Sadness Archive

20

Cry Baby

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The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. ~John Vance Cheney

The last couple of days have been painstakingly rough. Even though I had my depression medicine changed, I still find myself crying all the time. Which is embarrassing. I hate crying in front of my husband.

The funny thing is, nothing has really changed. I haven’t lost any new functionality. But still the crying remains.

One time between sobs, I tried desperately to explain to my husband what was wrong but I had no answers. It’s not only frustrating for me but for him too. This worries me because I believe there’s only so much of this he is going to take. (Probably not true but that’s how I think sometimes.)

Shortly after I tried to explain how I felt, I excused myself to the ladies room. Minutes later, I reemerged with the answer.

My cycle was on!

I was so excited because I realized I wasn’t crazy, just emotional due to hormones. Sometimes I forget that I am an ovulating 39-year-old woman. And yes, it is typical for me to have such a sporadic emotional ride. The doctor has even offered to give me medication for it. Maybe I should take her up on the offer.

Problem solved, until a week later and I had yet another crying spell.

Oh no!

I guess crying comes with the (MS) territory.

23

Jokes On Me

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Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

Do you ever feel as if you are the last one to get the joke?

Then you figure out the reason why you don’t get it.

It’s because; you ARE the joke.

I have finally realized that the MS joke is on me. Sometimes I wish I could just take a ship to mars where I can start a new life and escape my loneliness. I have felt so weak, for so long that I can’t remember when I didn’t feel exhausted all the time. Everyday I’m just trying to keep my head above water. But my MS is so heavy that I’m nearly drowning from the weight of carrying it on my shoulders.

At times I feel like I’m losing all control of my life. Like my lesions and my body have conspired against me to destroy my happiness. While my psyche is in the background laughing and screaming, “Encore! Attack her again!”

It’s like the MS is being entertained by my plight and enjoying every minute of it.

They say it’s better to feel pain than to feel nothing at all. Whoever said that must not have had MS because some days the emotional pain I feel is so bad that I would never wish that feeling on my worst enemy.

Believe it or not, I’m not bitter. I’m just frustrated. I have no problem carrying my personal burdens like everyone else; I’m just tired of being the punch line to this horrific joke.

40

Square Peg

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“I’m just a square living in a round world.” – Philip Phillips

One of the things I hate most about being sick is that I feel as if society has forgotten about me. It’s just so hard to fit in when I can’t drive, I get tired so fast, and going to the restroom is an adventure. So since I just can’t do normal things, it’s as if I’ve just disappeared. The old Nicole is missing without a trace and the new Nicole is so misunderstood that most people shy away from spending time with her.

So instead of just sitting on the sidelines waiting to be accepted I have to remember that there are a group of people who I always have a great time interacting with. They are those who are on a similar path as me. My MS peers.

At a recent MS Blogger summit I attended, I felt a certain comradely with fellow attendees. At the heart of multiple sclerosis lies loneliness. Sometimes, no one is there to dry your tears. No one you tell understands your difficulties. No one in your life can comprehend the emotional and physical pain you can experience every minute of the day.

But this weekend, I had a group of people who did understand. So in consequence, I welcomed the chance to be surrounded by folks like me. It doesn’t happen too often. So during the event at every meeting and every bathroom break that forced interaction was welcomed. And when I talked, I felt heard. This made my insides smile. The event reminded me how important it is to get out and mingle with peers.

So for one weekend, I was happy the entire time. Maybe because for the first time in a long time for me, the square pegs out numbered the round holes.

23

Greater Than Myself

That’s me in church looking for answers.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

Strange how I continue to pray to a God, who has put me or has allowed me to be this way.

I went to my neurologist yesterday, a visit that never offers comforting answers or clever solutions. He does his job. He is a bona fide neurologist. Not God, that’s for sure.

Years ago, when I was first diagnosed, I received an MRI (magnetic resonance image) scan. The MRI is a diagnostic tool used to treat multiple sclerosis. It tells doctors how many lesions or scars you have on your brain (hence multiple). Every time you get a new lesion they proceed to change your medication. I have in turn tried nearly all medications that are offered including chemotherapy.

I nevertheless asked my doctor, “Why have I not had an MRI recently?” (Keep in mind he is the same doctor that already told me, I have too many lesions to count.)

