Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Blues

It's true indeed...I'm a victim of a serious case of the blues.  Life happens to everyone, and I guess it beats the alternative, but sometimes things just seem to come at me from all sides, and that's when I do the unhealthy thing and just retreat.  Vegetate.  Try to escape. 

Even good things...GREAT things, really...involve change that I know is going to rock the world as I know it, and I'm notoriously bad with change.  I like the idea of it and all, but the reality is different.  Which doesn't mean that I've quit wishing to win the lottery, in case you're wondering.

I've been gimping through life at half speed (less than half, to be honest) for a long time, trying to deal with a "condition" (I will not call it a disease)  that I never actually believed existed before my physician ruled out everything else.  It's called fibromyalgia.  See, I've only known a few women...and no men...who claim to have this "condition", and I confess I formed a negative opinion about the whole thing.  Women who take to their beds, who almost PROUDLY proclaim that "Fibro is my new normal" and use it to avoid doing anything they don't really want to do.  Women who have NICKNAMED it ("fibro") like it's an old friend!  Women who seem to my critical eye to be quite fond of their pain medications, and positively joyful at the thought of opting out of life.

So you can see that I've resisted this type of diagnosis...which isn't really a diagnosis, because it's all figured out not by any definitive test, but by "ruling out" everything else.  Dear friends, it's a terrible thing to be grabbed by something you don't want to believe exists.  To be the one who says "I just can't do that today" and "I don't know why I'm so miserable".  To know that although you don't have MS or something degenerative (although I can say for sure that it's degenerated my spirit and my peace of mind), there's something awful going on.

So when I was contacted by the Social Security Administration (yes, seriously...they contacted ME!) to be told that my ex-of-20-years-husband had died, and that I was able to take early retirement and collect his full benefit, imagine how thrilled I was to get the news.  Not that he had died, of course (which I knew, and had done some serious grieving over...we do, after all, have three grown children who were in fairly close contact with their dad until the end), but the idea of not having to force myself to show up to work most days and do an almost decent job - after years of recognition for doing a GREAT job-it just seemed like his gift to me!  So I made an appointment and spoke with an agent at my local SS office, and discovered that yes, indeed, this could really work.  The joy!

So now that it's all out there, notice given at work and so forth, I'm seized with terrible fears.  Will I be the one who stays in bed all day?  Will I become completely unproductive and unable to create a single thing that pleases me?  Will I, like my mother and her mother before her, soon be unable to leave the house except for essential groceries?  Will I withdraw from friends and family, and become a recluse?  In a nutshell, will I take this opportunity...this GIFT, really...and throw it away? 

I really hope not.  As holiday time approaches, and everything I hold dear is right here in front of me, my Christmas wish is to be able to take this gift of time...such a precious gift...and create an entirely "new normal" that has NOTHING to do with my physical woes, whatever they are named. 

1 comment:

  1. Fibro stinks. And I empathize and sympathize -- I have chronic migraines and a neuro condition that can't be cured and it peeves me off!


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