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asleep at mal 9/09
alumiere
struggling and failing... 
10/25/09 14:51
asleep at mal 9/09


there have been loads of things on my mind lately, but i'm struggling to articulate or make sense of a lot of what's going on in my head; none-the-less, a friend's post earlier today elicited this response so i'm going to try again to sort some of this out

it all boils down for me to two things: "life sucks, then you die" (that one's always been clear); and: i know i cannot change the world, but i can make the corner of it i choose to occupy good (harder to articulate (and practice) - but what i mean is that the world as a whole is never going to be perfect or fair or a good fit for me, but i can choose (at least in terms of free time, friends, location, lifestyle) to surround myself with people and activities in locations that make me happy, and leave the asshats alone)

i know i'm too angry lately, and intellectually i understand that i need to let that go and re-learn how to be happy

the thing is, i have absolutely no idea how to do that anymore; i was doing pretty well last year - luckily i (mostly) succeeded in choosing to surround myself with awesome people, and my family has been a big help as well; and even though my health was less than perfect and i hated having to take so many medications it seemed like the treatment plan was working

i wasn't doing great financially though; i really should have forced the ex to buy me out of the house in early 2007 when i decided i was staying in la, but i wanted to give him the time to get his finances in order to do that (it seemed like the right thing to do) and when i couldn't keep paying for the house he turned into someone i don't know or want to know, and it took me too long to catch on to what he was doing

his actions from february 2008 on - not making a timely decision on the house so i wound up paying 1/2 a mortgage i couldn't afford for longer; not paying utilities for months before he moved out or turning them off, and still refusing to pay them (he told my attorney that since the final bills were dated after he moved out of the house they weren't his responsibility!); putting me in the position of either paying his bills or paying for some of the medication my doctor wanted me to be taking (his bills were put on my credit card after i paid it down, i missed those meds from around October til February); adding extra large helpings of stress as i tried to work out an equitable split while he ignored my requests; and then filing for an uncontested divorce (with no settlement for keeping most of what we had together or paying his bills) two days after he knew i'd lost my job did nothing but make my health worse; and his seemingly unending capacity to act like our split is all my fault and that he doesn't owe me anything (including those bills from the house which he still hasn't paid) continue to eat away at the edges of my mind - i still cannot figure out how someone i loved and went out of my way to help both when we were together and after i moved to la thinks this is reasonable behavior, and i keep trying to let it go and then he sends another ridiculous offer or bullshit response to my attorney or i and it's back to angry and stressed all over again

and all my doctors and even i agree that stress makes things worse for me - but i can't just walk away from our marriage and let him keep everything without even paying his bills - i worked my ass off to pay for those things when we were together, to help him rebuild his credit, to buy a home for us, to support his hobbies and desire for new toys (motorcycles, gear, tools, guns, etc) - and he couldn't pay his own utilities even with a roommate paying $250/month to him toward said utilities (although he assured me when i was at the house the last time in july 2008 they were being paid and he'd pay the balances due when they moved out)

and now i've done it again - a long rant about my ex, but nothing is solved; i'm just disappointed and disgusted with his behavior, and even more upset that i let myself be taken advantage of for so long and the aftermath is dragging on and on

but there are other things going on besides my split that i need to figure out how to cope with as well; the first being that the doctors so far have no idea what's causing the memory issues, numbness, etc - and while i can't really afford to keep seeing the specialists (and it seemed we were making progress - until last fall anyway - i was sick less often; i had energy even after working 10-12 hours/day; i got to go to burning man and enjoy myself in spite of a few problems, and i didn't wind up with the plague; the pain was controllable and usually lower than in DC) i don't see where i have another choice - if the people who specialize in the treatment of comorbid illnesses such as mine can't figure this out then i doubt anyone else can either

