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Archive for June, 2011

Overwhelm

I had a lovely day yesterday. Brunch with friends, followed by lounging around in the hot tub drinking mimosas. After they left I put a 70s music station on the TV for background noise while I did the dishes, and I got blindsided by a sappy old love song.

“I’m lost without your love. Life without you isn’t worth the trouble of. All I want is just the way it used to be…”

Those words hit me like a knife in the gut, and without warning I was sobbing uncontrollably. I miss my love. I miss the life we had together, and despite all my efforts to create a new life for myself and maintain a positive outlook, there are still times life without him feels pretty fucking pointless. I feel utterly overwhelmed with my life right now. Even taking care of my new kitten feels like more than I can deal with, and I wonder whether I was foolish to take on the responsibility of a pet when I’m barely holding myself together some days.

I’m supposed to be going away this weekend with a friend. I need a getaway, a change of scenery in the worst way – and we have all sorts of fun things planned – but right now it’s the last thing I want to do. I just want to stay home and hide from the world. It took everything I had to get out of bed this morning and drag myself in to work. On top of everything else, I found out that the ONE medication I’ve ever found that helps my migraines and doesn’t knock me out has been discontinued. FML.

I was thinking of canceling my therapy session this week because I have so much to do to get ready for this trip… but when I’m spending big chunks of my work day hiding in the bathroom crying, I think I need to make therapy a priority.

 Sigh. This sucks.

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I haven’t felt right for a long time now. I’m tired all the time, no matter how much I sleep. I get winded climbing a flight of stairs. Walking the half mile to and from the train station for my daily work commute makes me want to take a nap.

I’d been blaming my fatigue on grief… but gradually I realized that as the grief was getting easier, the fatigue kept getting worse. Yesterday I found out why. A routine physical exam showed that I have iron deficiency anemia. The doctor wants to put me on iron supplements and is referring me to a gastroenterologist to be sure that hidden intestinal bleeding (i.e., an ulcer) isn’t the cause. I’ve had digestive issues my entire life. An ulcer wouldn’t surprise me a bit, honestly.

I’ve also recently been diagnosed with a large uterine fibroids (the size of a four month pregnancy, I’m told), which will require surgery. The day I got that diagnosis, I freaked out. I’ve never had ANY kind of surgery in my life, unless you count the extraction of my wisdom teeth. If my husband were here, it wouldn’t be so bad. He’d hold my hand through this series of stressful medical appointments. He’d visit me in the hospital and take care of me during my recovery. If my husband were here, the biggest stress factor would probably be how long we’d have to wait to have sex after surgery.

Facing this alone is scary as hell. Exhausting, too, especially when my energy reserves are already so depleted.

My ob/gyn, upon hearing about the anemia, suggested that we do an endometrial biopsy to make sure there are no cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. It’s unlikely, she says, but better safe than sorry. The last thing we want is to find out in surgery that there’s more going on than we thought.

No matter how miniscule the likelihood, I heard the word cancer and I thought, “Fuck it. If they tell me I have even pre-cancerous cells, that’s it. Game over.”

It’s not like I’m a quitter. I’ve coped with the suicide of my dearest love, which also resulted in the loss of relationships with some of his family. I coped with being out of work for most of the first year after his death. I gave up the home we shared, managed to find a new job and a new place to live. I’m making a new life for myself, one day at a time. But it takes everything I have to do that, to keep moving forward even on the days when all I want to do is curl up in a big ball of grief and just wail. I simply haven’t got the strength to deal with major health issues on top of everything else.

Hell, I’m not sure I’ve got the strength to deal with MINOR health issues on top of everything else.

I’m hopeful that the iron supplements will correct the anemia and that I’ll get the all clear for laparoscopic surgery in the fall. I have to believe that, when this is all said and done, I’ll feel better and stronger, have more energy to do the things I want to do. Because what’s the point if I don’t? If you haven’t got your health, as they say, you haven’t got anything.

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We just met yesterday and he’s already moved in with me. And no, I don’t think I’m rushing things. The minute I saw him, it was love at first sight. Sometimes you just know… y’know?

Isn’t he handsome? 😀

He was a stray, rescued by a friend of a friend who couldn’t keep him because she already has too many cats. I saw his pictures on Facebook and, I don’t know how to explain it, but I just *knew* he was my cat. It was almost as though I recognized him. When I went to meet him in person, there were five of us sitting on the floor playing with him, and he flopped down next to me and leaned against my knee to be petted… just as though he knew, too, which of these five people he belonged with.

