Archive for July, 2013|Monthly archive page

A guest blog on #lullabiesformommy.

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

Photo on 2013-07-21 at 17.17

@pairofgenes: I guest blogged!

The Things I Don’t Share

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm


You would think writing about such personal things: Mastectomies, Hysterectomies, Multiple Sclerosis, to name a few, that I wouldn’t hesitate to continue my history of the epic over-share, but truth be told, surviving all of those things makes me look like I’m hot shit.  Like somehow I’ve cornered the market on survival and that makes me brave.  But here’s what I don’t tell you, because I’d rather you didn’t know how difficult all of this has been nor the toll it has taken on my psyche.

A few months ago I was asked to do some research for a play on which I was working. (still desperately avoiding ending a sentence in a preposition.)  There is a monologue that describes lying on the forest floor, wanting more than anything to get up and climb the trees to get to what he perceives must be golden eggs within a nest at the very top.  But the trees have smooth trunks with no knots so climbing is out of the question and there is nothing to do but lay on the floor of the forest and look up, longing for tree tops forever out of reach.  One of the actors had asked that I do some research on types of trees with trunks that can’t be climbed.  Again and again, I came across images that were from the perspective of the forest floor.  The height of the trees, the sliver of sky, the impenetrable nature of nature.   Completely losing myself in Strindberg’s metaphor- you know, like you do, I felt an ache that I work very hard to submerge.

It has been a few months and that play has come and gone and two more are running, and another is rehearsing and I seem to have remained on the forest floor.  I just celebrated being one year out from my surgery and while I am physically strong and back in order, emotionally I have changed.  Really changed.

I am disinclined from participating in my life.  There.  I said it.

My son and I receive invitations- a lot of invitations- and for his sake, I make a point to say yes.  And I’ve even tried to apply this when he’s with his dad and I’m flying solo.  I FORCE myself- and I am not exaggerating in regards to what kind of rally it takes to say yes and then, on top of that, to actually show up.  But each step of the enterprise is like fucking hell and all I want to do is put on yoga pants and watch re-runs of Bones and Castle.  I’ll admit, once I arrive somewhere, anywhere, I usually have a good time but I’m generally exhausted from the self-torture parade that has preceded showing up.

Now, I know you’re thinking, “well, she’s just depressed.  Maybe she needs meds, or a shrink, or both?”  And maybe that’s true.  But I’m on meds- lots of them- to treat mood instability that comes with both MS and menopause.  I’m also taking hormones, leading me to have to take blood thinners because hormones can cause blood clots and because I developed one after my surgery blah, blah, blah.  I am a walking pharmaceutical experiment complete with $1500.00 worth of co-pays every month.  So I don’t think meds are the answer.  And a shrink, well I’ll ask you to refer back to the amount of money I pay out for those meds so unless someone wants to trade me therapy for theater tickets, that’s not going to happen.

So instead, I read.  And read and read and read.  I read books about how shit falls apart, about how to put shit back together, about how little shit matters, about shit being nothing more than our perception of said shit.  Nothing helps.  It eases the panic for the time that I am reading, and then it floods back only now I’m more keenly aware of how far down I’ve fallen and how much energy it takes to get back up.

And I cry.  And cry, and cry and cry.  I admitted to my co-workers this week that I don’t put on my make-up until I get to the office because I usually cry on my way to work so what would be the point.  And not because I’m going to work.  Even in the midst of all of this, it’s never hard to rally to go to the office and get immersed in something other than my own crap.  I know this job, I’m comfortable knowing that I can do it and do it well.

Now, I am not keen on blogs that are sob stories about rich people problems.  And while I’m not a rich person, I am the first to recognize the first world nature of my complaints.  This is part of THIS blog because this is the person I have become after undergoing all of these surgeries.  I used to want to be in the world.  It didn’t bother me, going to parties on my own, going anywhere on my own for that matter.  But I have changed.  I am far more emotional, erratic, angry.  And I expend almost all of my extra energy (of which there is very little) trying to mask this truth from my son because I am desperate to be a person who lives in the world, for his sake and for my own.

Now, here’s the other awful truth that my mom (damn her ability to see and tell it like it is) pointed out to me yesterday.  I’m pissed off because I’m fat.  And please don’t say, “don’t use that word”- it’s my fucking figure, I’ll refer to it as I please.  And this has very little to do with the surgeries or the MS.  Because I have always struggled with my weight, I was warned, by more than one doctor, that losing weight after menopause was going to be far more difficult.  While I’ll admit that the majority of the reason I haven’t lost weight is because I eat anything that isn’t nailed down, I have discovered, in all truth, that even with an appetite that is markedly decreased based on physiological changes, I gain weight with such speed that my snail pace metabolism is simply left in the dust.  And it sucks.  Because it’s true, I’m inclined to hide when my weight goes up, which brings me back to yoga pants and Bones repeats.

So my theory is, if I say this, or rather write it, it becomes an undeniable fact with which I will have to deal.  And I know being sad isn’t brave or resilient, but I can’t get up off the forest floor without first admitting I’m stuck down here.  But I am looking up, so that’s something.