Skeleton of a Moment (Her)

All along the way, sitting in the front passenger seat, she had been babbling to him about how he could indeed, despite his objections and skepticism, sell his photography.  She pulled up example after example and idea after idea. She hoped that it also confirmed to him that she had trust in his abilities and talent; that she supported him.  He didn’t believe that anyone actually purchased photography prints anymore. She pulled proof off the internet from her smart phone that people did. He remained inscrutable; dubious.

As they entered the cool restaurant from the bright, humid, concrete lined parking lot, it took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness inside. The kids were chattering behind her. The hostess was greeting her and asking how many people and what menus did they need? Four, she answered. Mom! She turned. How many children’s menus? from the hostess. Two. No, Mom! I don’t want one! Okay, just one. Damn, her eyes were still trying to focus in the dimness.

Suddenly she remembered the last time they’d been at this restaurant and the waiter had handed them a card, the restaurant’s “fan card”, and explained that there was a deal you would get – a discount or something like that – if you recorded on that card how often you came here. She couldn’t remember what the waiter had actually called it. Was it a “fan card”? A coupon? Damn. Did her husband remember and did he still have it in his wallet?
They were trying their best to cut costs lately. This was the first time they’d all been out to a restaurant together in long time. She was pleasantly surprised that he’d suggested it. Anyway, maybe that card could help a little.

She turned to him, still trying to focus, searching for his face within his dark silhouette, backlit with the sun’s blinding rays that kept bursting in whenever the door opened to admit more patrons, encircling his head like a spiky halo.

Hey! Do you still…?
What!?
She was thrown off. His face finally came into the clear.
Damn. Her mind had gone blank.
She vaguely noticed in her periphery that they had started to move towards the hostess and that more people were lining up behind them.
Do you remember that..that…
WHAT?!?
His eyebrows furrowed together, his eyelids narrowed, he was slightly shaking his head. Impatience personified.
A pang shot through her as she tried to get the words out, if she could only remember what that damn card was called. She started up again but was cut short.
WHAT are you trying to tell me!?? Just tell me!!
He was looking at her like she was crazy, neurotic, incomprehensible…

And then a rapid bloom of images burst through her mind:  His mother. Various images of her talking to them, of her nervously fluttering around them, of their impatience with her. Of how annoyed he and his brother and his dad would get with her when she was trying to explain something to them, trying to give voice to what she was thinking, to her own opinion on a situation.  The eye rolling. The dismissal. The jokes made that were intended to go over her head. Sometimes even the barks. His mother was a nervous little bird sometimes, true. His mom did have that small continuous buzz of worry and fret and judgment much of the time. Dare she say self-righteousness coupled with insecurity?  Truth be told, it irked her to the extreme.  His mother did, indeed, do things that didn’t make much sense to anyone else; that only she could fathom; that were motivated by things deep within her psyche that no one else could see.  She had the way she thought things should be firmly set in her mind and hated when the reality of a situation would conflict with it. She could be rather insensitive with things she’d say. But it irked her to the extreme too, when the men in the house would speak so callously to her mother-in-law. There was no need for that. She felt so hurt for that woman when they treated her so. The lack of respect was dismal to witness.

And suddenly her breath caught in her chest as a trapdoor inside dropped open and sent her heart plummeting. It was a blow to her core as she realized he was looking at her the same way he looked at his mom. He was reacting to her the same way! The same irritation, the same interruptions, the same impatience. Was it disappointment? Was it embarrassment? Was it resentment??

You didn’t give me a chance to finish!, she managed to spit out, before she turned abruptly to follow the cute little hostess to their table, fleetingly catching the looks on her children’s faces. They knew what was up. They knew how she was feeling.

And with that, her hopes for a pleasant, loving, convivial, evening out as a family withered abruptly.  There were feeble attempts to water it back to life by everyone else at the table, but the damage had been done.

 

 

Cowardice

Cowardice

Weird that today’s daily prompt happens to be the word “cowardice”.

Weird because I’ve been wrestling with a dilemma that involves that word. Namely, whether or not to venture back out into the “real world” work force.

We are in a bit of a financial bind, my husband and I. Debts, bills, the usual stuff. And I have been an at-home-full-time mom for the last 15 years. I am up there in age. (Okay, fine, just turned 50). I never finished college because I could never decide what degree to go for. Years of clinical depression never helped much either. Work is pretty hard to come by for someone like me, I imagine.

