Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trying to stay upbeat

One of the things I am noticing after my near death experience is how precious life is. I will and hope I never forget the look on my mother's face when the doctor told her I was going to make it. I was practically unconscious at the time, but her smile is ingrained in my head.

I recall how wonderful everything was. The smells, the people, being able to look out the window and see rain, and trees  with practically bare branches, and just being grateful for every breath I took. It didn't matter that I felt my life was in the toilet and I was going nowhere with no dreams, it was just glad to be alive.

AA calls it "An attitude of gratitude". I felt the same way when I was newly sober, how wonderful life is when you aren't drinking. It went away after a few months, and once again, I became cynical, and curmudgeonly, isolating myself away from people and once again building walls around myself that no one could penetrate so I couldn't be hurt.

In the last twelve hours or so I've lost that attitude again. There is a part of me that wishes I had died. Maybe I'm on the pity pot. Maybe I just miss the cat and need a cute fix. But I just don't see the future again. If anything I feel like Job, why have I been forgotten, how much physical pain can I take before I break? Why did my kidneys fail and why am I having such problems with my bladder and my female bits now?

There are people worse off than me. I know this. I just have to watch the evening news to see stories of children who just lost lost a parent, people loosing their houses, parents who lost a child. Soldiers coming back from wars missing legs from bombs. As much as I detest physical therapy, I keep thinking, "Susan, you have two legs, you will be able to walk without a walker soon".

In other words, in the immortal words of Monty Python "Always look on the bright side of life".

Ha! My parents bring in medical bills. I owe money to doctors, to hospital. I'm not working. Is my writing good enough to sell? I'm rusty. Does anyone want to hire a mental health blogger? There are so many of us on the blogosphere. Should I finish my novel, and try to publish it to the big guys or go independent? Or do I even want to bother with it? At one time my play was considered for an Off Off Broadway venue. Should I try to peddle it again?
Will the economy improve so I can make a living again from my pen?

And the worst feeling of all, can a 40 something compete with all the 20 somethings out there? When I was in my 20s my writing was top notch, even if I look at a lot of it now and think of it as "gifted juvenilia". Perhaps it was a bad thing that I got awards and heavily published before I was 23. I thought it was easy, now I realize it was because of professors and networking.

I am lost. I keep dreaming the same dream, I'm lost. Sometimes I am in a forest, sometimes I am in my native Manhattan. And I cannot find my way home. I cannot get home. I know it's stemming from the fact I am not home right now, I am still recooping at my parents house until I am able to climb stairs and stand long enough to do simple things like cook dinner or take a shower. I miss my place, I miss my cat. I want to see her for Christmas. I want to sleep in my own bed again.

I look at people my age, they have children, and I'm not going to ever have any. It hurts. I never ever want to get married again, that hurt too much too. I have to let it go. Every time I see a toy commercial on TV now, it's like a dagger in my heart. Every time I see a commercial for a jewelry store it's another dagger, some guy buying some nice bauble for his girl for the holiday. I don't really wear jewelry, but....

And then there is New Years Eve. One more New Years in my life without being near a special person at midnight.  Sigh. Yes, I will be with my parents, and they are special, but, there is a lot to be said about a  good snog.

Sigh. Does anyone want to hire me? I hope I can find some work in 2011. I just want to get better and work again and join the human race again. That's how to get off the pity pot. I need to find a paying market. My body is rusty, my writing is rusty. With practice and hard work they both should be at their best soon. And then maybe someone will want me.  Hopefully soon.

13 comments:

Becky Murphy said...

Susan,
You are on a few learning curves at the same time--and dealing with life as it comes. I love your spirit!

Be gentle with yourself, give your body time to heal, before your run any marathons!

Love,
Becky

Ana said...

I didn't check any statistics but I'm sure that the number of women your age that are not married is very high.
I'll check it.
This is life... It is never, ever the way we planned.
I never thought I would be a mental health advocate.
I never thought of many things that happened and I know that "I never thought that I would..." is a phrase that can be said by most of my friends.
Love you for who you are and your circumstances,
Ana

Chronic Impending Disaster said...

