I’m feeling particularly down today. Depression is definitely taking hold. I’ve been doing so well and it’s frustrating to feel the walls closing in (yet again). I had such high hopes about getting things done but what I’ve managed to achieve thus far is nothing to write home about. My attempts at working on the pond fell short, along with my attempts at painting. No, it’s not been a total loss. I did manage to get a bunch of weeds pulled in the backyard and I nearly completed grouting all the gaps and cracks in the bathroom. Still, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t seem like much. I’ve had nothing but time on my hands and what I have managed to do with it is squander most of it watching TV. It’s so easy to fall into that bad habit. It requires no effort whatsoever. All I have to do is sit down, lean back, and press that little ‘Netflix’ button on my remote. A friend recommended ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and after I got a ‘taste’ of it, I can hardly tear myself away. My husband and I watched 4 episodes back-to-back yesterday.
There is so much to do and yet, I am back to wasting hours in front of the television. Thinking back, I am all but certain that I know what ‘this latest bout’ stemmed from. I really did have every intention of making a huge dent in the assorted household projects that I’ve been putting off for years. That was one of the main reasons I switched to writing every other day rather than every single day. I was also concerned with running out of interesting topics to write about (and my brain needed a rest). The day the ‘dark cloud’ returned was the day I tried to work on the pond. I got all gung-ho and went outside (while my husband was at work) and started lifting all of the heavy concrete chunks out of the pond. I then started shoveling out a bunch of the dirt and gravel (that had been heaped on top of it). Of course, this was after spending a fair amount of time removing multitudes of weeds by hand. What happened next? The very thing that happens any time I try to do anything physical or laborious since I had my kidney transplant, I got sick as a dog!
I feel like such a wimp! I don’t have time to feel bad physically, there is too much to do! But my body doesn’t seem to care about the pages and pages of projects and/or tasks I wish to accomplish, it does whatever it pleases. When I attempted to make headway on the pond last week, after about 1 1/2 – 2 hours in, I suddenly became so lightheaded that I had to steady myself, and then I was overcome with nausea. It took nearly everything I had not to vomit. All I could do was sit down and take deep breaths, hoping the nausea would pass quickly and I would be able to resume working. I have yet to get back to working on the pond. I’m so disillusioned about the whole thing. Nothing happens ‘quickly’ in my life any longer. The nausea stayed with me the entire day and into the next. It’s the very thing that happened when I I tried to work out with weights about 6 weeks after having my kidney transplant. It happened yet again when I installed the landscaping, watering system, and gravel in the front yard last summer.
My husband was really upset with me when he came home from work and saw me sitting on the ground, looking like I was at death’s door. My face had turned an interesting shade of green and I could barely lift my head to look in his direction. He insisted I go inside and ‘take care of myself’, and then he took it upon himself to finish what I had started. That’s not what I wanted. This was supposed to be my contribution towards the glut of projects we have yet to do. He already has enough on his plate. Because he took it upon himself to work on my project, I decided to help him out by working on his. His ‘project’ for the evening was dinner, and the pork chops were still in the refrigerator and had yet to be prepped. I took them out and started cutting all of the fat off of them and then removing the bones. He finished up outside and walked into the kitchen when I was nearly finished. He wasn’t pleased when he saw what I did. “If you were a sous chef, you would have been fired!” he said jokingly (sort of).
“What do you mean?” I asked, “I was trying to be helpful.” “You never cut out the bone, that’s where all the flavor is!” he said, shaking his head. I could sense his frustration. He then asserted, “If you insist on prepping the meat, then you can cook it. If you want me to cook dinner, let me handle the prep.” Afterward, he said something under his breath and walked out of the room. I felt like garbage. I ‘failed’ with the pond and then I ‘failed’ with prepping the pork. After he left the room, I started tearing up. I felt like a total waste of space. After covering up the pork with some plastic wrap, I put it into the refrigerator and headed up to my bedroom. My husband noticed that I had retreated from the kitchen and called out, “Where are you going?” I didn’t respond and continued upstairs. Less than a minute later, he appeared. “What are you doing?” he asked. “I’m leaving. You’re clearly angry and I’m going to get out of here. I think we could each use some space,” I said glumly as I reached into the dresser drawer for some socks (while avoiding his gaze).
“Look at me,” he said. “I’m not angry, I’m frustrated. You don’t know how it feels to come home from work and see you sitting on the ground, barely responsive, because you don’t know when to quit. You’ve had an organ transplant and are on immunosuppressants. One of these days you’re going to take it too far and I know you don’t care, but I do. You need to leave the heavy lifting up to me and stop taking on these big projects.” “But it’s not fair,” I replied, “I need to contribute, too. I feel like I hardly do anything anymore.” “It’s ok,” he reassured me, “You need to take care of yourself. Now go get yourself a cup of tea, take a seat on the couch, and relax.” He is a good man to be sure, and I know that it drives him nuts because I don’t know how to pace myself. I’ve always been an ‘all or nothing’ kind of person. It’s how I’ve lived most of my life. ‘Pacing myself’ is like a foreign concept. Obviously, on occasion, I do rethink things when I realize I’ve gotten in over my head.
When I decided to ‘change up’ the blog is a great example of when I’ve had to ‘reassess’. It’s not something I warm to necessarily. When I set a goal, I like to stick with it, even if it nearly kills me. It’s been difficult adjusting to writing every other day because I feel like I’ve failed. I failed to meet my initial goal, and I failed to meet the promise I made to you readers. I hate breaking promises and it seems like that’s all I ever do. Among other things, I had plans to write a book and have a show in a gallery with my artwork. Who am I kidding?! My poor ‘Dancing Buskers’ painting, it has been sitting on my painting table for over a year. I tried to get back to it but I cannot seem to find my way. I actually wetted my brush and dipped it into the paint and made a half-hearted effort the other day, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Lively music didn’t even seem to help. I went through the motions for the better part of an hour and then I gave up. Where did I go? Back to the couch to watch another episode of ‘Last Tango in Halifax’.
I really do hope this ‘black cloud’ lifts and I can face tomorrow with a better outlook. I recognize that a change of attitude probably won’t happen unless I can make peace with my physical ‘limitations’. I am grateful that I received a transplant but I really thought that life would be so much more different than it’s turned out to be. I anticipated having boundless energy and really making great strides towards my goals but that’s not my reality. My reality is more like that of an 80-year-old, an 80-year-old that takes a lot of naps and needs help removing the lid from a jar of pickles. My husband asked me today if I was making the most out of my life. “I cannot say that I am,” I responded, “I’m just taking each day as it comes.” I suppose that’s all I truly can do at this point. Some days I feel ok and some days I feel terrible (healthwise). As much as I want to feel ‘great’, I think those days are in my rearview. If I can ever come to terms with my new reality, I imagine that my outlook will change for the better and the ‘black cloud’ will lift. When or if that happens? It’s anybody’s guess.