May 21, 2010

The spotted dogs

Every once and awhile, the reality of having MS and the essential and existential traps it puts one in sends in the depression dogs - not necessarily the black dogs - but the ones with black spots.
Like life.
I hit such a black spot recently. I had had a major flare up of my MS, such that walking wasn't something I could really manage for more than a couple of feet, giving me spasms and twitches and fatigue that knocked me back on my back slumping into that gentle pudding of afternoon slumber...
For the first few days, I was okay with it.  I mean, I've had bouts before, but I'd been lucky - I could usually count on being able to pull myself out in a couple of days, gradually start exercising more, get my life back on track, empty my fridge of the things that had gone mouldy, you know, catch up.
But as the days dragged on and on, I got impatient, angry with myself, petulant, and the spotted doggies started to creep in from the corners, demanding food and a scratch under the ears. I'm allergic to them, so my eyes started watering at the slightest thing: the whine of a Midas Muffler commercial, songs on the radio with words like evening and night and lonely and loss, the delicate ruffles of petunias.  I started getting annoyed, plucking said flowers off and cursing their stickiness, thrashing things around in my fridge, throwing papers around, kicking the spotted dogs til they whined louder. Ineffectually, since my throwing arm and kicking leg were out of commission.  Which made me madder. It's like arguing with a spouse and throwing a tea towel at them.  Lots of flutter, no effect.
I'm a terrible patient, largely because I am terribly impatient. I don't like not being able to do things. I find it unjust.
Eventually, when the dogs get too large or their spots threaten to swallow up what little brightness covers their hide, I contact my "helpers".  They try to help, but they can't give me what I need.
I NEED to feel useful, important, meaningful.  I need to have something to do with my day that gives me a feeling of accomplishment. It's tough to get that done when even moving about takes more energy than you have in the bank. And there's that fine tension between wanting to help others and realizing you just don't want to spend the energy doing it.
I go to a church.  They are lovely people. But now that I am a member, they expect something from me. I don't have it to give, not even the little things like cooking squares. I volunteer, but find I am barely able to push my efforts forward. I fight attaching myself to anything, in case I might be required to do something for someone.
So am poised between the dogs and the wall. Trying gently to push them outward, but not having much effect...

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