However, like rain in a time of drought, an offer has fallen into my lap at my old job. The pay is great (greater than when I left!). Part-time is really what they’re looking for, which is perfect for me with my kids who are still in school. I would be foolish not to jump at it. Stupid not to jump at it!  And at first, I felt like rejoicing.

But here’s the thing. I really don’t want to go back. I get sick in the stomach at the thought.  I never, ever, ever, liked working for anyone else. . I know, most people probably don’t relish it either.  The last job grew on me more than any other…but still; if I didn’t feel I HAD to go back, I wouldn’t.  I’m sure that this statement belongs in the First World Problem and even more possibly Spoiled Person Problem category. Don’t get me wrong,  I don’t mind work and when I do, I put my all into it…until I burn out.  I don’t come from a wealthy, privileged background. Hard work has always been my family’s motto. Like I said, when I work, I work hard.  But working with people? In the interests of other people?  It exhausts me. It exhausts me mentally and physically and emotionally. When my time belongs to others, it takes everything out of me until I feel like I am slowly being choked to death. There hasn’t been one job in my life that I didn’t come home from with either smoke coming out my ears or tears coming out my eyes.  Not. One.  Physical work is actually much easier for me to deal with than working with other people, and the only way I burn out on that is if I simply become physically exhausted.

For some reason, volunteering in some common goal with other people doesn’t bother me. Having to do it for a paycheck? Mmn. Ugh.

Here’s another thing. I believe that we all have different temperaments. I’m pretty sure that’s been proven. Analytical temperaments, social temperaments, creative temperaments, shy, bold, bossy, introvert, extrovert, diplomatic, problem solving…you-name-it temperaments. And I think that I’ve been running from my temperament for a long, long time.

When I was little and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer with one of two things: an artist or a nurse.  An artist because a love of drawing and painting and making up stories and creating has always been there as long as I can remember. A nurse, because that’s what my mom was at the time and I admired her greatly for it.

The proudest elementary school moment that I can remember as a painfully shy and introverted student was when my teacher chose my drawing of an Autumn path to display above the blackboard in front of the class.  Sadly, to tell the truth, I think that was the ONLY proud moment of my school years.  Oh wait, being inducted into the National Honor Society in Junior High and receiving top medals in band competitions were perhaps the others.  I guess I could count those.

At twelve, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and that stuck in my head as what I would pursue for my entire life,  until the problems with time management and with confidence in my mental abilities began to falter in high school (wish we’d known about ADD back then!) and the black cloud of depression began rolling into my brain. Until I was headed off to college with everyone else’s voices giving me “honest, prudent, realistic” advice that a degree in Literature or English or Art would get me NOWHERE in life and visions of myself alone and starving began to fill my head. Until fear and doubt and perfectionism and self-hatred dried up all the words. I decided that I would not be a writer. I would not be an artist. I deliberately gave up.  I thought that maybe I would go into Social Work because I’d also always had an extreme sense of justice and equality and compassion. Then I was told by someone on a plane that to be in Social Work one had to have a very, very thick skin because it was a depressing field to work in. And I had just gotten over being suicidal.
Shit. Now what?
What do I do with my life when what I had identified with for so long, when what I had wanted to pursue for so long, when the only things for which I had shown any proficiency whatsoever, were stripped away?

I NEVER thought I’d be a housewife for so many years! Was most definitely not in my plans.
(And the thing is, despite my bouts of depression, being a stay-at-home mom has been the best position I’ve ever held).

So, after giving up on college when I caved into my writer’s paralysis, and when I submitted to everyone’s “sage” and future-predicting advice that a degree in Art was “not a useful degree”, I stumbled into whatever job I could get: photography studio lab, retail, temp work, records management in a law firm, admin in a law firm, office manager of a recruitment firm, receptionist at a Veterinarian’s clinic. At the same time, I did take a few classes in metal smithing, all the while dreaming that someday, maybe, I could make some kind of living with it.
And then came marriage, and then came children.

Etsy came along and seemed like it sprung from out of my dreams. I PINED to go for it. For years, I’d been wanting to try my hand. Depression would pop in almost like clockwork and derail me, but just when I gathered up some hope, when I had set up shop and was about to make and list things, I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. All my attention and energy was, of course, diverted. But I didn’t give up the idea.

