Hope, In Times of Darkness

Some time ago, I had gone through something that nearly pushed me over the edge. It was something that I never expected, nor had any idea how to deal with. Someone very close to my heart made some bad decisions and threw her own life into a chaotic whirlpool, at the same time turning my life upside down. This post is not about that person or the events that took place but rather the effect it had on me and my own life.

I had never in my life been so depressed. Not many people knew, just family and very close friends. I couldn’t talk about it without crying. I couldn’t go anywhere without crying. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t focus. I wasn’t able to sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was up at 5am every morning and didn’t go to bed until 1am. I was in a daze. I was barely living, just going through the motions. I felt dead inside. I felt lost. I felt shame and guilt, and I couldn’t pull myself out of this deep abyss I had been thrown into. I wasn’t suicidal, but I remember thinking it wouldn’t be a bad thing if I just fell over dead.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The events that took place had absolutely nothing to do with me, but when bad things happen to someone you love dearly, it will do things to you that you never thought possible. It didn’t help that “certain people” insinuated that I did something wrong. I was treated as if I did do something wrong. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong. It was not my actions that caused the events.

I carried guilt and shame for a few years. I was depressed and saw no end in sight. I had never even considered seeing a therapist. I mean, that’s what family and friends are for right? You have a problem, you talk it out with someone you know and trust. Right? Well, when I was referred to a specific therapist, I thought, “How am I suppose to talk to someone I don’t even know, about these things?” Also, “How can I trust a total stranger with my innermost, deepest feelings?” I knew I had to do something so I made the appointment.

Never in a million years did I think I would be seeing a therapist! I cannot tell you how much it helped me to talk to someone unbiased, someone who was not there to judge or tell me how to feel. It was a slow process. It took an entire year to get in a better place. I saw light, after a long time of being in such a dark place!

My therapist helped me realize that the events that took place were not my fault. My head knew this, but my heart didn’t. She helped me to understand that the shame I carried was not mine to carry. I didn’t do anything wrong and now I could stand tall in my words with “certain people” who insinuated otherwise. My therapist gave me the tools I needed to set boundaries, and walk my own truth. She pretty much gave me the strength to go public with my blog not too long ago. I still see my therapist at least once a month. I used to see her weekly, but she still helps me and I don’t see an end to my visits with her anytime soon.

I guess my point in writing this is just to let others know that there IS light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re depressed, please reach out for help. I know that’s hard as hell, but others may not reach out to you. They may want to help but may not know how or even what to say. They may keep their distance because it’s uncomfortable for them. People just don’t know what to do to help. If you have the opportunity, see a therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable with one then find another. If you can’t do that, then find someone who will listen, not judge, and try to help you find a solution. Please, please, please do whatever you can to help yourself. YOU are important!

There’s hope in times of darkness. You just may have to look a little harder to find it. Just please look and keep looking until you find it.

 

Ba Hum Bug or Why I Hate The Holidays

I used to love this time of year! When my kids were little, Christmas was a blast! We always decorated the house and put up a tree. We had certain traditions that we carried on through the years; new traditions and old traditions from when I was a child. We made cookies and popcorn cake. We made handmade pizza on Christmas Eve and watched Christmas movies like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the original Grinch That Stole Christmas and others. We always had a little talk about what Christmas was all about and we watched a little movie about Jesus. Seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces as Christmas approached was amazing which made up for the work and stress of preparing for this special day!

As the years went by, the holidays became more stressful and less fun because the kids were older and you know how hard it is to shop for teenagers! They are very hard to please at times and it was so stressful trying to make things special for them. They were never, EVER, ungrateful but things just weren’t the same as when they were small.

After the kids left home and started giving me grandchildren, I started getting excited again about the holidays. But things went sour after only a couple Christmases and well, I won’t go into that because it’s still very raw. I got 2 Christmases with grandson #1 and now I rarely see him. I don’t even have a relationship with him. I’m not treated as family but more of an outsider. I got a few Christmases with granddaughter, but now she is being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, which means no more holidays with her. (For the record, I don’t have a problem with JW specifically.) I do have a relationship with my granddaughter, though. She’s my sweetheart and we are very close. Grandson #3 is out of state with his mother. I can understand no holidays with him because kids and their parents move out of state all the time. I have to say I feel robbed not being able to celebrate holidays with the other 2 grandkids since they are both just 30 minutes away.

I haven’t put up a tree in probably 6 years. What’s the point? It’s just my dad and I and maybe my son for a short time. I always buy a few gifts but it’s just not the same without the kids and grandkids. It’s depressing and I just want to crawl in a hole until it’s all over and the new year starts. You may be thinking I should put up a tree anyway because it might make me feel better. Well, maybe. But maybe it will make the depression worse. I don’t know. Besides, I am disabled and I just can’t be doing that kind of thing anymore.

Anyway, I just grin and bear it and wait for it to pass….with a little help from my therapist and Captain Morgan.

Ba-Hum-Bug and cheers!

 

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                           Photo Courtesy of Captain Morgan

 

It Never Fails

So, if you read last night’s post you know that I had an appointment for Gel-One injections in my knees. The last injections (Synvisc-One) didn’t help but for just a few short hours. I thought I’d try the Gel-One this time. I was hoping for the best but was keeping my hopeful thoughts stifled because I have learned in the past to not get my hopes up too high.

Well, I was right to not get my hopes up. After receiving not one, but two automated reminder calls for 2 days prior, which asked me to “press 1 to confirm your appointment” and being told to “please come 20 minutes early,” I hobbled into the Ortho building. I hoped I wouldn’t be waiting for over an hour like the last time before even seeing the doctor.