We think he’s between 3-5 months old. Hopefully the vet will be able to give me a more accurate determination when I take him in for his shots. He’s very affectionate and super calm, one of the most gentle and serene kittens I’ve ever met. He seems happiest when we’re snuggled up on the couch together.

I’ve always wanted a cat, but hubbby was allergic. I’ve been toying with the idea of adopting a cat for the past year, ever since my brother brought his adorable kitten (also a gray tabbby) to visit me… but the time wasn’t right, until now.

I’m so happy this little guy found me. And even though I wasn’t prepared to adopt a pet right now, everything is just falling into place. I’m going out of town the next two weekends, but I have friends who are willing to stay at my place and “babysit” while I’m away. I have to pay a $250 pet deposit to my landlord, and it just so happens I’m getting a small bonus with my next paycheck that will cover it. Everything I thought would be an obstacle has been easily, smoothly overcome. It was just meant to be.

It was like that when I met my love. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but the very first time we met, it was magic. My new little guy is reminding me to trust in those moments of synchronicity, of connection… reminding me that the right one will find you when you’re not looking.

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My love came to visit me in my dreams last night. This doesn’t happen often. In fact, the last time was in October, over seven months ago, and I was beginning to think it might never happen again. There’s a certain amount of irony in his timing, since just last night I was thinking (in re: The Time Traveler’s Wife) that maybe he’s stopped visiting my dreams because he doesn’t want me waiting for a visit from him; he wants me to get on with living my life.

I wasn’t feeling well when I woke up this morning, so I called in sick and went back to bed. Following a very active dream about scientists on an island who were being attacked by zombies and the Navy SEALs being sent in to kill the zombies, I thought I woke up and opened the bedroom door.

I heard someone in the kitchen and I knew it was him, but I was almost afraid to look. I walked slowly around the corner of my breakfast bar, saying silently, “Please don’t be a zombie. Please don’t be a zombie.” He was half hidden by the open refrigerator door and I couldn’t see his face, but I recognized the dark blue t-shirt he was wearing (I still have it and sleep in it sometimes). Something about his posture looked rigid and unnatural, and I started to freak out. “I can’t do this,” I said, out loud.

Then he closed the fridge and looked at me, and he was just himself, my beloved just as I remember him, looking down at me with eyes full of love. He enfolded me in his arms and said softly against my ear, “Don’t give up on me yet.” I promised him that I won’t ever, and I wrapped my arms around his waist. It felt so good to be held in his arms, my cheek against his chest — safe, comforting, like coming home.

I woke to the sounds of the roofers beginning their day — dull, muffled pounding that was, thankfully, not immediately above my head. I took some Advil for my headache, reset the alarm, and dozed off again. Again, I dreamed that my love was here, in my apartment. This time he was waiting for me just outside the bedroom door, wearing a bright colored tunic like the ones he used to favor. He looked suntanned and healthy, and I suddenly felt self conscious about my grubby pajamas and the fact that I hadn’t brushed my teeth. I mumbled something about that, and he laughed and said “Look at my hair!” I did, noticing for the first time that it was shorter than I’d ever seen it and that it looked like he’d just chopped it off himself and hadn’t washed it for days. I just smiled and wrapped my arms around him. He held me for a long time, and then he started trying to take off my nightgown (which had magically replaced the grubby pajamas, in the way of dreams), but my arms got all tangled up in the straps and he couldn’t get it over my head. And then I woke up to very insistent banging and jack hammering right above my head, and there was no going back to dreamland. Sorry, baby.

All day I’ve had the memory, the feeling of having been with him. I feel very close to him right now, and I’m so thankful for that. At the same time, it’s hard. This apartment is neutral space, a place empty of memories of us together, which has been a good thing. As my mother said, when she moved into her own apartment a year after my father passed away, “He was never here, so I don’t expect him to be here. It doesn’t always feel like something’s missing.” It makes it easier to go on with the business of living. But now I have this memory — this crystal clear memory of my husband rooting through the fridge in my new kitchen and of standing not three feet from where I’m sitting now — and suddenly the place feels empty and lonely without him.

He was here. He should be here now.

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