Back to ‘normal’

I guess this is the point where you have to stop hurting (or, at least, disguise it enough that you seem like you’re functioning at capacity again). You were there through the illness, you left for bereavement, you’ve been back physically if not mentally. So when do you just wake up and return to your old self?

Or can you?

Not being able to save my grandfather from the half-wits at the VA Hospital has wrecked me for life. That I didn’t take him out of there, or just elsewhere, will weigh on me every day till the end of time. And I know, I exhaust myself with arguments to the contrary. That, why was it my responsibility to do so, why did I have so little faith in the system, why am I not allowing myself to move on?

Why can I not just focus on the mounting pile of urgent tasks in front of me instead of staring at the wall and wondering what, if anything, I can do to make things right?

In a weird way, I’m starting to be a tiny, itty bitty bit OK, and I don’t like it. Things are still the same for me — I still live in the same place (alone), still have a great job (and a promotion that I have no idea why they think I’m smart or capable enough to handle, especially not now when my brain cells are jelly), still had a hope of just buying myself a stupid laptop computer for Christmas.

Which, ha. Funerals ain’t free.

If there are lessons to learn in all of this for me, it’s that living paycheck-to-paycheck may be a way of life, but it’s not a good one. Having the worst credit score in the world means not being able to borrow when you need help. Whether it’s insurance or savings or a rich, non-stingy relative, you need backup.

I think a lot of us isolate ourselves in this world, mostly as a matter of convenience and not always by choice. Then again, as I sit here staring at a pile of e-vites and wondering how to graciously tell everyone that Santa Claus joined the Taliban because I cannot stand the thought of being around happy people right now, I guess it is a choice. No one’s going to beg you to live your life the right way.

And sainthood? Doesn’t pay. I believe in being good and I think that’s the only reason my family members who have passed had good lives. They didn’t have anything materially but they ended things having one or two good, lifelong friends. And that’s more than a lot of people can say. Good people set the example for everyone else who ever came near them — when you come across hateful, spiteful and just plain useless people, you tend to forgive them and feel bad for them because they weren’t brought up right. And people like us want to save everyone, to show them love and how to be good. But it comes at the expense of not looking out for yourself first.

Like right now, I’m so exhausted from handling the weight of the world that I feel useless to those who are depending on me — those who might want me to help them or, hell, those who are paying me to help them. I am not only spent and inconsolable, but I’m also sick. I have a sinus infection that makes me unable to wear makeup. I haven’t had a period for two months and damn it, you still get bloated and achy and cranky even when it doesn’t show up. 😉

And the damn coffee machine’s broken — need I say more?

I feel like that coffeemaker. I feel like there’s nothing left to give right now and I just want to be unplugged and left alone for a little while longer. Unless I can be fixed, which, great. But the second that service guy comes in to make that magic box provide us with happy juice again, we’re all going to be in line, working it to death again. And I don’t want that to be me. I need the distraction, but I want to figure out how to enjoy this life that keeps kicking my ass as it’s passing me by.

I see how we end up — alone and suffering in a hospital bed. The funeral director had to wipe the torture off my grandfather’s face to make him presentable for an open casket. That hospital left him in so much pain that hours’ worth of work resulted in him looking not very much at peace, and certainly not as handsome and laid-back as he was in life.

I don’t want that to be me. I’ve got to break the cycle. I don’t want to hurt my whole life and hurt going straight into my demise.

I want to live and love and thrive. I want to be good to others but good to myself first. I want to shine as much as I can so that when the light goes out, the earth will still be warm from my glow.

I think that happened with my grandfather. I just wish we could say he was able to enjoy at least a portion of all the good karma that he generated — I wish it had come back to help him when he needed it most. But I guess that it gets paid forward — if so, my mom and I are in for a lot of luck, with all the great things he did. I just want to slow down enough to enjoy them when they come. …

3 Responses to Back to ‘normal’

  1. Tiff :

    I don’t know what your coworkers are like, but when one of mine experienced a personal, world-shaking trauma, she actually found some comfort in coming to work. The job is still the job, we were still the same, everything was still the same, and she could stop thinking about everything that was different about her life for a few hours and focus on what she still knew. It helped that we were a generally sympathetic bunch and didn’t mind her getting less done for a little while. Your mileage may vary.

  2. Evil Genius :

    I have no money to give you, but I am sending you cyberhugs along with my thoughts and prayers for positive healing. Hang in there. Life shouldn’t be so hard, but damnitalltohell, it sure is.

  3. The Goddess :

    My colleagues are saint-like in nature. Really. I was glad to come back to them and nobody expects me to pull off any miracles anytime soon. It’s one of those rare places where they’re just glad to see that you’re OK. I like being surrounded by friends — I just feel bad that I’m pretty much going through the motions, even though that’s to be expected.

    One thing I am glad for is that the whole “you can have 3 days off for a parent, 1 day off for a grandparent” goes pretty much by the wayside at “real” employment establishments. They were all, “Take all the time you need.” I just don’t want to take *too* much — I’m just hoping to get back to capacity soon because I do like having this job and all. 😉