Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Holding Resentments - A Journal Entry

Here’s your warning, Hooligans:  This will be a meandering post. 

I have some clutter in my brain I need to clear. The best way for me to do it is through writing. I’m going back to the roots of my blog by writing a journal entry.

You’ve been warned.

I remember thinking a while back how life was when Devin was dealing with sobriety from sex addiction.  It was scary.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions.  But, it was rather predictable.  The fears and feelings were usually the same.  It allowed me to focus on my own recovery from his disclosure.

The road of emotional sobriety is harder to navigate for me.  I’m traveling a new path every few months.  The time between is blissful.  I have serenity.  We get along perfectly and the potholes aren’t nearly as deep.

This makes hitting a pothole a bit more unnerving. It takes more work than I expect to get me back on track.  That’s where I am today. 

After I finished writing my book, I shared the news with my husband.  He told me how proud he was and that was that.  I should be happy, right? 

Well, I’m not. 

Instead, I’m sad he never read my book.  He didn’t make it past the first two pages.  I shared it with him months ago, but still, he hasn’t read it.  It’s been one excuse after another.  Each time he promises to read it, I get my hopes up only to have them dashed. 

You’d think I’d learn but not so much.  We talked about how important it was to me that he read my work.  He’s my husband, this is what I do, I want him to be a part of it.  He apologized and promised to read it.  Over a week has past but, no go.  He hasn’t read it.

I held back the snarky comments I wanted to make.  Instead, I turtled up and withdrew from him.  Since part of his addiction is related to rejection, he also retreated. 

My recovery work fills my head with tons of slogans:

“High Expectations Lead To Resentment”

Are my expectations too high?  Perhaps.  As a recovering addict, I tend to want immediate gratification no matter what the circumstances.  In a “normal” marriage, this several months long request would be abhorrent. But, we are not your average couple. I have to remember he’s a people pleaser and a recovering addict. While I can hope he’ll sit and read my story, it’s not his nature to read anything that doesn’t pertain to his gaming hobby.  He hates it.

“Keep My Side of the Street Clean”

I need to take responsibility for my own actions.  Becoming distant, rather than expressing how I felt was immature and detrimental, especially knowing how rejection hurts Devin.  I need to let him know I’m hurt but do so in a kind and loving manner.

“The Next Right Thing”

I have a choice to make. I can do the right thing by focusing my attention elsewhere.  Perhaps writing a bit more in my non-fiction book or making a phone call to a loved one.  (As I write this, I’m texting with my brother, “just because”.)

“Let Go”

I need to examine what it is that makes me so upset that my request isn’t being met. I realize it may boil down to me not working.  I can’t work so writing has become my “job” even though I don’t make a dime.  It’s how I occupy my time.  I don’t sit and watch television, I write as long as my health allows me.  This leads me to think I may have some envy that Devin works and I don’t.  Or, maybe I don’t like feeling like I’m a burden to him.  This book is my proof that I’m still productive despite my illness.  That’s a lot to let go, but as I write, it’s obvious it needs to be done.

As with most of my journal entries, this one helped me see through the jungle of my emotions.  I need to be more compassionate with my reactions and not shut Devin out.  That only causes rejection issues for him.  I need to accept that he understands my health problems and doesn’t see me as a burden.  That’s all in my head. 

I also need to practice patience.  Emotional sobriety is tough.  It’s something we both struggle with.  We need to do navigate this terrain together.  It will only make us stronger. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Restoration

We had a two-day stretch of warm weather recently.  Then, the temperatures plummeted and we had snow.  During that brief warm spell, my daffodils began to bud. 
This is from Bing but it could me mine.  Pretend it is mine.
I was elated at the prospect of spring arriving any day now.  To me, the season means the beginning of new things. Winter sheds it’s thick coat and reveals all the beautiful colors of spring.  Soon, we’ll see yellow, red, pink, and blue in everyone’s yards.  That’s so much prettier than the brown of dead grass and dried up leaves.

