A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

My Photo
Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What I Know For Sure #2

Oh to be kept
By Jesus.
Lord at Thy feet I fall.
Life would be nothing
No, Nothing!
Thou shalt be my all and all.

2008 was THE worst year of my adult life. My family and I suffered a great loss which is still affecting us and will affect us forever I suppose. We have each changed because of it.

You've seen the articles and read the quotes about knowing your true self during times of adversity. I can testify that I indeed found out more about myself in some regards but stayed true to character in others.

I found out that I have trouble asking for help. I believe that if it's my problem, it's my responsibility to handle so when the problem came, I shut myself away from friends and tried to hide from my family.

Friends came to help and provide support and love but I stubbonrnly and at times, rudely refused, cringing from their offered embraces, ignoring their sacrificed time away from their own families and hectic schedules to come see about me.

I spent so many hours awake that I began to have migraines, which in turn caused my blood pressure to start spiking. The ensuing forgetfulness, vertigo, weight and hair loss was enough to send me to my doctor who promptly took me out of work along with prescribing an arsenal of sleep meds, stress meds, relaxation techniques, increased blood pressure meds and suggestions to seek psychiatric help or someone personal to speak to.

The sleep meds didn't work after three days, the stress meds made me feel as if I were constanly swatting at floating cotton balls and the blood pressure meds gave me an angry dry cough. I didn't want to go to a head doctor because it was my problem. It was my problem and I had to work through it even if I couldn't sleep and suicidal thoughts meandered into my waking brain waves. Even if I lost my appetite, when you're 400 pounds you should celebrate a fifteen pound loss. The hair loss? I wore wigs or braids anyway so it didn't matter, no one could see.

No one could see me in here suffering like that because I was always the strong one. I'm the 2nd daughter of the 2nd daughter. I'm the 7th grandchild of the 7th son born in the 7th month. I'm the first granddaughter and niece born three days after the death of my grandmother and who bore a strong resemblance to that one. I was the first and only child of seven to graduate high school. The first and only to graduate college. I could fix all of this myself, and I would do it where no one could see me struggling just to make it out of the bed and into the shower.

Somewhere along the line, I don't remember exactly, I stopped everything. Stopped going to church, stopped praying, stopped returning calls, stopped leaving the house, stopped blogging. Stopped taking the meds, just stopped. I figured my blood pressure would keep spiking and I'd have a stroke and die and finally be out of this hell-filled life. How happy I would be!

Although I could hide from my friends and the rest of the outside world, I couldn't hide or mask my suffering from my family. They noticed the weight loss (now 35 lbs), the thinning temples and bald spots in the top of my head. They knew I watched TV all night. They saw the unread magazines piling up in the holder and they begin to confer on how not to lose me.

My sister and baby brother coaxed me into revisiting the doctor after a long family therapy session and that day, as the nurse congratulated me on the weight loss, she also gave me a worried look as she announced my blood pressure was 200/95. I simply smiled at her and just started bawling. One of those good ones that have you hiccuping when you try to talk. Ever had one of those?

Anyway, the doctor came in and just let me weep until I could stop and she shared her experiences with her own loss and how most of what I was feeling she had too. Had to take a break, those tears keep coming up. She asked if I had anyone to talk to, I said no, I was too ashamed to ask for help or tell anyone how cowardly and inept I was at handling my business. She made me promise to get back on my meds and find both professional and personal help or she would be visiting me in a hospital soon. And she's so wise. You know what she asked me? She said "What if you have the stroke but don't die? Who will care for you?" That scared me into refilling those meds right away!

That same afternoon two things happened. They may seem irrelevant but for them to both occur at the same time was too coincidental. I received an email from Dave checking up on me, and a phone call from a long lost friend who was just trying to reconnect.

I was so surprised and happy to see Dave's email; he doesn't know me from Eve, just another Blogger but because I hadn't posted for almost three months he wanted to see how things were. I shared w/him and later Jeni what I was going through, but nothing as intimate as this. I can see now how people can get so caught up in Internet relationships, especially if they're lonely and hurting. Thank God I found two people who were just giving encouragement and not trying to hurt me!

So now here I am, seven months later, looking at the rest of my life. I don't know what's going to happen but what I know for sure is the next time I need it, I'm gonna ask for and accept help.

I'm not allowing comments on this post because it's pretty heavy and I've just sprung it on you unawares. For those of you who do read this, even if you don't believe, please pray for those of us who have lost a whole lot: Dr.S (Peggy), Jeni (Aunt Mike), and Dave who lost Tony.