We moved into our new house last year and it seemed like providence to me. It was bigger to accommodate us and our growing menagerie of pets, it was closer to my husband’s job, it was closer to the new school that we enrolled my ADHD son in so that he could regain some joy in going to school, it was closer to our place of worship, it was closer to my kid’s only cousin, it was closer to just about everyone in my book club, I would be just around the corner to one of my best friends (even though it broke our heart to leave living next to one of my other best friends) AND the most magical thing of all was that it had a space to call a real studio! A place where I could work without interruptions (for the most part), where I wouldn’t have to shoo away cats and dogs who just wanted to “help” with my projects, where I could store all of the craft and art supplies that I had been building up for so many years, itching to get to, where I could leave everything sprawled and strewn across the table exactly where it was and pick up where I left off later. It was like it was MEANT TO BE!

What does this have to do with cowardice?
Well, I can’t help but wonder – a lot lately – about what my path might have been if I had had the moxie and the determination and the bravery to tell everyone and their “real world” advice to go and shove it.  If I’d had the bravery to listen to my gut and my heart about what path I should follow.  If I hadn’t meekly followed the herd off to college like I was “supposed to do”, because everyone else was doing it. If, when I had gotten into college I had said, “Fuck it, I’m going to study what I WANT to study and not give a shit about where it will “get me in Life”.  I mean, it’s, of course, the typical woulda/coulda/shoulda thinking.

But now I’m faced with entering the regular 9-5 job world again.
Right when I have my supplies, I have my ideas, I have my work space, my kids are older and requiring less attention.
I know who I am now and what my temperament has ALWAYS been.
I KNOW how I work best.
I KNOW what I want and I KNOW that it’s a risk.

There was a voice that whispered in my head a day after I got that suggestion to come back to work. It said, “Maybe this is a test. A test to see how dedicated I am to what I really want to do.  A test to see how serious. A second chance to take a different way.”

I know how I work when I’m working on something I want to be working on; when I’m working on something creative. I become obsessed. And that obsession that fuels the work doesn’t operate very well with stops and starts. Or when I’m overloaded and exhausted and physically drained. That’s me. That’s my temperament. That’s how I tick.  And I feel like I’ve been fighting it almost all my life in order to fit in and “do well” by society’s standards.

So, do I take this job, afraid that it will quash my dreams? Or do I not take this job and finally overcome the cowardice I succumbed to in my youth? Do I risk losing out on the only job that will pay me immediate financial returns; the only job that would probably hire me to begin with?

Everyone tells me that I can do both. In my gut, I know that’s not true.  Unless, of course, I give up sleeping…and that, as I’ve learned too many times, especially when I was a new mom, is never a good idea.   I am not a regimented, jump from one mode to another on a precise schedule personality.  I’m old and set in my ways.

Also,  I often have the paranoid thought (though not so paranoid, really) that my cancer could come back. And if it did, I would deeply regret not trying my hand at what I really wanted to do. Work alone, as much as possible, creating.

I was a coward then. Am I a coward now?

Cowardice. I’m wrestling with it these days.

 

 

Her

“Motherfucker! I swear he does this on purpose”, she mumbled as she grabbed the unwashed bowl of chili that he had just left on the kitchen island. She was doing the dishes when he walked in the back door, home from a workday that she knew he despised.  He grabbed a can of the ready made stuff, heated it up in the microwave, ate silently, left the greasy remains, grabbed a beer from the fridge and quietly – oh, how cooly – left the room.
Still, he could have put the dish in the sink where she was rinsing them off. He could have done the same with the empty tin can (recycling had become second nature for them all).
He could have said hello when he walked in.

At least he said a pleasant hello to the kids. That was something.

When had she taken to calling him a motherfucker, she wondered? It left a terrible taste in her mouth after she spit it out. Even if it was just to herself. But those bitter, heated, words were simmering behind her lips more often lately: motherfucker; bastard; son of a bitch; asshole. Was she beginning to think of him in those terms?

She knew it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t, was it?

She had been where he was now. She had been there more times than she cared to count. He knew that about her, but he seemed to have forgotten. He seemed to have forgotten that she knew how it felt; forgotten that she could sympathize; forgotten that she’d had years of experience with it. He seemed to have forgotten long, long ago, because why else was it that back then, when she desperately needed him to show that he noticed her, that he wanted her pain to go away, that he cared, would he have chosen to walk around her like he had just seen an embarrassing stain on the floor that he didn’t have the energy to clean up?

Of course, he had no idea what had been going through her head those couple of years. And, of course, he hadn’t bothered to sincerely ask either.