Spring also brings me hope.  It reminds me things that once seemed bleak can be restored to its fullest potential and become beautiful. 

Even our emotions.

Mine have been all over the map lately.  One minute I feel grateful to be alive than the next I’m pissed off at something I’ve learned to overlook. (Who cares if Devin didn't make the bed.  I can do it too!)  I’m certain it has something to do with my recent withdrawal from Cymbalta.  I think there may be some lingering side effects rolling around in this here brain of mine.  At least the mind zaps are almost gone.

This array of emotions may also be from the aches and pains I’ve been dealing with the last few months.  No one can be expected to be even-keeled while managing that.

Instead of beating myself up for not remaining serene all the time, I’ve accepted it.  Now that I’ve acknowledged it, I can change it. As my beloved Dr. Phil says, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” or something like that.

It’s time to break out the yoga again and see how far I can get.  I need to remember not to be upset if I can only make it for ten minutes.  That’s ten minutes more than zero.  

I need to dive back into my step work. My step four is collecting dust.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of bats flew out of the book when I opened it.  Well, okay, I’d be pretty surprised and also pretty freaking scared. 

I also need to take a warm, soothing bath to treat myself.  Maybe I’ll even spring (see what I did there?) for that massage guy in the mall.  You know the one?  He has his chair set up in the middle of mall and charges for each fifteen-minute increment? Yeah, that guy, Mr. Strong Hands.

I know everything is going to fall into place again because I saw this yesterday:
I'm impressed with my camera skills!
Oh, wait. Did I forget to mention it won't get past forty degrees for the rest of the week?  I guess I need to wait for spring a bit longer but I’ll be ready when it finally arrives.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Handsome Dentist and My Chaotic Mouth

“We’ll see you next week, Elsie,” the perky dental assistant said with a smile.

I attempted to smile in return but failed miserably.  The entire left side of my face was numb from Novocain.  Instantly, I thought of Bill Cosby’s comedic skit about the dentist.  It really did feel like my face was sliding off my skull.

I paid the bill and scowled at the sight of how much my next visit would cost.  The receptionist saw my half-grimaced face and said, “At least Dr. Jeff is handsome.”

She had a good point. 

~~~@   ~~~@   ~~~@

My poor dental health is not for lack of brushing or flossing.  Heck, several times a week I use an electric toothbrush after I brush.  Instead, it’s a result of how wacky my body has become over the last year.  Your teeth never lie.  (At least that's what my former-dentist brother told me.)

My body has rebelled against me.  I’m fairly certain my immune system held a conference with my antibodies while I slept.  They plotted and schemed on how to mess with me.  They decided to cause extreme fatigue and brain fog.  But, they grew bored with my lack of energy and confusion so they stepped it up a notch.  A decision was reached to cause pain in all my joints. I feel like I'm ninety when I try to move.
From Bing.  I guess this is anti-rnp.  I'm no doctor.
Still not satisfied, the little buggers took it a step further and planned an all out assault on my liver.  They weren’t anticipating my super smart migraine specialist.  She tested me for everything under the sun.  Once I tested positive for ANA and anti-RNPs, well, it was game on buddy.

Off I went to the rheumatologist, then the gastroenterologist.  More blood work was drawn, more conferring with me, and now…well…I still don’t know what’s wrong exactly. I know it’s an autoimmune disease and it’s totally treatable. 

Also, it’s a bad idea to Bing any disease your doctor thinks you may have.  According to WebMD, I should be on a transplant list.  Or dead.  According to the Mayo Clinic, I’m going to be right as rain once I start medication.  I trust Mayo way more than WebMD.  Only because it's working in my favor to do so.

One thing is for certain, in the next month or two (or three or four), my immune system will return to doing what it’s supposed to be doing: protecting me, not attacking me.

In the meantime, at least I have a handsome dentist to take care of the chaos my body caused to my teeth.
When was the last time you saw your dentist?  Was it a good experience?