He began explaining that if he did an MRI and it showed new lesions, I’ve already been on all the drugs available. Because of that, there is nothing more they can do for me.

That was hard to hear.

In the past, I would have exclaimed under my breath, “Oh, but you don’t know my God!”

But the truth is neither do I.

I do know however, that through this all, there must be someone greater than myself that has kept me going thus far.

22

Wonder Woman

Wonder Women

This week I am completely energized to keep moving forward.

Last week after a personal ferocious crying storm, brought on by this journey with multiple sclerosis, I eventually made my way to my laptop and …wrote about it. It was my way of trying to move beyond the hurt, getting pass the suffocating isolation and unimaginable fatigue.

Tommy, my husband, on the other hand, uncharacteristically suggested an increase in my anti-depressant. After visiting both my psychiatrist and social worker they agreed upon adding another medication to the impressive list I already drag around. So I’m now supposedly transiently taking not only Lexapro but also Cymbalta. I know I have to give it a few days, but so far things are going fine. No scary side effects and no crying either!

It doesn’t stop there. I have to do my part too. I have to engage in life by participating in as much as I can. Exactly the kind of things you run from when depressed. When I was busy crying I was focused on the things I could no longer do. I just wanted to hide in bed and shut every one out. This is what I got instead.

Long time friends from both high school and college dropped by. We talked about old times and new ones too. Another friend even gave Tommy a break by bringing me to a doctor’s appointment. She was new to my scooter, but graciously learned how to assemble and break it down to fit in her car. She stayed the afternoon; we ran errands and ate dinner at a local restaurant. Tommy even called me thirty minutes into our excursion to make sure I was okay. How cute! In fact for once I was able to bring dinner home for him.

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The point is I opened the door and allowed friends to see me for who I am now, regardless of what I could do the last time they saw me.

Little did I know my latest friend is an actual photographer. She showed up and we had a real photo shoot for Halloween. She even brought over the lights and costume too!

85

Clinging To Sanity

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I’m not clear what happened differently this week. I don’t have any new symptoms. Everything I can’t do, I haven’t been able to do in years at this point. My husband is still doing a good job taking care of me. We have not even been arguing. I’ve been seeing my same psychiatrist and I’ve really been doing my part to cling to my sanity.

But yesterday, I completely lost it. I cried endlessly all day long! I hate crying. I especially hate doing it in front of my husband. Because, I know there’s really nothing he can do and men always want to “fix” the problem. The thing is I don’t think there is a way to fix me.

Since nothing has changed, I am fiddling with the idea of increasing my depression medication. You know depression is really a side effect of multiple sclerosis. But of course it would be.

It’s so bad that I actually left a recent MS self-help meeting feeling worse, because I was the most disable one there. Meaning, although they all had valid complaints, at least they could get up and walk out. I had the nerve to judge them and that made me feel horrible.

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It seems as if once again I’m assuming that if you can walk you must be happy. From down here in my wheelchair it seems that has to be true. Right?

So I’m going to see my psychiatrist next week. Hopefully, it will be as simple as him writing a new prescription.

Hopefully.

20

Enduring Hardship

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We are not all amazing stories waiting to be told; we are more like amazing lives ready to be lived. -Unknown

MS can transform you into someone you barely recognize. I for one refuse to let that materialize. Sometimes MS wins but I cannot let it totally defeat me. I will relentlessly attack with vigor and die fighting with my boots on, in my continuous campaign against MS. No matter the score I will fight MS one battle at a time. MS is like a storm cloud hanging over my life. It has me soaked in pain but I’m still here. I’m still fighting.

Don’t get me wrong; it has altered my dreams and routines. I can no longer walk, work or drive. All reasons to make you want to punch the wall and give up.

But I can’t. I’m too stubborn. I learned it from my mom. She’s a fighter and so am I.

Happiness is never handed to you. You have to shape it yourself; just like a potter. After having a couple of rough weeks, it dawned on me there are a few things I must continually do to maintain my level of happiness or at least contentment.

I need to make it to the gym.
I need to write to share my experiences with multiple sclerosis.
I need to read.
I need to go to the psychiatrist.

All things I remembered after a recent horseback ride. Oh, something else I enjoy. At a local non-profit farm it’s cheap and serves as physical therapy. That’s a 2 for 1!

If you look hard enough, if you want it bad enough, you can find something you CAN do too.

What is it?

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