Now it seemed that it was her turn. Her turn to notice, to care, to want to take the pain away. And she did, with all her heart. But nothing she tried worked. She found herself wondering if depression was contagious. She thought she’d recently read an article in Psychology Today that reported some studies had come to that conclusion. If it was actually contagious, did he catch it from her? Was it her own doing that had led to this point in time? To this end of a long unravelling? Were they really at the end?

 

 

 

So It’s Come to This

“She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day”
– The  Rolling Stones

 

I had a really good therapist before my current one, whom I adore, by the way. I switched just for the sake of consolidating things. She was seeing my son at the time and it seemed convenient to go to her since our issues were overlapping.

Anyway, this previous therapist said in response to a question I had about the whys and wherefores of depression that, lacking any traumatic experience, “it’s all about brain chemistry and that’s pretty much it”.

I’m convinced. And it’s all so weird. And fascinating.

My GP prescribed Wellbutrin to add to the Lexapro I’ve been on since…forever it seems, and since I mentioned that I’m on the low end of the spectrum of ADD, he agreed with my therapist to let me give Adderall a whirl. “Right now, you could use something to get you going”.

I said, “here goes nothing” and took my 5 mg of Adderall this morning and my 5 mg 6 hours later.

My review:  It certainly helped. I wasn’t rushing around. I wasn’t feeling manic or shaky or revved up. But I got things done today. I was moving. The weirdest part is that I found myself looking at household chores I normally would find rather odious, like scooping cat litter or, yet again, cleaning up after one of our dogs who still doesn’t have the hang of house training, and tackling them without too much disgust or resentment – resentment!! – that it fell on me to do for the umpteenth time.  I think that’s what I’m feeling rather bemused by right now. I did find myself muttering occasionally about wishing I wasn’t the only one who did these things on a regular basis…but there wasn’t the anger sticking in my craw about it; the hurt of feeling like the scullery maid. I just felt like a….responsible adult!!! An amiable, responsible, capable, adult. Oh. My. God!!!  I did the dishes, I took out the trash, I cleaned up all the Legos sprawled across our dining room table, and then decided to finally tackle the painting of our laundry room, which has been one of the hundred or so things on my to-do list for months. And I’ve been in a good mood while doing it all!  Weird. Just weird.

I will admit that in my stupid and foolish youth, I may have partaken of some illegal drugs.  Even though I know Adderall is basically amphetamine, I don’t have any of the feelings brought on by what I did illicitly in my younger days. I’ve been calm.  I’ve been relaxed, but not like OVERLY so. I’m not irritable or skittish or “high”.  I just find myself looking at things that need taking care of and thinking “okay, I’ll do that; I can do that…right now”.  And then just….doing it. I’m not paralyzed anymore.

Just. Like. That.

“Mother’s Little Helper”……

Huh.

Brain chemistry is fascinating.

Dream a Little Dream

Hubs has always kidded me about how I manage to remember my dreams. How I’ve managed to collect an assortment over the years that I can pull out and look at again every once in a while, vibrant images intact.

I’m not really into analyzing them very much. I don’t think that they are all that hard to figure out.

An upside to all this sleeping is that I’ve had some pretty vivid and interesting dreams to add to my collection.

One amusing one is this:

I am Katniss Everdeen. I’m in the jungle and being attacked. I’m sweating and pumped full of adrenaline. Breathing heavily and crouched down for better camouflage, I grip my huge bow, reach over my shoulder into the leather sheath that is strapped to my back, and pull out my arrow which is tipped with…..rubber suction cups.

The other dream that has stuck with me is difficult to describe because the detail of the landscape was so incredibly varied and realistic and textured that I don’t think I can do it justice right now.  And I’m still not sure if I’ve got the sequence of events sorted, because a lot seemed to be happening.  The short of it is that I was on a little moped or motorcycle, driving along in a world where all the power had gone out. Trying to make my way along cobbled streets and alleys and paths and feeder roads and freeways and countryside in the pitch dark and pouring rain. Every possible light was out – car lights, my headlight, streetlights, flashlights, every single one. I had this sense of urgency but I couldn’t tell where it was I was trying to go.  I was lost and meandering into neighborhoods I didn’t know.  The buildings all seemed to be out of Harry Potter. Stone and brick and ornate and old.  And there was a dog I found at an intersection where I’d stopped. He looked like maybe he’d been hit and at first I thought he was dead.  He was laying in a puddle and seemed to be drowning. A large shaggy-haired dog. As I leant closer he started to lift his head and wag his tail so I lifted him up and tried to figure out how to bring him with me. He ended up morphing into one of my dogs, L., and I spent a good portion of the rest of the dream trying to keep him alongside my motorcycle on a leash and get us both to safety of some sort.      (Hmn. Whatever could THAT be about, right?)

