Thursday, October 18, 2012

What I've Become Is So Burdensome

Last week my mom invited me out for lunch and a shopping excursion at our local mall. I was thrilled to join her. I haven't been getting out of the house nearly often enough for some time now and woke up full of purpose that morning to actually have something fun to do with another living and breathing human being. But I have been in quite a state lately and was a bit of a hot mess. Like almost cried eight times over lunch hot mess. Considering the week before I watched Gwen Stefani's True Hollywood Story blubbering with snot and tears clutching at tissue like a bride left at the alter, I guess the fact I didn't actually cry was progress. Even if I felt like a raw emotional wound. So we made it through a tearless lunch and ventured out into the mall. It took all of five seconds for me to realize I felt like an alien in a foreign land. Mind you I worked at this mall for a few years before the strokes and spent the better part of ten years working in a department store. This should not be foreign territory at all.

But, alas, it was. People looked weird. Their outfits and hairstyles and makeup looked weird. I kept catching these faces frozen, distorted and puffy from the bevy of cosmetic "procedures" so popular these days. They looked really weird. The merchandise was odd, the way everyone related to each other seemed off, everything was just left of center. I walked around in a daze not really knowing what was going on or how to engage and participate. Seriously, in my reclusive anti-social efforts to get my brain and body to heal without inflicting my crazy on everyone else is it possible I have become this out of touch with the world? A few days later through the crystal clear 20/20 of hindsight I am happy to say no I have not.

Because I wasn't just having a rough couple of weeks, I was under severe distress. I'd been stepping down on some medications and the withdrawal was awful. I had my viral flare thing going where the roof of my mouth starts shredding and my face starts throbbing with the stab of a million nerves. That alone puts me in evil woman mood. And I was hormonal. Very. But it seems I don't realize these things until I get through them, that there might be a reason for my whacked out state, no matter how many times I run around this track. So I repetitively go through the same cycle of blaming myself for massive inadequacies when I am hormonal or mourning my lost opportunity in life when I am in a flare. I actually took it so far this time to actually start asking myself why I wasn't strong enough to stop this illness from taking me up in its evil clutches in the first place. Like I was supposed to have known what was to come and how to stop it. Well imagine my relief when I woke up on Friday morning and suddenly, like the flip of a switch, the sadness darkening my days for what felt like weeks and weeks was gone. Oh sweet relief, life isn't a miserable terrible experiment gone terribly awry after all! Had I found my joy or the flare just ended? Are they even different things or two sides of the same coin? So I went yesterday and got a tiny little calender I could track my activity, symptoms and mood, and I am determined to follow through with recording my reality this time. Maybe if I have it to look at the next time Just A Girl comes on and I face plant sobbing into a box of Kleenex I will realize something bigger than I can control is at play here and just be nice to little 'ol me.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Oh leah, sorry to say i can relate to all of this big time. i don't cry (ever) but all the other stuff!

  2. Really interested to hear about your calendar - just starting something similar myself. Look forward to hearing how it goes.

  3. So familiar to what I experience with FMS

  4. You have just described how I have been feeling, and it is cyclical for me as well. I keep reminding myself that this flare will also subside, and I will return to 'baseline'. I isolate for the same reasons when I feel like this and then walk around as though I'm watching a movie play out when in public . Thanks for sharing!

  5. I would like to tell you that going through perimenopause into menopause is difficult, but in menopause the hormones don't cause so much of a ruckus. So there IS a good reason to be a woman of a certain age, like me. It doesn't otherwise help the fibro but losing the constant mood swings is a great blessing.