Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The good, the bad, and the just plain ugly of being an emotional sponge.

Here's the Story of the Day:
Ghosts of the Past
I'd probably have more trouble with the ghosts of the past, she said, if my memory wasn't shot to hell.
One of my hubby's Alabama cousins introduced me to StoryPeople. Whimsical, odd little things like the above arrive in my email daily. I love them.

If I were writing for them, I'd write one about myself that went something like this:

Being far too emotionally driven to be of
use in the real world, she has decided to
reside in a fantasy world where she wears
flowing skirts and is thin.

For this to make sense to anyone but me, I should tell you what I mean by being an emotional sponge, which is how I see myself. I seem to absorb the emotion of those around me, soaking up their anxiety, anger, depression, whatever. I then seem to internalize it, feel it, take it in personally, which then causes stress which makes my body hurt.

The "just plain ugly" of the above:
    *Pain, the fibromyalgia pain that reigns supreme in my body when I get too stressed. Let's face it, pain of any kind is just plain ugly!

The "bad":
     *I can't really watch the news or those Cops type shows. Sad humanity burns to my soul. As does sad-animal-kingdom. (Weirdly though, I'm so fascinated by Hoarder shows that I can watch that particular sad-humanity-sad-animal stuff. And the animals always get taken care of.)
    *I'm very susceptible to having my emotions put through the wringer. I give you as examples, the AT&T phone company commercials on the "Reach out and touch" theme that ran during my pregnancy with my daughter (seriously, so touching, people reuniting...grandchildren calling.... *SOB*) and movies/books/tv shows can cause me serious emotional trauma. For instance, Grey's Anatomy. I was done with the show after sobbing my way through the last part of the first season. And don't even get me started on that French novel, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" we read for bookclub.

The "good":
    *I can be pretty caring and compassionate.
    It makes me a good nurturer, and being a foster mom to drug-affected babies suited me well those ten years, and I love being a mom!
    *I like most people and enjoy talking to strangers in stores, and love knowing people's stories.
    *If I ask you how you're doing, I actually want to know.

So I guess like most of life, it has its good points and bad points. I'm glad it occurred to me to write this post since all I was seeing was the negative side, but now I've reminded myself of the good. So I guess I just need to be willing to wade through the bad and the ugly to get to the lovely land of the good. 

Skimmer's Recap: Note to self: buy yourself some rubber boots and just keep moving.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

New! Improved! Fibro-Flare! 30% more effective!

"New Improved Elvis! Now with less drug habits!"

I decided I really should write down when I'm in one of these amazing "flares" that join me on this journey through Fibromyalgia-land. Then, when it is over and I am in the land of simply Constant-Nagging-Aches-and-Fatigue, I would feel like the Luckiest (old) Girl Alive! (Insert picture of me dancing Sound of Music style--and try not to laugh.)

Oddly, I had just gotten on the computer to write this joyful saga, and the first thing I saw was an update from Mary on Fibromy-Awesome, in the midst of her own crash. She's young, late 20's, and has been dealing with this Ball O' Fun since she was 9. Yikes. Anyway, it's so very strange to read what someone else wrote about how they are feeling while in your head you are saying things like, "ExACTly!" and "I hear ya little sister!" (Yup, it's weird in there.)

So, just so I can refer back to this when I feel so much better than I do now, I shall enumerate or at least e-bullet-point what this current Gigantor Flare feels like.

  • I am sooo tiiiired I feel like everything I do is in that slooow the recooord doooown voice, which is the speed I can move and think. Not good for driving a car.
  • Everything around me is brighter/louder/bigger/faster, and more startling, possibly due to everything IN me being duller/slower, and more easily startled.
  • My usual non-morning-person self usually wakes around 7:30 or 8 a.m. and reads a while before I get out of bed while letting my body stiffness calm down, but in a flare I sleep for more like 12 hours at night, though I will wake several times, and have loads and loads of crazy dreams that stick to me and follow me around all day like dog poo caught in the treads of your shoe.
  • Many naps are involved in the rest of the day.
  • My head is all "brain-smoggy." It's really called "brain fog" but I find it a much nastier, dirtier substance, thus "smog." I can't quite understand, retain, or make sense of much of anything I try to read to pass the time,  and I will probably come back to this very post later and tell myself to never ever post anything again when I feel this way.
  • My eyeballs hurt.
  • My skin hurts.
  • My head hurts.
  • My hands feel swollen but are not, and they hurt. I clapped them at our barking dogs, and jolts of pain shot through me like the stars in cartoons when someone gets "boff!"ed.
  • Every body part not mentioned above hurts in a "Shoot me with an elephant tranquilizer dart, please!" kind of way. It's a general pulsing, burning, aching sort of pain all along my skeleton.
  • If I take enough medication to not feel the pain, I can feel little else and definitely cannot hold up my end of the conversation, since I may not even be able to feel my tongue.
  • On Fibromy-Awesome, Mary mentions the sensitivity to sound and how it can make you yell things that sound like "you are on crazy-pills." I mostly yell the things in my head, and yes, it starts to sound crazy(er) in there. I find I have to just go away to my room and try to close out the world, otherwise the inside of my head starts to sound like a Porta-Potty looks when you mistakenly look down after dropping your "addition" in the hole.
  • My brain feels too loose or too tight, just wrong.
  • The last thing I want to do is exercise of any sort, and yet I need to.  I believe this is called a "Catch-22," a saying which comes from a book by that name which I have not read, but is in common use meaning a no-win situation. For example: to avoid a flare I need to exercise regularly, but if I get sick with a bad, month-long chest cold and canNOT exercise regularly, I will likely have a flare that will keep me from exercising regularly. See? Catch-22.
  • I can possibly force myself to make dinner, if that dinner comes in plastic and needs only to be warmed in the microwave. Otherwise we have the magical dinner called "fending," as in, "Can you guys just fend for yourselves?"
I am going back to sleep now. Good night.