Previously on Bebe’s Planet:
If you dared to read my post Down in the Dumps you obviously shared in my bizarre revelation and epiphany about where I was in life, and how the bountiful bowel movement changed the course of my life. God I cannot believe I can truthfully type those words. Or you know, I guess I can believe it.
I have been in hiding for many many months. I was on the verge of a very serious breakdown. I had just broken apart. My body broke down and my mind melted. If you are a regular reader of The Crab Bucket I am sure you noticed a pattern in my writing as it became more and more like a personal journal, and less and less like a fun blog about crazy mother stories and weird son anecdotes. I wrote sporadically because the words just got a bit deeper and deeper and I backed away because I felt I didn’t have much to say anymore, and I certainly didn’t think you would want to read my diary.
My company had turned to shreds, long profound friendships and relationship that bloomed in our unique office became fractured because the family had been forced apart. It was a systematic and needless breakdown of something that was very important to all of us. It broke my heart. After years of joking about the man, the man really did flex his muscles and punch me in the gut. My work, and my work friendships (which have since just become friendships, no adjective needed) provided me with a home away from home. I laughed, I talked, and I took pride in everything I did. It was a shelter. And it was gone.
My home life was strained. We only have one income, which only put my work issues on volume 11. We have a learning disabled son and my husband is still recovering from spinal surgery. It’s been the hardest 5 years of my life, and I have had a lot of hard years. I had become bitter, sad, and angry. I cried at everything, eye contact was almost impossible for me, and I hurt every day. My neck and shoulders felt like I was literally balancing a picnic bench on my shoulders, all day and every day. I found no joy in my home life, and I no longer wanted to be any kind of caretaker for my family. I was done. I sat in my bathroom and stared at the shower curtain wondering if it would hold me. If you know me, you know it wouldn’t. I laughed. Even then, I was able to laugh at myself because that was just so absurd. But when I walked into my garage to get something to drink, I looked up and saw the rafters. Suddenly, my absurd thought wasn’t so absurd anymore. It was quite doable. When that became a viable option for me, I knew it was time to seek some help. So I did.
I made an appointment with my husband’s doctor and as soon as he asked me what was wrong, I just mumbled that I couldn’t take much more stress and I needed to function again. I cried a little, and he was really good about it. He wasn’t convinced my neck and shoulder pain was emotionally based though, so he took x-rays and he was right. I have bone spurs and neck straightening. That is where most people have a natural curve in their neck, where mine is straight and rigid. Having this my entire life, I had no idea that it wasn’t normal. When he tried to get my neck to move, it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t crack, it wouldn’t stretch, and it wouldn’t budge.
He made me promise to commit to working hard to make myself better, and he put me back on medication for insulin resistance that I gave up taking ages ago because I gave up on myself. He prescribed a very low dose of an antidepressant just to help me up and out of this hole I was in. I didn’t want to not feel what I was feeling, but I didn’t want to sob my way through talking myself out of hanging in our shitty garage. That is not a stylish way to kick it. He signed me up for six weeks of physical therapy for my neck, and told me that he would hire me in a second if he could. I walked out of there hopeful.
Physical therapy was a dream come true. Three days a week of deep tissue massage, stretching, and electro-heat therapy for a month and a half? Uh…yeah. After a few days of that, I was driving and turned my neck all the way to the side for probably the first time in my life. It was unreal. Every day got a bit better. I was able to wake up in the morning. I was able to stop crying, but not at legitimately sad things on television, which is what I wanted. I wanted to work through this, not fly over it.
I made the decision to look for another job. It was time. I realized that if I was going to make improvements in my life, I had to go all of the way. I wasn’t going to let them eventually push me out, and I wasn’t going to walk into the office every day and circumvent all of the bullshit and navigate around douche bags if I could help it. I found an opening at a highly respectable place with a brilliant reputation. Someone I had known professionally for almost a decade through my current position worked there. I took a deep breath and emailed him and asked his advice. He told me that after 8 or so years of me helping him, it was his turn to help me. He submitted my resume, and after many hoops, I was hired. It’s the work I love doing, in a place that wants me to be happy and healthy. Yeah, it’s still the man, but he is polite and well mannered, and instead of being beaten over the head, it’s a long slow massage. I will take it. I will make more money, have better benefits, and work in a calm atmosphere. In this day and age, to say I am lucky is an understatement. This gentleman stuck his neck out for me based on all of those years at a job that I loved and had to give up. That makes it all worth it, and that is probably one of the proudest accomplishments in my life.
I said goodbye to coworkers and we had a big party. They miss me and I miss them. I was thinking that some sad moments in life are some of the happiest. When you have the problem of people loving you so much that they are sad to see you go, it’s really not a bad thing to be sad about. It’s a bittersweet joy in life that I don’t think people realize. When I think that way, I know that my meds must be working. But maybe not, because I have always been a fruity eccentric Oracle Delphi. I buried my guinea pig in my yard when I was 10 years old and had to comfort the neighbor kids. I just knew Herbie was in a good place. What I didn’t know was that burying him in sand on a dirt bike trail probably wasn’t the greatest idea. Give a girl a break. You can have inner peace at 10 years old but you aren’t an earth scientist.
When all of this came together, I lost 15 pounds. I caught on at the new job and people are getting to know me. My husband and I are working hard together to keep our family afloat and focusing on getting through each day and respecting the basics in life. A roof over our head, an education for our son, and food on our table. Lots of laughter at ourselves, and a fight or two when we need one. Things are looking up for us in a few different ways and we are slowly planning a party at the right time to celebrate our life as it is, and surviving 10 years of marriage. We want to renew our vows, and show our family and most importantly our boys that we can do this, even when it seems like we can’t. It’s fun to have something to look forward to and plan.
Every night without fail I take my medicine, still the same dosages, still with the hope of staying functional without pickling myself. I think the changes have affected the whole house. The Mr. and the boy went away for a week to visit family and left me alone. And I was lonely. I don’t think I was ever really lonely before. I know, a working mom with a chance to be alone is a miracle. And it is, and on behalf of all of my other working moms out there, I respected it as such. But I felt the absence of the very thing that I wanted to run away from. No, I stand corrected. I wanted to cease to exist, and free them of me, and me of them. This time around, I just wanted them near me. It was such a relief. When they did come home, my son, who is never really affectionate, wouldn’t stop kissing and hugging me, and hasn’t stopped since. We make a game out of it. Whatever clicked in his little mind regarding me was a welcome change. He was able to determine that I was gone, and he knew he wanted me back. With most kids that’s a given. With a child like the boy, it’s a gift. Actually it’s a gift for any parent. But for me, it was and is by far the most thrilling thing I have felt in a long while.
I was snapped out of this funk by the fact that I shit my pants and laughed my way out of a coma. It carried on because the shower rod was too flimsy to hold me when I thought about swinging from it in a moment of desperation. I obviously don’t need the shower rod anymore although I guess technically the thinner I get the easier it would be. How ironic. I am not going to lie, I am petrified of sneezing now and constantly think I am going to shit myself all of the time. It’s the equivalent of that fear of falling asleep we all had in the 80’s after watching Nightmare on Elm Street the first time. I think that I might need therapy for it one day. That’s okay though. It’s a healthy fear that I can definitely live with.