I cried today. My charcoal tears slipped away all sorts of mess onto my bare knees as I sat on my bed, silent in my misery. They were filled with my makeup because I had just finished getting ready to go to my psychiatrist appointment. Which was yesterday. My tears weren’t the gaping sobs I felt they should be; the kind that I howled to the ceiling and corners of my room while I gripped pillows and stuffed animals and whatever comforting softness I could find, mouth torn down in a grimace of bursting heart. No, these were the new sort of silent tears that have come upon me lately. The kind that suddenly start leaking out when the wound in my heart cracks open and starts bleeding pain again because the sadness hasn’t had time to heal up from the last time yet. They are helpless tears. I am so weary of the helpless tears.
This was the third appointment I have missed in a relatively short time. And there is no reason for me to have missed any of them. I get cards from the receptionist. She calls the business day prior to remind me. I usually write them on the calendar. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of putting them into my day planner. My day planner used to be a very dear friend to me, but over the past couple of years I have lost touch with it, and the sense of grounding it provided me is something I’m trying to recapture. But I still forgot my appointments. And I feel a deep shame over that, because it is NOT ME. I am an extremely organised person, and to forget something like this once is shocking. Twice is mortifying beyond scope. Three times is all of that plus shame, and forces me to admit that the fibromyalgia fog has robbed me of another thing intrinsic to my personality I take great pride in: another part of my personal organisation capacity, another chunk of my ability to remember details, and even more horrific: robbed me of the cognizance of time. Last Friday Melissa called to remind me, and I have had this appointment on the calendar for weeks. I have been looking at it for weeks. Between Friday and Sunday I forgot that my appointment was on Monday and thought it was on Tuesday, even though I kept looking at the calendar and seeing it marked down on Monday. This disconnect with time and days and dates has been slowly creeping up on me, and I had to really face it today. Because I couldn’t make a new appointment until I made payment arrangements to settle the balance of the missed appointments.
The hurt of this comes along with the hurt of my changing body: late stage perimenopause is an agonising process of uncertainty and constantly shifting emotions. My doctor wanted me to permanently scar my uterus or remove it; it seems like letting nature take it’s course is something women don’t do anymore. I guess it’s because the emotional rollercoaster is just too much to bear. I get it, I really do. It’s not easy. It’s pretty damn hard. I don’t know which end is up. But I *do* know that my body is going to be ok, and this won’t last forever. Just like with the depression, I will wade through these episodes because I have to.
I’m on the upswing of a long depressive cycle here, certainly exacerbated by a not particularly good for me medication. I tried prozac because citalopram was killing my sex drive (or maybe, just maybe, that was the entry stage of the Great Hormonal Shift). It put me into a sort of low grade depressive cycle, flat zone for about half a year. Switching to escitalopram has helped me start to crawl out of that valley…but here I am stuck with a mashed potato soup of mixed-up girly hormones, psychiatric meds that need to be monitored and can’t because I done did a fuckup…and the cherry on top is the fibro fog wreaking havoc in the cognitive zone.
Do you know what it’s like to have that trifecta? Since I’m currently in a pretty foggy state and my writing is all over the map, I doubt I could explain it very well. But it’s pretty much like waking up and not knowing what day it is, looking at the calendar, forgetting right after you go to take the laundry out of the washing machine, having a terrific flare of fibro pain once you finish that chore and go to the kitchen to wash the dishes, realise you missed an appointment and then have some anxiety swell up inside you so badly you can’t eat and then you spend half an hour on your bed silently weeping after your son has held you a bit, go to the bathroom because you think you’re bleeding (because you’ve been spotting off and on for a week with violent cramps even though it’s only been two and a half weeks since your last bloody geyser time) only to have insane ibs shits (another joyful fibro symptom), but then get up and dab your face because your makeup is still ok. It’s time to head out with your man son and get your daughter from school and stop at Barnes and Noble. You need a new book light because you wore out the old one. Constant insomnia is hell and a booklight is an absolute MUST because you can’t use your laptop in bed at night or you’ll wake the husband. What day is it again? Shove that horrible crushing pain in your chest down until you get back home and can have your husband hold you for a while.
But in spite of it all…keep fighting. It’s worth it.