Heavy

“Duty is heavy as a mountain, death is light as a feather.”  ― Robert Jordan

Mental health is a battle. A battle with yourself. A battle with society. A battle with perception. A battle with judgement.

Battles aren’t meant to be fought alone. A soldier never enters a field without his fellows.

When I hear the word battle, I think of something tragic, hard, frustrating, painful. Mental health is all of those…and more.

No one chooses to have to deal with all that. No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Hey, I think I’ll be depressed today and not function in life.” Who wants that? No ONE.

With chronic illness, comes a host of chronic issues. Depression. Anxiety. Fatigue. Feelings of inadequacy. Regret. Fear. All of those and so much more.

Every day I wake up, I prepare myself for battle. Some days, I rock it. I win that day. Others, I flounder and trip over the simplest things and feel the judgement of the world on my shoulders.

“Love yourself!” That’s what I always hear from others. “You will never be happy with yourself, until you love yourself.” I really wish it was that easy. I envy those who are capable of doing just that.

Every day I wake up wondering if I will ever be enoughEnough for my husband. Enough for my children. Enough for my pets. Enough for my job.

I want to sleep. Not the regular type. I want to curl up in my bed and not move for days. But my body aches throughout the night, my bladder wakes me up. My hips tell me I can’t lay for too long and I have to keep moving. I have to keep going. I have to keep working.

For now, I have to keep moving. The weight of everything weighs on me, and I have no idea how to set myself free.

Linkin Park (feat. Kiiara) – Heavy

Chiquitita

“Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita”

 – Benny Goran Bror Andersson, Bjoern K. Ulvaeus  (ABBA)

This song really hit home. Today most of all.

When I was a teen, I lost my best friend. She was murdered. Today, 26 years ago.

I realize this song is not about death, but the sentiment is the same. I danced again, I went on with my life. Some days are harder than others – life happens, it’s not always fair or kind. Sometimes life is brutally cruel, so much so that you see yourself on a high precipice waiting for the wind to waft you over the edge. But life can be wonderful too.

This week has been hard. Between migraines, teens, issues for family and friends that make me want to wrap them all up in the biggest hug I can, it’s been hard.

But there are always slivers of those silver linings. I’m knitting a goat for a friend and I am loving the way it is turning out, even though it is a crochet pattern! My baby boy (I still can’t believe he is 3!) has been so affectionate and sweet that my heart feels fuller than ever. Even my teens seem to be having a better week as well. Money is tight, but when isn’t it.

I discovered my Charlie ‘girl’, is actually a Charlie BOY LOL! I had a great giggle over that surprise last night (he’s maturing into a juvenile and it just became obvious last night).

Then today hits. The anniversary of when life changed for myself and my group of friends. It really brings into focus all that I have to be grateful for. I have three really healthy kids. Sure, the older two have difficulties – but they are healthy. I have an amazing husband who is always by my side, yes, he has Parkinson’s – but it’s NOT a death sentence. I have been sick a lot, sure, but I am finally losing weight and keeping it off! I am more active and can see the changes in me! I can knit – wow, that alone I a big deal for me! Just a few short months ago my hands hurt so much that I couldn’t!

I often wonder where Pam would be now had she lived. She would be 40 going on 41 in October. Would she have kids? Would she be around here? Considering I am still friends with the others from our group, I like to believe her and I would still be very close today if she had lived. I bet she would still be larger than life – gawd she was so full of life!

I miss you Pam. I think of you often. I think of your sister often and hope that she will have no more hardships, she has had enough. I miss your mom. I miss laughing with you and just talking. I still remember your voice, our last phone call.

I wish you could see us now – me, Gena, Rhonda – I like to think you do, and that you check in on us. Our ‘band’ was never the same without you.

ABBA – Chiquitita

Explosions

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

I feel like this every single day.

Will the landmine be in my mind, one of my children, my husband, my pets? What will the after shock be? Will I recover slow or quick?

I’m trying so hard to keep my energy going – but those bloody landmines keep getting in the way.

