It’s time to take the Christmas tree down. I have been wanting to take it down for days and haven’t turned the lights on for that period. I hate a Christmas tree without the lights on, I find it depressing. Problem is I am not fit enough to take the ornaments off the tree, wrap them up individually in kitchen roll – so they don’t break, go up the loft to get the boxes to put them in along with the Christmas tree box, pack them away then put all the boxes back up the loft. What am I talking about, I can’t even set up the ladders to my loft, let alone anything else!
I managed to take the wreath off the front door and take down some Christmas cards and I am done in! Life with pain is not easy. Advise is to pace yourself, but if I paced myself the way I would need to I’d be taking the tree down over a week which isn’t really viable and still would be unable physically to complete by myself.
So I am going to have to ask my friend to help me, which I hate to do! Before my mobility problems I was very independent and giving up this independence is one of the hardest things to do. I don’t want my friends to feel obligated to help me or to feel like they are unpaid carers. I want them to visit me because they want to, rather than feeling like they have to. I am still the same person as I was just my body has given up on me not my mind or personality. It feels like I am distancing myself from my body and think of myself as 2 entities – body and me.
My mind is split. Please bear with me on this as its very difficult to explain! Half of my mind thinks I can do all the things I used to and this side of my brain spurts out stupid things like “I’ll only be a couple of minutes”, “I’m just going to jump in the shower quickly”, “yeah I’d love to come to….” etc whereas the other side of my brain realises when I say these things that it’s not the case, nothing is quick anymore, I can’t make plans as I don’t know how I will feel or if I will be physically able to keep them and I’m never just a couple of minutes anymore. I have been living with this pain for 9 years but still my mind hasn’t caught up – why?
Is it because I can’t fully accept my situation or is it just that for all the years before the pain started that I had accumulated a habit of saying these things off the cuff? Or is it because I’m putting on a mask and don’t want others to know how bad things are? There are illnesses that I have but have not been strong enough to talk about to anyone, not even on this blog because I’m embarrassed and ashamed of them. This proses the next question why am I embarrassed and ashamed of something that I have no control over? I can’t help these things and certainly never asked for them. There is nothing the medical profession can do to prevent them so I just have to live with it. I am a 36 year old in a 90 year old body! Things that are happening to me should not happen for years but my back problems have caused them to start now (well 2 years ago) I feel sick just skirting around the issues so I am still not ready to go into the details yet!
I do put on a mask to everyone where my pain is concerned. I don’t want pity. My mum used to tell me growing up that “life is a stage”meaning you don’t show others pain, depression, or anything bad you put on a smile and act like everything is ok outside the family. My mask since the pain started has not allowed me to even show my family the full extent. When my family are here at weekends I do more than I should 1. Because I have access to a car so can get to the shops etc and 2. Because no-one wants to visit someone sad. What my family also don’t see is the pain I am in for days after their visit, in fact a lot of the time it takes me the full week to recover, then they come back the next weekend and I repeat the process. I try not to show the pain but obviously there are many times when I can’t keep the screams in!
I feel there is no point moaning and complaining about the pain as it doesn’t improve the situation or the feelings involved, in fact a lot of times it makes the pain feel worse talking about it as you are focusing on it. I try everything to take my own mind off it like playing computer games, reading, listening to music, playing/training my dogs, using social media sites and now this blog. Funnily enough writing about my situation on this blog has helped but talking about it has the opposite affect, I think because I don’t know the people reading this, I can’t see the looks on your face of pity, confusion and sympathy.
I think being happy is a choice (if your not clinically depressed, which is different) I could choose to dwell on the pain and sink into depression because of it or I can choose not to think about it and be as ”happy” as I can be. Obviously the pain is still there nagging away constantly and there are many times throughout the day where it is simply impossible to keep my happy mask on. It may just be a happy mask just now but hopefully at some point it will stop being a mask and become reality. It is much easier to spiral into depression than it is to stay upbeat and chipper. That’s not to say I don’t ever have true happy times but when the things that made you happy have been stripped away as they are no longer possible what are you left with. The pain, the anger, the disillusionment of the system ( medical and government), the why me?, no hope, feeling of no future and the past, what I used to be. I don’t want to be defined by my illness but when you can’t do anything except sit around the house like a recluse, it is very difficult to remain positive, especially when asked what have you been up to? All that I have been up to is the same stuff, different day!
This post has become a jumbled mess of thoughts and has roamed far from the original topic, but this is my mind, it is whirling and I can’t concentrate on things so it goes off in tangents. I have found by blogging that it stills my mind a bit like having a clear out. I am going to leave it there as my mind is spinning, pain is bad just now and I can’t think to type. I also have to conserve what little energy I have left to help my friend take the Christmas tree down! Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pack it away with all the lights and baubles still on the tree, it would make putting it up next year so much easier!