Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Feel better soon.

I think in almost all encounters in person or even online and on the phone, I hear "feel better soon", "I hope you feel better" or some variation of it. I know I used to say it all the time because what else do you say? Being on the end of the spectrum where people say it to me now, it drives me crazy.

I know I've been asked in therapy before what a good day would be. What will normal look like for me, how will I know I'm doing better?

I honestly don't know.

I don't know how I'll know that I'm better. I don't know what feeling better is going to look like so telling me to get there is really stupid because I have no idea. If I could just get there, I would. I feel like I'm trying really hard, I'm taking every step I can to get there but here I am. I'm still... here.

On Sunday it was my 37th birthday. I used to really love my birthday and it seems like every year I really look forward to it. But then it comes and it's just another day. I don't feel anything. I'm not happy and I'm not.. sad. I feel down but I don't think it's sad, really. I kind of feel nothing at all. I got a bunch of presents, and that was pretty dang cool. My friend Lisa sent me a laminator (and I'm not kidding, I want to laminate ALL THE THINGS!), another friend Katherine sent me those cool coolers for the car for trips (handy because we're 80% sure we're going to Missouri this summer), I got a weighted blanket and my mom gave me cash. I had cupcakes and ice cream cake. My parents took Penelope and Lucy on Saturday to have a chill night home with no kids and that was really nice. I do notice that Matt and I aren't the same. We don't know how to relate to each other anymore since my AFE because I am not the same person and really, neither is he. So it was weird. We fought. We ate fast food. We went to sleep at our normal time. It was a pretty crappy date night.

But then my birthday comes and I didn't feel any different. It's really weird to be an age you didn't think you would be. I once told friends years ago that I wouldn't see 35. I really never believed I would make it beyond 35, I just wasn't vocal about it. I barely survived it and now I'm at 37 and I feel really lost. I don't have a career and that ship has sailed, so now I have to find my self worth somewhere else. I don't like how I look and I likely will never get down to where I was so I have to find my self esteem somewhere else. I always thought my purpose was solely to bring my kids to life and now they're here, so I have to find a new purpose somewhere else. I have brain damage and I'm medicated to the hilt to function so I don't/can't feel happiness, that lightness in your chest when you realize you're just really happy right were you are, so I have to figure out what my substitute of that is going to be.

It's really a jarring situation to be in. I feel so lost and every day I think I'm not supposed to be here. I wasn't meant to stay and I hate thinking I took the place of someone who wanted to be here. That sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it? I feel like it sounds a little woo woo.

Back to feeling better. I've decided that saying, "feel better" or the sort is kind of a rude and dismissive statement. You don't really care if I feel better because if you did you'd ask what would help and try to help. Or you'd acknowledge that the situation is really awful and while you can't fix anything you're open to listening to it and really listening... not just saying that and then not listen.

Now that I'm in this situation I really pay attention to what people say flippantly or what they do (or don't do). A lot of people will tell you to feel better and they forget all about you once they see someone else. The best is when people reach out on social media but subtly sneak in the junk they are selling or "lifestyle" they recommend and it's infuriating. Nothing says "I don't give a damn, I just need to sell this" like friending someone on social media and then asking how they are and ignoring it completely to go into your spiel.

I'm trying to be more conscious of myself, too. If I know someone is struggling, I try to make myself a note in my planner to check in on them in a couple of weeks, see how they are doing. I don't want people to think they or their struggles are forgotten. I feel like that a lot, I think people assume I must be fine now or they get sick of dealing with it because it's scary and makes you feel helpless, and I fully get it. I do. But I'm still here. I'm still struggling. So I try really hard to check in with people. That's better than all of the "feel better!" or "it'll be OK"'s in the world. Try it sometime.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I think checking in on people is great; it really shows you care. And to those people who kind of just "pretend" to see how you are - RUDE. We don't need that in our lives! But I do think about you all the time, and I'm sorry about all you have to deal with and it's just crap. There really isn't anything to say or offer, but I'm here if you need anything! If I can, I will.


Rachel Morse said...

One thing I did during a low time was write down something I'm thankful for every day. It helped me to just capture a moment each day so I had something positive to reflect on...it's not a cure, but it was helpful.