i'm scared - no, to be honest, i'm terrified - i am used to being: the person who helps solve other people's problems; who helps out her friends whenever she can; who is one of the smartest, calmest, most reasonable people in the room; who sucks at remembering names, but can tell you when and where we met and probably who introduced us because i always remember faces; who cooks and sews and reads and writes because she enjoys those things; who exercises or dances away her aggro and finds that place where she's centered and the pain doesn't matter

and now (on bad days): i can't write a check or remember where i live; i'm afraid to cook or sew because i keep hurting myself and not noticing; mind blanks and fogginess make reading and writing much harder; the pain is out of control to the extent that even with painkillers dancing or working out doesn't do it most of the time; my logic and reasoning skills aren't there; i can't recognize people i've known for years; and i'm the one who needs help - and i can't see where anything the doctors have tried so-far is making a big difference in terms of memory (note: first symptoms last fall; first report to them early this year - i thought it was just stress/bad day/exhaustion at first and it was very infrequent)

how does one cope with losing the ability to do those things that are so much a part of who they are that it feels like someone is sitting on your chest, making it hard to breathe fully? i'm failing to find a way around this mentally, and i know it's something i need to do - i am trying to come to grips with all these new limitations and i just keep failing to put it all together

i can get one corner propped up, and occasionally the second, but by the time i get to the next corner someone or something kicks out that first prop and i have to start all over again



so here i am, trying to put all this into writing so i can work on the problems more systematically - i've always written as a way of working out what's going on in my head (whether on paper or on pc or online); and i'm having a mostly coherent day, so it seemed like a good time to try this...

i need to:

1) make peace with the pain again: i hurt in more places, but it's about the same base level as in dc so i should be able to work through it/around it if i can find the right meds to help (can't manage pain the way i used to - nsaids, etc are no-go with the other issues/meds)

2) figure out how to compensate for the numbness in my hands/arms so i can cook and sew without injuring myself (the numbness in my legs isn't as much of a problem - i am usually bruised for no apparent reason, but i don't use my legs to carry hot pans, etc)

3) find the center again and figure out how to hold onto it when i'm having a bad day

4) sort out a mnemonic system that works to prop up my brain (i think music is the best base for me; i can remember every note and word to songs both new and ancient and sing along - but working out how to use that as a way to remember other things is slow going; otoh the memory palace idea doesn't seem to hold for me)

5) deal with financial issues and split ugliness with less anger & frustration; channel some of the anger to motivate bc/bs to pay for more of my treatment

6) remember to breathe and try to find some happiness in all this (i am alive and still have hope things will improve)

7) keep reading and writing whenever possible; that ability seems to be mostly intact on good days, and i want it to stay that way

8) start figuring out options for work that aren't high stress or solely based on my logic & troubleshooting abilities; reality is they may never come back and disability by itself (if it happens) will not pay the bills

9) keep thanking the people who've been helping me every day - without all of you i wouldn't be doing even this well
Comments 
10/26/09 3:16 (UTC)
All I can say right now is that I completely and absolutely sympathize and empathize with this:


how does one cope with losing the ability to do those things that are so much a part of who they are that it feels like someone is sitting on your chest, making it hard to breathe fully? i'm failing to find a way around this mentally, and i know it's something i need to do - i am trying to come to grips with all these new limitations and i just keep failing to put it all together


And I like your list very much; it's a grand list.
10/26/09 3:50 (UTC)
10) Don't be too proud or stubborn to ask for help from your friends, Whether it's help with chores, company, rides places, ect. Think of it as your good karma for helping others all those years.
10/26/09 4:35 (UTC)
i know that, and thanks - t does a good job of taking care of the day-to-day stuff (i'm really glad he's back on dayshift again) - and i promise i will call if i need help or company or a ride

but i hate the fact that i seem to need a babysitter so often - it's maddening to not be able to do things for myself or to hurt myself without knowing it when i work on what should be simple tasks
10/29/09 23:14 (UTC)
I can totally empathize. I wish I had something more useful to say, so I guess I'll just say thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone.