On all fours, scrubbing the kitchen floor. Tipping over because too many things hurt too much to go anywhere besides down. Laying there thinking about how my doctor tells me, at every visit, that I need to be more physically active.
In the bathroom throwing up. Trying to lean my head against the back of the toilet tank to counter-balance the pressure that wants to explode my head apart. I know that if I can just finish throwing up I will feel better, but in order to get there I have to bear the unbearable pressure that happens every time I open my mouth. Eventually the edge of the tank feels too sharp, so I have to lay my cheek against the rim of the bowl, which is as disgusting as it is more nauseating. And it doesn’t help.
Looking into my daughter’s face as tears pour down her cheeks because I can’t go to her school’s parent night. She tries to be tough about most things, but this, inexplicably, is very important to her and *h is out of town. I am trying to find a substitute activity that will pacify her (read: bribe her to stop making me feel guilty), but it’s no use. The accumulation of disappointments is just too huge and she is too little and we are both going to get washed away by her sadness.
Deciding that I will try to be more positive and focus on what is good instead of what is wrong. I do a mental check over my body to find what doesn’t hurt. It is part of one finger on my left hand. I should laugh at how absurd that is, but I just want to go take a handful of pain pills instead. Not that I am suicidal, just that I want not to hurt so much. Luckily I care about my kids, so I don’t.
Sending a text yesterday to a friend who I invited over for a holiday meal about a month ago. The text is appropriate, but the subtext is: I am a loser. I can’t cope. I can’t follow through on my commitments. I uninvite her and her family a week before the holiday, and she understands, but for some reason instead of feeling relieved after I text her, I am in even more pain.
Laying in bed, trying to be very still- Very Very Still- because I have just gotten my system to calm down a little bit and I don’t want to lose that. This means, though, that nobody can move near me. Not talk, not whisper, not breathe. Nothing to disturb the currents of air around my bed, nothing to reorient the covers that touch any part of my body nor any part of the bedding that touches any part of my body. I can sometimes maybe talk through clenched teeth, not because I’m angry, but because I can’t move my face to talk. At some point, though, I lose the groove anyway, and pain screeches through me again- totally unprovoked.
In the bathtub. I can’t stay in, because I’m too hot and it’s making me sick. But I can’t get out because if I get chilled I will tense up and the ache will be worse than awful. My wet hair on my back feels like daggers on my skin, but twisting my arms around to pin it up feels like being tortured. I’m still at the point, though, where I’d rather do this than tolerate the humiliation of asking for help with such basic tasks. The phrase “hot mess” was invented for me right now.
On a rare trip to the store. Walking down the aisle. Feeling like the vertebrae in my neck are collapsing on each other the way the floors of the Twin Towers crushed the floors beneath them as the buildings came crashing down. Maybe my body is a victim of terror too, and maybe the way to describe me in this body is circa 9/11: trapped. Inside I’m doing what so many people did on that day. Silently screaming. And like on that day, nobody can hear me. My personal Groundhog Day seems to be this day, every day, one day, beige day, same day, different backdrop.
On a trip with my family. No, that doesn’t happen. Nor does going on dates with *h, taking my kids out just for fun, going anywhere that takes longer than 20 minutes in the car, planning anything without taking my health into consideration, or having a full 24-hour period without any health problems. Hard to live in my skin, but worse to be in my family. Substantially worse.
This is my life. I started writing this post a few days ago, but felt too sick to stay on the computer. I wrote it in bits and pieces, which is a great metaphor for my life- bits and pieces. Today is not as bad. I want to take a minute to acknowledge and appreciate the kindnesses the universe throws my way from time to time; this is how I survive. Today I can survive. Every day I can survive. Just some days are harder than others.