I was called pretty quickly. The male nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was pleasant and led me to the exam room. When I sat down, he proceeded to tell me that my insurance had approved the injections but then after some changes, they revoked that approval. Great. Just my luck. This is why I don’t get my hopes up for any kind of medical care. He said the shots were rather pricey, and I probably wouldn’t want to pay out-of-pocket. “Hell no!” I told him. “At $3,000 bucks a knee? Nope!” He said they could offer cortisone shots, which I had had before with no noticeable pain relief…..and that was way back in 2011. My knees weren’t half as bad back then! No way in hell is a cortisone shot going to help now!

The nurse/assistant/whatever-the-heck-he-was was very apologetic about the wasted trip. He said he wished he had caught the problem as late as even yesterday, so he could have let me know. Not his fault. I don’t blame him.

It never fails. Every time I get close to getting help, I get shot down. It’s been happening year after year after year, with one thing or another, since 2007.

AND….AND….AND….the new doctor I found in January, whom I like so much, has left and they won’t tell me where. I would like to continue seeing her but how can I if I don’t know where she is? She may have moved out of state, in which case I will have to search for a new doctor but I most likely will have to see another practitioner in that same office, at least for the time being.

So for now, I keep my head up high and carry on! I’ll do what I have to do to take care of me until the time comes when they decide it’s time to do knee replacement because that’s the only solution there really is for me to have quality of life. I’m pretty sure their injections aren’t going to help much, even if my insurance approves them again.

Dry Spell

I’ve been searching my brain for days, trying to come up with something to write about. I guess it happens to everyone, but I wish it wouldn’t happen to me. I’m not even sure where this post will lead; I suppose we’ll find out together.

My pain level has been pretty high this past couple of days. I suppose that’s why I’m struggling with my writing. Chronic pain causes exhaustion, lack of concentration, and a total lack of desire to do anything, It takes everything in me to shake off that kind of depression. It’s difficult to do but when something you were looking forward to gets ripped right out from under you, it’s even harder. You wonder, “Why the fuck do I even try.”

Next week, I’m getting Gel One injections in my knees. I’m hoping this particular type will help more than the last, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m not too anxious about the shots since I went through this 6 months ago. I know what to expect now and I know it’s not painful; it’s mostly just pressure in the knees and a little uncomfortable.

I am looking forward to seeing my sister, my daughter and my grandson very soon! I wish I could cook like I use to. I would love to cook up a feast for them! The house could use a good deep cleaning….but I can’t do that either. The grandson is nearly 4 years old now. I haven’t seen him since he was less than 2 years old! I’m pretty sure that if my furbabies knew about this visit and could offer their two cents, they would say, “Noooooo! Don’t let them come!” I’m also sure they will make themselves scarce during the visit! They’re just not used to little people with loud voices!

Dad had a coughing fit tonight and just about scared the daylights out of me. He was eating tootsie rolls and I always warn him to be careful. Chewy candy, in general, produces too much saliva. Anyway, I thought I was going to have to do the Heimlich Maneuver, but he caught his breath and coughed it out. Thank goodness. That man scares the hell out of me sometimes. He will be 81 in February.

It’s nearly 1 a.m. as I type this. I should go to bed but I’m half-ass watching this LMN movie about a crazy guy stalking the neighbor woman whom he apparently knew in the past. She knows him from somewhere but can’t put her finger on it. It will all come out in the wash! These movies are so predictable and seriously if you’ve seen one it’s a safe bet that you’ll see another and another with the same plot with different actors!

Well, my eyes are getting heavy and I keep hitting the wrong keys. I must be tired. I hope my pain level is lower tomorrow because I have some errands to run. Dad and I usually have lunch out on Saturdays too. It would be nice to be able to enjoy some time away from home without too much pain….but, that’s my life. I do what I can, when I can.

 

 

 

10 Things On My Mind Today, Sunday

Just a few things on my mind tonight. It’s been a rough week.

1. My state of mind. I hope this improves over the next week because I can’t stand it when I’m depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I have felt so damn alone this past week. It really bites when you have chronic pain and mobility issues and you feel like a burden to everyone. I don’t like asking for help but sometimes when I do, I feel like I have just demanded someone’s first born child or stolen their soul for all of eternity.

2. My dad’s leg. He has cellulitis. I had been after him for weeks, if not months, to go to the doctor and have the rash on his leg looked at. His reply? “I have a doctor’s appointment in December!” When I took him to his Lifeline screening on Thursday, he was informed that the skin on his leg felt hot to the touch and that he should go to the doctor because it could be infected. Then, and ONLY then, did he allow me to take him to urgent care and have it checked out. Good grief. Stubborn man.

3. Hurricane Harvey. Oh, the damage you have done. Thanks to all of the rescue workers, paid and volunteer, who have helped save so many lives. Praying for Texas tonight.

4. My neighbor. She has spent the last couple of years caring for her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. She lost her mom this week. She was a nice lady and had an awesome sense of humor. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It rips families into pieces…their hearts, that is. Prayers to the family.

5. The stray cat that I have been caring for, for the last month and a half. She needs much more care than I can give her due to my pain and mobility issues. She is long haired and I am still fighting the matted fur she arrived with. I am trying to find her a good loving home. She’s sweet, well-mannered, and has been spayed and received distemper shot. I hope I can find someone who will love her with their whole heart.

6. Still working on my weight loss but it’s not easy trying to get back on track. I’ll never get my knee surgery if I don’t snap out of this slump!

7. Chocolate. Always craving chocolate. Gimme some.

8. I hope I get some sleep tonight. Sick and tired of tossing and turning….if you can call it that. I can barely move; repositioning is terribly painful.

9. What’s for lunch tomorrow? Dinner? Planning my meals for the week. Ugh.

10. What can I watch on Netflix? Need stuff to watch because I can’t go to bed early…because I can’t sleep. Ugh.