Kidney stone caused a late Monday trip to the hospital for me (oh joy), the Thursday before that my poor hubby was in agony from a horrible ear infection, now my youngest has an awful cold and is coughing all night, my eldest turns 17 next week and I have to figure out birthday plans, my middle child – he’s actually not doing bad. No landmines with him, well, except for the behavioural issues.

It’s almost 1 in the afternoon here and I have been ready for bed since I got up.

It’s also worth every waking moment.

I’ll take the landmines and the chaos they cause and use them to produce a life that is full and rich – full of love, laughter, tears, pain, joy, and a wealth in emotion and family. Don’t get me wrong, I would love a calmer existence, but that would be so much more boring.

Now to work on getting that exercise in and moving in the moment!

Ellie Goulding – Explosions

Chronic

“Behind every stressful thought is the desire for things to be other than they are.” Toni Bernhard, How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers

I am chronically ill.

That’s so weird to actually type out. I have a mild form of MS (yes, that really is possible – it’s not progressive, but I have lots of awesome symptoms *sarcasm*). I am chronically exhausted, chronically muddled in the head, chronically forgetful, chronically blah blah blah.

On last Friday I saw my neurologist again because the exhaustion, head numbness and brain fog were just getting too much. I can’t work well like that…at all. He suggested I could try a new medication. Something to help me stay alert. It works. But I hate that I am now on another medication.

Here’s what I take: reactine, singulaire, advair 500 (the disc), nasonex (yes, I have big time allergies and mild asthma which also affect cognitive function), citalopram (yay anxiety), imovane (occasionally when I get my insomnia), and now alertec to help me stay alert during the day. I also take vitamin D (5000 IU), a multivitamin for women, and nutrasea Omega 3. When I can afford it I also take pro-biotic (usually Bio-K which is freaking expensive).

I went through a phase about 6 years ago where I decided I hated medications and I refused to take them. It didn’t last. I was sick and had to work. I hate that I have to take so much crap just to feel 50% normal. I am so grateful that my illness is MILD compared to what many suffer.

I’m overweight. My size is the only outward appearance of my conditions. HOWEVER, I am working to change that.  I think that the alertec (called Modafinil here in Canada) will help. I feel far more alert with it. The last few days have been wonderful. Today is not so great, I woke with a migraine, but I’m working on that. I’m tired, but not tired. It’s a very odd sensation. I took my kids to a popular attraction on Saturday and carried my 18 month old most of the way. We walked a lot…it felt incredible to do it and feel great doing it!

Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance

Archaeology

This was too cool not to share: 800-year-old rune stick unearthed during excavation of Danish city – http://sciencenordic.com/800-year-old-rune-stick-unearthed-during-excavation-danish-city – such a great find! I would have loved to have been there when it was uncovered. I love holding history.

In other news, I think the meds I’ve been taking have given me an ulcer. Oh joy. Pain and burning in my stomach. I really don’t want to go back to the doctor, but it looks like I will now have no choice.

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”  Marilyn Monroe (Source: Goodreads).

You go Marilyn! I wouldn’t call her one of my idols or anything, but I do think she was a interesting and colourful person and I love this quote. She’s right – if you can’t deal with me at my worse, than you don’t deserve my best. A person should be loved unconditionally. Everyone deserves that (with few exceptions, I will add). Sometimes we may not get why certain people ever got involved, but it’s not for strangers to decide.

I love my husband. He has seen me at my worse, my bitchiest (illness and fatigue toy with emotions), and he still loves me. He has seen me at my biggest (physically) and he still finds me sexy. He has been my rock and my co-foundation. We are not mutually dependent on each other, but our lives are definitely richer for each other. I do my best to tell him as often as I think to that he is so appreciated. While I wallow in my ill times, he keeps the house going. I find him more and more attractive every day. He is the support I need, my best friend. Even when we are angry at each other, we are still able to talk – sometimes it takes a bit longer than others, but we do it.

Wow, how’s that for a digression. I had no intention of speaking about my husband, but melancholy and an appreciation for all he has done and does brought it out.

Savage Garden – I knew I loved You