Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, most of which has to do with my future. I've got to figure out what I'm going to do in August, how I'm going to get back to school if I ever can, and whether or not to pay $343 for 20 days of COBRA or just send those bills to the trustee.

I've asked for help in all of this, which is a big step for me because I generally prefer to fuck things up all by myself and then wonder why I'm in the same quagmire I was in before. But I haven't had much success there, and my dad is pretty much my only hope, although he's already doing more than his part by taking over my car payment.

I don't know why the rest of the family is distancing themselves so much. One of my aunts paid the retainer for my bankruptcy attorney. It's hard, though, that there isn't anything else people can or will do. I guess that whole "What would Jesus do?" thing doesn't apply here. I mean, Jesus would let me sleep on His couch. He'd probably build me a bed or something - carpenters are skillful like that.

I think they see me as a failure, and I suppose they would be right, on paper at least. I didn't graduate college (because I didn't have the money, and I won't go on that diatribe again but suffice it to say that I didn't grow up knowing I'd have to pay for my own college or I would have tried to come up with some sort of plan). I'm the only blue-collar worker in the family. I work. Everyone else goes to work. It's not that I don't think they work, too, but my work is physical. I don't have a desk. I don't even get to sit down. Ever. I'm on my feet for both jobs, I sweat a lot, I lift up to 70 pounds at a time - and I only weigh 110. Factor in the whole chronic musculoskeletal pain thing and one can see how my day is exponentially harder than most people's.

If I'm in pain at work, I take a pain pill. Why? Because I can't afford to miss work for being sick. I don't get paid to lie at home with ice packs and electrodes, so on the really bad days I bring those to work with me. One morning I came in and it was obvious I was sick. "You look like hell. Go home." I ended up in the hospital that night - shocking, I know - but I went to work that day anyway. And nobody seems to understand that every day is a struggle for me. I suppose if I were of the mindset that there's nothing medically wrong with me or that I "look OK" or "seem fine" I'd probably wonder what my deal was, too.

I look OK and seem fine because I don't externalize a lot of what I feel physically or emotionally if I can help it. I don't want people to see that. Nobody wants to see that. If they could see what I felt, people would be all weird around me I think. That's how it was in the wheelchair - no one treats you the same. Except, of course, my awesome friends, and my cousins who just thought it was fun to push me around in the wheelchair. But I digress.

I know I'm an adult. Believe me, I know that. I'm not able to support myself financially, and that's embarrassing. More embarrassing is having to ask your family for help. Even more embarrassing than that is when people say no. But I did support myself through college. I was fine until I got sick. Turns out, having a chronic condition pretty much sucks your bank account dry and puts a sizable dent in the ones of your friends.

All of this has got me thinking, and I'm OK with not being OK. I've accepted failure, which, aside from VOLCANOES, is my biggest fear. But nothing is scarier than volcanoes. They shoot out rock so hot it's liquid - count me the fuck out! And there are no volcanoes in East Tennessee, so if I have to go there - assuming I'm hopeless here and that it's an option - at least I won't have to outrun lava. I can avoid bill collectors, but lava would kick my ass.

I'm not independent. Not today, not anymore. I used to be, and it was nice. I'm not as dependent as when I was bed-ridden, but I can't really survive 100% on my own, either, and I accept that. Someday I will be able to, but not now. Now I need to focus on my health. I need to get better. I need to work less often if it's going to be on my feet. I need to continue getting enough sleep. I need to lay off the caffeine for real and do something about these thighs. Seriously, why didn't anyone tell me they looked like that? As soon as I get the green light for cardio, it is on.

I'm forcing myself to listen to happy music when I'm in the car. It's hard to be all pensive and introspective when there's a happy song on. I guess I'll try to keep that up. In the meantime, I'll just keep getting through each day until I can come up with a feasible long-term plan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1:54am!? Girl, you should be sleepin! :P Only one way to go when you are in the place you are. Believe me, I have been there. You know you have us always.