Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Me Today

I haven't posted much lately -- oh, sure, I've tried to keep you up to date on health reform issues and all that. But I haven't talked about me too much because i haven't wanted to say out loud what is in my mind: I can't do this any more. I'm too tired. I don't know if it's because I'm really sick -- my Crohn's is pretty much silent unless you count the 15 prescription drugs I take every day. I have some bouts of nausea and vomiting from the gastroparesis, but they pass. Still, I can't talk myself into getting out of bed an hour or so earlier so I can get back to swimming. On nights when I work late, i can't figure out what to do about dinner, so I eat a cookie and some pretzels and go to bed. My sleep is never uninterrupted, either by the need to use the bathroom or thoughts that are too loud to sleep through.

Work is under control, relatively speaking. My assistant Celeste is leaving and her sister Echo, whom I have loved all her life, is taking her place. I should feel calm about it, but I don't. Celeste knows how to let my stress roll off her back; I'm afraid Echo will try to take it on, and that's a crazy burden for anybody to bear, including me.

But right now, we have enough money so I can pay someone part-time to help with the workload from a couple of grants we have. The Pearl Jam fan-based nonprofit Wishlist, with the help of Mike McCready and his wife Ashley, has just raised a lot of money for us. I think we're pretty much good through the end of the year. How crazy is it to already be worrying about next year?

I have some fun things coming up. Pearl Jam is coming East. I will spend some time with Mike before the Hartford show, and I will go to the last night of the tour at Madison Square Garden, and I'll see Ashley at some point, whenever she's free. And James Taylor and Carole King will be here for my birthday. I have a seat on the stage, first row, seat 1 -- they have a rotating stage with a bunch of these onstage seats purchased at ridiculous amounts of money with much of it going to charity. What better birthday could I ever want than to be at eye-level with James Taylor and Carole King for a few hours listening to them fill my heart?

So if everything's so good, why am I so unhappy? It feels like exhaustion more than anything else. Like I've just plain run out of steam. I know at least some things I could do that would help -- swimming, eating right, not working so late so often. And I know some things that are making me very unhappy -- one work relationship in particular -- that I could pretty much walk away from and not really suffer. Indeed, the other party to the relationship is doing nothing, so if I just stop pushing, it will just fall away.

And that's really it, at bottom. If I stop pushing, it all just falls away. That's what has me in its grip. That's what makes me unable to find the will to change course in any way. Part of it is just that I'm afraid to do anything to shift the inertia; if I stop doing anything but moving straight forward, it will all fall apart. Part of it is, indeed, pure exhaustion. Part of it is anger and resentment -- why doesn't anybody care enough to find some way to help me (I have no clue what help I need or how anybody could do it, but I angry at being alone in this struggle)?

I get calls from people who are where I am all the time. They apply for disability, fight for two years, drain their savings, then learn to live on nothing -- I don't want that life. But I don't want this one, either. And when I find myself unable to picture any life I want, I am nothing but black. (Please don't worry; I'm talking about emotional stuff. I have no intention of hurting myself or taking any steps to end my life, now or at any time in the future. I'm just talking here.) And sadly, I don't have me to call and talk to.

I know what i have to do. Once again, I have to pull myself up out of this hole, get back to swimming, figure out how to eat at least one meal including protein every day, do something about my inability to sleep -- I have to change course. It just takes so much energy. And that's the one thing I don't have.

I'll see my shrink tomorrow. I usually see her earlier in the week, so she's not used to seeing me totally shattered. I'm glad this is working out this way. She should see how I look when there is nothing left of me. I need her to see this so she can really help me out of this rut.

So there it is. Me today. For what it's worth. Just so you know there are no heroes. We all have black days. Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. This is the first time I've read your blog and it just blew me away. You seem to know some of the things that are wrong. I've worked graveyard for 24 years, so sleep deprivation alone can take a lot out of you. Have you been checked for hypothyroidism? It can cause a lot of those feelings you mentioned. Drug interactions? Stop worrying about everyone else for a little bit and, please, take care of yourself. The thing about beating your head against a brick wall--it feels so good when you stop. Diane