The problem with being me is ... just that: the state of "me-ness". It's almost unbearable at the best of times.
I've been laying a bit low the past few days because -- HOT NEWS FLASH!! -- I've not been feeling well. Like that never happens, you're saying to yourself. Don't deny it. I can hear you.
My arthritis has been raising its ugly head again over the past few weeks, and decided to make itself fully known on Monday. My hands are once again swollen and painful, my hips hurt with every step I take, and my sacroiliac joints and back are screaming, "DON'T MOVE IF YOU WANT TO STAY ALIVE!".
Speaking of which, I've been questioning that last statement lately.
My physical state has, unfortunately, had an effect on my mental state, leaving me depleted of energy and desire, just wanting to sleepsleepsleep the days away. I haven't been a very good mother lately, or a good wife, or friend. My temper is short, my good moods fleeting at best.
The thing is, there are so many people who just don't get it. They see me looking absolutely normal, seemingly happy enough, and it is automatically assumed that everything's hunky dory, when, if they just took the time to delve just a little deeper under the surface of my face, they would see the darkness, the pain, and the utter sadness and hopelessness that lives there perpetually. Maybe they don't want to, because to go there would be unbearable.
And so they go on with their day, and expect me to go on with mine, when in reality, I can barely make myself a cup of tea let alone an entire dinner for the family. The guilt I feel is insurmountable. Here I am, at home, and most days I can't even get myself together enough to sweep the floors, wash the linen, or clean the cobwebs off the ceiling.
I have lived with this most of my life, and am pretty much accustomed to people not understanding. Most of the time, I know it's just that, and is not a matter of them not caring. However, when I fall more deeply into that black hole of depression, my vision narrows, and suddenly I am entirely alone in this awful world, and I am sure everyone out there is against me. It's not a rational thing, and cannot be explained away. It just is.
I am fortunate to have a good group of friends around me who, when I am once again in this place of unforgiveness, pick me up and hold me until I can once again stand on my own. I know how fortunate I am, and I do remember. But I also worry that one day, they too will disappear. There's only so much anyone can do for another person, I reason. Only so much before they have to escape to save themselves. Their hold on me will one day weaken, and I will once again fall. This hasn't happened yet, and for that I am eternally grateful.
But the worry is there, and is very real, that one day my friends, and my family -- my entire support system -- will just vanish, leaving me alone to deal with my life. And that is a very scary feeling indeed, akin to death really.
Please don't let me die.