I apologized to my husband the other day for not being the girl he married anymore. He looked at me confused and said, “well I’m not exactly the guy you married anymore either.” Oh. Right. I guess after 15 years, neither of us are who we were when we said “I Do.” We were but mere children… now life has had it’s way in aging us. But he was being overly kind to say what he did. It’s more than being older. I’ve been grieving the loss of who I used to be, and finding it hard to patiently wait for God to answer who I am to become.
The last year and a half have been complicated and tiring. We’ve stretched, grown, and questioned everything. For me, the 18 month layoff Derek had, ending just over a year ago, was small in the testing of my faith compared to the unknown answers that seem elusive these days. We had some safety net in unemployment insurance, and in some of the savings we did have for the layoff. But now? It’s all rock bottom faith. So many different ways my faith is being asked to work. I am not working due to health issues, and it seems any job I have will have to be very non traditional in the future. In fact I can not seem to think of anything that I can fully commit to, and that’s not a “want” to commit to, but a “can” sorta deal. I feel fully responsible for the state of our finances and how messy they are. I am frustrated and irritated with who I have become physically, and find it difficult to just accept this “new” me. This new me is not helping my family out, but pulls and drags us down on multiple levels instead. (my words, not theirs)
Currently the doctor is choosing to medicate the heck of out of me instead of do surgery. I can honestly say that brain surgery is NOT high on my list of things I want to waltz into. I am in no way sad to not be doing surgery, but putting a medicine bandaid on a structural problem is not an answer I want to look to as a long term solution. I am a foggy, slow, groggy, and a half motivated shell of who I once was. My kids and husband are very forgiving… still this is not how I pictured going into the teen years of motherhood. I thought I would be hosting countless girlie sleepovers, traipsing all over in the Mom Taxi and volunteering at nearly everything. I thought I would be finding it hard to remember all I had to do because there were so many things – not because I cant think a straight line when medicated. Even my desire to write is a fraction of what it was once, and that is a HUGE part of who I am… it used to drive me.
Sitting home, medicated, unable to drive most days, and down countless others with chronic migraines, withered and barely functioning is just not in the game plan. Staying out of the way of massive florescent lights and limiting computer time to combat the induction of “extra” migraines is more than a little frustrating. Triggers are everywhere and, without warning, a normal headache will take a liking to turn angry and throw me down. Not knowing when and if they will come on any given day keeps me from committing to so many things. I cant tell you how painful it is to cancel plans (and more so that friends feel they should just not ask to avoid making me feel bad). I tried to get away from it all and go on a retreat with my church and was down the entire time with migraines. What was the point in driving for hours to get somewhere to get away from it all just to be right back where I started? I concluded that for now I just simply cant go far from home. I cant know in advance the triggers I will face…
I’d like to think that this is a temporary stop along the way to answers. It’s a long stop, but not a forever one. Someday I will again volunteer for things, be a fun person to be around, be able to go and do and be the happy-go-lucky gal I once was… the one my husband married.
But for now – please forgive me. I am not who I once was… and while the pain is less when medicated, it robs me of who I truly am. Overlook the shell you see before you. Somewhere deep below the foggy mess is still the woman who once was… and someday, I pray, will be again.