There are also past dreams that I’ve been thinking about lately because of the way I’ve been feeling. Dreams that seem to have been foreshadowing this feeling that I’ve been struggling with.

One dream I will always remember is from around the late 1990’s, early 2000’s.  I’m standing on the rooftop of a building which seems to be in New York. With me are two of my bosses from my job at the time. They are standing closer to the ledge of the roof and I’m standing at a small distance from them. I’m facing them and they’re yelling something at me. “Stop, drop, and roll!!!! Stop, drop, and roll!!!!!” They start screaming my name and pointing at something behind me. I look down and see a black, powdery substance that leads from my feet…..along the rooftop to….I follow with my eyes back and back to see a spark traveling along this line, turning into flame and coming right at me. One of those scenes in which it seems like slow motion, but happens in seconds. I’m engulfed in flames and through all the crackling and fire, I know I should do what they are yelling at me to do, but instead I just lay down and give up. I’m quite conscious of thinking “Oh, well. This is it”.  I remember my body starting to shake and that’s what woke me up.

There’s another recurring dream I get with a somewhat similar theme. It’s one in which I’m in my pajamas (and it always seems I’m in a nightgown or not fully dressed or something in this one) in a car and it plunges into a body of water. The water starts rushing in the windows as we sink.  I always find myself in this dream, in which small details change but the events are pretty much the same, feeling rather accepting of my fate. There’s an initial sort of panic as the car falls, that sudden drop in the gut, that seizing up of the heart, and then calmness or paralyzation; a recognition that there probably is something I could do to save myself, but I don’t have the energy or presence of mind to attempt or remember it. So be it. Oh, well. There really isn’t time. That’s it. I knew I should have paid attention to those news stories about “what to do if you find yourself in this situation”.  Yeah. I’ve had this dream a lot.

And as I lay on my bed the other day,  I realized that it’s that very feeling I’ve got lately. That paralyzed feeling.

BUT!! I do know what to do (seeing a doctor…or two or three…) and I am doing it. Just took my new cocktail of meds.  So, here’s to not going down with the car.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Waiting

Yesterday I did nothing but sleep.
Again.
Well, almost nothing.
I managed to drag myself out to get my blood drawn.
Today I went in to see my General Practitioner about the results.

I haven’t been able to get an appointment yet with either my psychiatrist or my psychologist.

I was wondering if something might be up that could explain why I’ve been feeling the way I do. Wondering if there was anything in my blood work that would indicate anything other than pure depression. Like, you know, cancer or something.

You see, the last time I was this down, it was right before I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I guess I’m just a little superstitious. Or paranoid. I think the Cancer Card allows me on the latter.

Aside from my cholesterol being extremely high (Turns out I get to be “special” again in the genetics department. This time it looks like I may have a rather rare inherited cholesterol problem), everything else seems pretty damn normal.

Nope. Nothing other than pure depression to explain why I feel like a marionette who’s been suddenly dropped by whomever was pulling the strings; by someone who inexplicably became bored as hell and quite abruptly threw me to the ground and left the building.

The good doctor has prescribed me some extra medication to try and entice that string-puller back to play. Apparently, antidepressants can suddenly just stop working. I really don’t like the idea of having more medication, I really don’t, but at this point….
Ah, Lexapro, why’d you have to give up on me? Was I too much? Was it something I said?

Still going to follow up with the other doctors. Whenever I manage to get ahold of them.

For now, I’m just waiting.
Waiting for the pharmacy to call.
Waiting for tomorrow morning to give the new meds a whirl.
Just waiting for my puppeteer to come back.

 

 

Lost Weekend

This past weekend was a doozy. I’m trying to decide if it falls under the category of depressive seizure …or tantrum?

All I know is that on Saturday, about 4 pm, after spending almost all of the day knitting, (Yes. Knitting. It seems to be the only thing lately that I’ve got the interest or the energy to do. I think it keeps me hyper-focused and therefore, relatively calm…usually) I found myself crawling into bed with my napping husband and simply losing…my marbles and my will, and, it felt like, everything else.

