that being said, over the past two weeks a lot has happened. As I may or may not have mentioned in my updates earlier this week, most of them were not positive in my opinion. They all affected me rather strongly and by the end of last week I had lost my car in the parking deck at work for 15 minutes on Thursday and on Friday got lost actually going to work. My therapist says she's concerned I'm headed for a breakdown if I don't give something up, but of the things stressing me out, the only EASY one is school, and I've always felt the need to finish what I started.

I would like to think that everything will be okay, but when you feel absolutely hopeless, it's hard to think that way. As of today, my right kidney still hurts. I was told it would get better each day, but aside from the immediate post-op pain, it has remained a source of intense discomfort that has required a lot of pain medication. That alone puts physical strain on my body. 

My sister, BIL, and nephew moved to Japan and while I AM happy for them, I'm also sad and jealous; sad that they're gone and my nephew is too young to really remember me by the time I do get to visit (I know I don't remember being 3 yrs old and pictures aren't the same) and jealous that they not only get to live in a gorgeous tropical place but that they are already so happy to be there. I couldn't move that far away because I tend to do better with the familiar, and I like being close to my family in general, as they're the ones that I can always count on for support. I love traveling, but moving abroad doesn't appeal to me.

My cat being diagnosed with kidney failure has also been hard. My kids are my pets, and following Stetson's second cancer diagnosis I was praying for a break. My cat, who's been with me since I was 21 and has endured a lot with me, has lost 4 lbs over the past few months. He doesn't want to eat the food I give him, is constantly begging for other food he can't have, and when he does sneak said forbidden food he throws it up. I've cleaned up more cat vomit in the past month than I care to remember. I've also come to realize that my pets in general have become a stressor. I hate admitting that, because anyone who knows me knows how much I love them, but they have. If it's not cancer, organ failure, deafness, or a skin infection, it's the constant begging for attention, the hair and drool, the litterbox always needing scooping, the hundreds of dollars I spend a month on high quality food that gets wasted because one of them just isn't in the mood to eat. I know they're "just animals" but it's hard not to feel like they just take and take and take sometimes, and it makes me feel guilty as hell for saying any of this. It would be devastating to lose any of them (which I know will be sooner rather than later) but it's not easy. No person can give you the unconditional love that pets do, but animals also aren't able to think rationally and know when to give you space.

I also started a new job when all of this was happening, and while I do like it (surprise!) I've also been having to work a lot more than originally planned due to the need to get me trained quicker. Which, of course, leads to school. I'm so far behind in school that I'm worried I might have to give up. We're already in our third week and I have yet to read a book. This past week was the first time I even had a chance to print notes for ONE class, and only because I have a test this Tuesday in it. Of course I work Mon, Wed, and Thur so I've gotten to the point where I don't even know where to START. I have a friend who's partway through my program, and she swears it's do-able, but when you're so overwhelmed it's feels impossible.

Combine all of the above things and I hope some people can understand why my husband is having a difficult time dealing with me. Alister is the opposite of me and seems to cope well with everything, with ease. He has a hard time understanding why I'm so clearly falling apart, and while he has tried to be supportive, he's also been frustrated and exhausted with my mood changes and crying. I know he knew I was a nutty bitch before we ever got married, but I also know that, only three years into the marriage, this is not what he signed up for. He's dealt with my mood swings before, but hasn't ever experienced my super lows until now. Having come from a super-supportive family, I've been having trouble coping with having a husband who is very independent and not used to having to console someone who randomly bawls on a regular basis these days. We have both had to take our marriage into serious consideration and hopefully we can figure something out, one way or another, without absolutely destroying the other one or ourselves in the process.

I know some people reading this may shake their heads and think "Really? That's all she's dealing with? She should feel lucky that she hasn't lost a loved one/been diagnosed with cancer/been paralyzed in a car wreck/etc" but as I wrote earlier, everyone deals with what they consider stress in different ways. Sometimes, that stress can be overwhelming and the person cannot cope, no matter how ridiculous their problems may seem compared to others. I honestly believe, that had those things all happened independently of each other at different times, that I would be coping much better than I am. I also do appreciate the love and support that my family and a few friends have given me and I cannot describe how much it helps to have my pets lick my tears away or stroke their soft fur.

Regardless though, things have been hard lately, and while I don't need or want anyone to feel sorry for me (or roll their eyes at me) I did want to write this post because I know that everyone, at some point in their life, will go through something that overwhelms them and seems impossible to get through, and that they aren't alone. I don't know what I'm going to do about school, but I'm going to continue going to my therapist and trying to get through things one day at a time. Also, if you're feeling down, feel free to call or email me. Sometimes wallowing in misery with someone else does make you feel less alone.

Just to add: I have started the #100HappyDays challenge as a way to try and find the positive in something at least once a day. For those of you who have Instagram, my username is aatripp.

1 comment:

  1. Well this was a brave m'er f'ing post. Stumbled upon this with an invitation to your page. I've been most of the places and felt most of the things you are/were when you wrote this. I really hope things are looking up and that you've found some good folks to help you through it. School really is do-able, but taking a break doesn't mean you aren't going to finish. I had to take a couple. …and I've been really jealous of your sister's move.

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