Sorry things have been so hard, Susan. I'm sure you'll find a paying market if you keep at it.

Finding a steady job is my goal for 2011 too.

Wendy said...

Susan,
We love you for being a survivor.
We love you for being so open and honest while on a very difficult road and giving us a glimpse of what life is.
Thanks for helping me along this journey.
Wendy

AdmGln said...

Like you wrote, "Always look on the bright side of life." Things will work out. You're alive, and that's the main thing.

~julie~ said...

hi susan.

looking on the bright side of life is a process, not a one-time event. i usually get around to the looking on the bright side when i've processed all my emotions about what is currently sucking in my life. try not to put so much pressure on yourself to be positive. it usually backfires :) you'll get there when you are ready. you've been through some majorly traumatic events of late, so it's understandable you'd be feeling a little discombobulated at the moment.

susan said...

@Becky, I know you are right, it's just so frustrating at times because I;m sleeping 16 hours a day. Patience is not one one of my virtues!

@Ana, I;m sure you are right. It seems more acute this year because I;m lying in bed most of the day if I don;t see a doctor or specialist and I;m watching TV and I don't usually watch a lot of TV.

@Chronic, it's ok. I I am sure I will find something. If I get my health back I can always waitress or work in a bookstore. I've done both part time for years.

@

susan said...

@Wendy, I love you too for being a survivor.

@AdmGin, you are right. I think like I said in the piece I am on the pity pot because my brain is working over time and I am mad at my body for being so physically weak right now.

@Julie, thank you. I will follow your advice. I think I am at the processing emotions stage, my brain feels like it's going to pop.

Stephi said...

Wow! I think I pretty much cried all the way through reading this. Man! Your blog sure has made me shed a lot of tears!.

I really feel for you right now. I am also unemployed an am trying to enter the work force again but my mental health has changed me. I can understand the frustration, fear and maybe a little rejection that you are feeling. Also, I was told last year that I can't have children and I know the grief and loneliness something like that brings. I wonder what my future will be and I'm afraid I will land up alone.

Honestly what is important now is for you to continue to get stronger. Yes writing jobs may be a difficult to come by but have faith in your talent- God gave it to you for a reason. It hasn't gone away. It's just rusty like you said.

I don't know why all this is happening to you and I won't give you the cliched lines: "Everything happens for a reason" or "There is a bigger picture"- I'm sure you will find that annoying. Just know that many people have been touched because you decided to use your experience in a positive way.

Keep holding on!

Much love to you

Stephi
x

Mark p.s.2 said...

RE"I look at people my age, they have children, and I'm not going to ever have any. It hurts."
I feel the same way if I think about it too much.
To cope , I have to reduce my ego. I am just one of billions on the planet. I imagine the size of myself to the scale of the planet , then the planet to the solar system.

I imagine (the horror)of living on the dark side of the moon for eternity, and then enjoy the sunlight of daytime.

Syd said...

Ahh dear Susan, feeling right with life takes practice I think. It takes looking for something that I am grateful for each day. Just a little thing at first and then I find it all adds up. I have not had a major illness but have lost my parents. Life is complex and fascinating, but my spirit is getting more and more right with God. I am grateful for that.

Hope Despite Depression said...

Dear Susan -

After all you've been through in life - and certainly of late - I think you deserve to have a little pity party for yourself - sometimes it just feels good to vent...

I know what you mean - sometimes you feel bad about complaining when you know there are people out there that have it worse - but that doesn't LESSEN the pain that you are going through - your pain is real and there's no reason to feel bad complaining out it - I'm frustrating myself because I'm having a hard time trying to get the right words ... augh...

As for the no kids thing - I feel your pain too - my heart breaks every time I spend time with my little nieces and nephew - when I see strangers with their children - etc... and it's worse during the holidays... but I have to believe there is reason behind this and that my life is meant to work out the way it's supposed to...

((Hugs))
Christine

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