I couldn’t quit crying because all that kept stomping across my mind was:

“I quit. I give up. I can’t do this anymore. I’m useless. Nothing changes. Nothing is going to change. I’m a failure. I’ve always been a failure. I never accomplish anything. I never finish anything. I never follow through on anything. I’m no good. I’m no good for my children or my husband or my friends or my parents. I’m just not good at this. I’m not good at living. Never been good at it. I don’t have the energy. I’m never going to get better. I’m never going to make anything better for anyone. I simply can’t do it. I don’t WANT to do it. I don’t want to try anymore! I don’t WANT to do ONE. DAMN. THING. I don’t have the desire to do anything AT ALL. I don’t want to see anyone or be seen by anyone. What’s the point of anything? I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. FUCK IT ALL. I’m just DONE. I SUCK at this and what’s more I don’t even think I care anymore….”

Now, I know that some people will probably read that and say: “Aah, shut up with your whining already!” and proceed to lecture me about how much better I’ve got it than other people in this world….and they would be right.  Some might say “How can you say you don’t care, when you have children who need you?!”…and they would be right too.

I do have it so much better than many people.  I am very aware of that fact. I would venture that I’m even MORE aware of that fact than a lot of others. I’m not living in a city that’s being bombed. I’m not running for my life from people who want to enslave me to their way of thinking or kill me. I’m not without food or clothing or clean water or a roof over my head. By virtue of the color of my skin, I don’t have to endure a lot of what other people have.

I love my children and my family with every fiber of my being. That’s why this hurts so much. Because I still feel like a total zombie and I know that they deserve so much better. They deserve someone who is completely present and involved and attentive and capable. Don’t make a mistake. I. LOVE. THEM.

I KNOW I’m so much better off than a lot of people. I KNOW I have a lot to be grateful for. Strangely enough, it doesn’t make me want to pull myself up by those bootstraps that seem to have been misplaced around here somewhere. That doesn’t make me feel any better about myself or our situation. In fact, it makes me feel even worse. And maybe that’s the real intent of the person that would lecture me about my seeming ingratitude. Tough love or whatever. SHAME her out of her silly sadness and despair and self-hatred! Yes! That’s the way!! Fight fire with fire, shame with shame!!! Pile it on!!

Trust me. I’ve already tried.  My mom too. And various friends. And the Shame Pyre is burning quite well already, thank you very much. Plenty of fuel. No worries there. But it doesn’t change the feelings or make them hurt less.

Anyway, this seizure or tantrum or whatever the hell it is went on and on: in and out of sleeping and crying for several hours, in between wondering what the hell I was going to do about this predicament of simply not wanting to go on…wondering if just rotting away in bed was an option. Finding a half-hearted chuckle in realizing that I was actually safe from my suicide ideation because I honestly didn’t have the energy to actually get out of the damn bed and do anything about it.

Hubs dragged himself out to take care of what the rest of the household needed – in way of keeping kids and pets company and feeding everyone.  I’m glad he seems to be on the way “Up” since my track definitely seems to be a very slick and slippery “Down”.

The monster in my head that had been muffled and shunted into a straight-jacket and thrown into a triple-locked trunk in my head by my up-until-now-beautifully-efficient anti-depressant and years of cognitive therapy and a good kick in the rumpus by cancer, came unleashed this weekend and went on a bender.

Around 11 p.m. that night though, I started wondering if maybe my cancer has returned; if maybe it has metastasized and is now in my brain and maybe that’s the reason I’m feeling this way. After all, prior to my TNBC diagnosis back in 2011, I had been suicidal. I couldn’t help but remember an acquaintance, a friend of a friend, who was diagnosed with brain cancer and died roughly six months later; how she had become pretty unpredictable towards the end – mood swings and behavior problems. Then, from the depths of the sewage hole of my mind, very faintly, gurgled up a tiny voice that said, “But, I don’t really want to die!”.

AHA!!!! THERE SHE IS!!! SHE’S STILL BREATHING!!…. the voice I needed to hear.

I slid slowly out of the covers, shuffled to the kitchen, took my medication, ate a bowl of ice cream and went back to bed.

I’m still feeling very bruised and shitty.  Still don’t want to leave the house. Still don’t want to socialize with anyone. I just don’t feel capable of it. Energy level is still extremely low.  I’m grumpy and irritable and bone-tired (for no reason) but at least the Will to Live finally piped up…whatever good that will do.

Managed to do the dishes yesterday. Scooped the cat litter. Vacuumed a bit. Yippee.

Making doctor appointments now.