Recognition of Pain

So I was sitting in the back yard, real quiet-like, admiring my surroundings, practicing some mindfulness, loving that it’s green and my flowers are blooming and I have the most amazing dog and boyfriend and KA-BLAM.  Cold liquid anxiety started spilling into my chest cavity, flowing up through my throat.  I almost fracking choked on it, it came so suddenly and out of nowhere and yet, from just around the corner. 

I have spent many-a-year in my life feeling miserable about every single last thing going on.  I have also spent and — let’s be honest here — still spend a lot of time dreaming up and exaggerating on things to be miserable about, just for the sake of having something to do, it seems, because I am uncomfortable with comfort, apparently.  It’s been some time since anything “bad” or “negative” has happened to me, that has deeply affected me. 

In fact, things have really been going my way — great (relatively) new boyfriend, awesome new job, my healthcare is affordable, I feel at peace with a lot of things, some little, some small that I never thought I would get over.  Things have just been good.  I have no doubts that things will keep coming my way, and I will embrace them, accept them, deal with them, change with them, adapt, accept, adapt, accept.  Because I know that is  Sink or swim, baby, no doggy-paddling to the side for a break.

A few blogs ago, I did a post for my Aunt Laura.  Was it sad and unfortunate that she died — that she left behind a husband and two children in college?  Absolutely.  Was it necessary for me to get all bent out of shape about it?  Likely not.  Was it even that event (or maybe the presence or lack of a different event) that had me bent out of shape, or was it more of a simple turning of my mind of my mood of my mind and my mood.  I can almost see the bend in the road, easing slightly to the left, arcing out wide then, turning in, turning out, turning in, turning on, turning off. 

Sondra is in hospice and it is very hard for me.  It is harder for me than I want it to be, which is something, since I usually want things to be as painful and drawn out as possible.    I don’t even know where I’m at with all of it.  The damndest thing, sometimes all I can think about are Kubler-Ross’ stages of death and dying and how I really need to be able to put myself in a category, in a box, in a shell, in a hole in the wall in order for things to be ok.  Like, if I could just find the right size box to fit this in, it would be ok and I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore.  That sounds crazy, I’m sure, but my brain needs me to be in a category, so I have a definition, so that maybe I can talk to my therapist about this definition in some concrete way.

As I type this, I worry if I’m being overly dramatic or if maybe the feelings that I’m feeling are not real or justified, and I have given numerous speeches on the premise that “feelings just are.”  Jesus, why do I have to judge every step I take?  I’m even judging me judging myself.  And judging that.  It never ends and it makes my head spin sometimes when I think of the vile bullshit that I spew toward myself in my head. 

I spent the morning visiting people.  I couldn’t sleep, woke up at 5:30 a.m.  I even smoked a cigarette and tried to go back to sleep and just couldn’t.  I just laid there with itchy skin and anxiety.  So I got up.  Had some coffee, some cigarettes, a PB&J.  Then I started having that frantic urge to talk with someone, to connect in some meaningful way, to let someone know I’m up and smoking a cigarette and will-be-just-fine-thankyou.  God, I’m an attention whore. 

I visited Grandma this morning.  I didn’t stay long, but she said she was happy to see me and seemed to be in pretty good shape.  Mom says that she has had a cold, but she didn’t seem sick — she actually looked pretty healthy and perky, which always makes me so angry.  I don’t know why, or maybe I just don’t care to ponder that too far.  I just know it makes me angry.

When I was at Grandma’s, I had decided in my head that I was going to take Kizz to the dog park for about 30 minutes, then swing by the hospice and see Sondra quick before her grandkids came for the day.  I even had an appointment to get my eyebrows waxed, and I had this all worked out in my head perfectly. 

When I got out of the nursing home from seeing Grandma, I felt more anxious than usual, more antsy, especially for such a short visit.  Kizz and I got in the car and all I could think about was how I wanted to go see Sondra right now, right this minute, stop the car and put it in park right now.  It wasn’t rational, it didn’t make sense, it’s just how I felt.

So I took Kizzie home and went to the hospice house.  I felt immediately better when I saw her, just seeing her smile and be aware that I am there.  Her sister was there.  I can remember almost every single thing Sondra said, maybe because sometimes she was talking gibberish and I found it so strange. 

I was there when the doctor came in and saw her.  Her heart is starting to fail and her infection is still running it’s rounds.  She’s not “with it” mentally all the time now like she was just two days ago, when I saw her last.  It’s more than just being tired, more than just taking painkillers.  At least that’s how it feels. 

Its good for me, for my mental health to spend this time with Sondra, whenever I can.  I ended up being there for almost two hours this morning and would have gladly stayed longer and watched over her while she took a nap.  I told her that I would be around once everyone had to fly back home.  I don’t remember exactly what her response was, but it seemed at the time like she would really like that.


5 thoughts on “Recognition of Pain

  1. I’ve been back here several times to see whether you’ve blaaaggghhhhed again. And I see a certain correlation between this post, and the last. Do you? …XOXO


  2. Hmmm…a certain correlation between talking about judging myself and my meme post? Maybe I’m too close and just can’t see it. Do tell. 🙂


  3. Hi Rose – my widget thingy that tells me when blogs are updated apparently hasn’t been working. I thought several of you were on vacation or something! Glad to see that you are still writing. Anyway – I am happy to read that good things are happening (job, boyfriend, dog) and sorry to hear that your grandma and friend(?) have failing health. Be gentle with yourself. This is a lot of stress and it’s not surprising that you are having anxiety.

    Take care.


  4. Rose- Thank you for the very sweet comment on my blog. I too wish that I lived closer and that we could catch up with a cup of Jo. I always thought we had just enough in common to get along well and just enough difference that we didn’t always drive each other CRAZY (although it took us a while to figure that out). We will be back in T-town the first week of June. Maybe while we are in town we can set a time to catch up and visit. I would love for you to meet my crazy family and I would love to meet Dr. Love. Take care and talk to you soon.


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