I was an organized person. My kitchen counter free of clutter (for the most part), food swept from under the table after every meal and never a dish left out over night. With coaching, my kids straightened their rooms and put their reading books away. Now I am a different person. I leave food and dirty dishes strewn on the counter and in the sink every night. The kitchen table resembles miniature mountain ranges only instead of volcanic rock or granite, the mountains are made up of dried bits of tomato sauce, butter or cereal. The kids keep loosing their books dragging out story time as we search through all the junk to find them. I walk from room to room sometimes disgusted with what I see, making mental lists of what needs to get done but in the end, I don’t really care. I feel very little.
The one thing I do feel is this restless-out-of-my-skin-don’t-know-how-to-handle-this-emotional-too-deep-to-let-it-out-anxt. I have tried to bury this yuckiness by first, eating and then later starving myself. I’ve tried getting and maintaining an alcoholic buzz from dinner to bed time every night. I’ve tried sleeping pills. I’ve tried mental games, “fake it till I make it.” I’ve tried gratitude. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough because it’s still present.
I function. I feed the kids. I make play dates for them (all be it last minute). I get Art to the cancer treatment center, ask questions and drive him back. I make him meals. I sleep for a few hours every night. I don’t go out. It’s too hard to arrange for someone to watch the kids. I don’t return calls. I disconnect from my friends (granted disconnecting cannot go under the heading of functioning). Saying “I need help,” is honestly too hard. I am so very, very tired from our lives.
Oh how stupid of me! I thought that in March we’d be getting back to normal. I thought the shadow of this disease would be small and insignificant. I thought once Art was home, it would all be OK. I’m so fucking stupid! I made no plans to cope with this part. No plans at all. I feel insufficiently prepared. And I am. That leaves me wondering in my ability to prepare for anything.