As I keep waiting, wondering what medication I will be taking in the future, what side effects it will give me and if it will do anything to slow my MS, life hasn’t stopped. I keep going to work everyday, to my weekly yoga class, I keep going out occasionally with friends, I keep spring cleaning even though it’s summer now and wondering how to give my apartment some final touches (it’ll be four years on Tuesday since I moved), and I generally keep doing what I normally do. And I keep waiting.
My mood though has been getting more and more somber, as you may have noticed from my latest writings. This powerlessness is sticking to my skin like summer heat. It’s my health, my future, and it’s mostly in the hands of some faceless people adding and subtracting numbers. I can obviously see to my well-being by making sure I eat well, sleep well, get both exercise and rest, but the big guns are not on my hands – and if they were I wouldn’t miss.
Apart from the obvious consequences all this waiting may be having by keeping my immune system on the loose – and I will write about that in another post -, psychologically this is also doing something terrible. Next time I have a relapse, my MRI comes back with clear signs of disease progression, someone suggests I should try a stronger drug, I will just go “No.” There is no way I’m going through all this again. I just don’t have the heart. I’m not physically and mentally healthy enough to stay strong for another long period of uncertainty, of going back and forth, of calling hospitals to know results, etc. Just thinking about it my breath gets shorter. I guess this is what they call learned helplessness. I will be undermining myself knowingly. That’s twisted.
My darker mood has been coupled with ever growing fatigue. The last time I had a long break was in August, almost a year ago. Since then, I was in hospital twice, had an entire semester of classes at night, had to write a small thesis, saw my responsibilities grow at work, saw the work itself piling up, conducted meetings with neighbors because of our building – and tried to stay calm. But all these months with so many challenges and not a single break are making me lose it. I’m grumpy, I’m resentful, I’m bitter, I’m aggressive, with a short fuse. Depression has a lot to do with aggression as well. I once saw it defined as “aggression turned inward.” In my case it is turned both in and outward. Inward because of all the plans of self-sabotage. Outward because honestly I could punch most people around me. Several times. Every time I feel like I’m on the verge of a psychotic break I just try to remember that in three weeks time I’ll be on holidays. Thank all the gods in all the worlds. My therapist tells me to go home and just yell a lot of swear words. It’s supposed to be therapeutic but I’m not sure. She says I’ve been a testament to mental health throughout this year, the way I’ve been dealing with everything. But I honestly don’t feel so healthy anymore. Too long is enough.
I hate to get to that point where I’m so consumed, so angry at all the helplessness, that I know I won’t recognize a good thing in my life even if it shakes my hand and introduced itself to me.
Good thing: “Hi. I’m a good thing.” shakes my hand
Me (yelling): “I don’t know you, go away!”
Ok, so maybe this is a little dramatic but you get the idea. The truly dramatic thing is I’m aware of all this and still there’s a chance I won’t be able to turn it around when the time comes. ‘Cause it’s sticking to my skin like the summer heat. And the clock keeps ticking.