Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am fresh out of the shower. For my regular readers, you know what that means: I have spent some time seeking inspiration in the Think Tank. In this case, I have just been trying to make order out of chaos. I think a story tends to be more powerful when you know the process. It's sort of like a game of hopscotch. The idea is to get to the end and back but you don't land in every square. There is method to the madness. Well, in that case the method is throwing a rock and jumping around, but you get the idea. Explaining my method makes the blog longer, but richer, I think. I guess this is where I could use some feedback from other writers. I am not sure I want it on this blog because this whole thing was rather traumatic, but any of the old stuff and the stuff to come, feel free to offer up advice on how much is too much.

I have chronic fatigue. I have chronic migraines. Up until 2006 I was an outside sales rep. My health really started to deteriorate in 2002 after I got married. Yes, the marriage had everything to do with the deterioration. Stress is a killer. Don't let anyone tell you different. I became addicted to narcotic painkillers to function. Once the doctor realized where I was and took them away and referred me to a neurologist it all went downhill. The neurologist was blunt. "I can keep dosing you as an outpatient for the migraines but as long as you remain in a chronically stressful domestic situation or continue to bang your own head into the wall, nothing will change." He was right. Something did change. I went from a functional person to a marginally functional person to a mostly non-functional person. Finally I became a divorced person.

The only thing that saved me in terms of my career was that I had been doing that job a long time so I had a large and loyal customer base, could do a lot by phone, had a lot of product in supply rooms and lots of orders coming in by fax. The coup de gras was that I could work in the field when I felt good and lay in bed when I didn't. My house was my office and I didn't clock in or out anywhere. Of course, my income took a hit by my spending less time with customers and more time in a dark room.

I thought when I got divorced that it would close Pandora's Box; I would get my life back. That didn't happen. The migraines continued to get worse and my life continued to spiral out. Finally, I sold my house and moved in with my parents in Florida. I did so with the convicition in my heart that it was temporary. My doctor was saying that I needed to live in a no stress environment for at least two years and I really should file for Social Security Disability. I chose to live off the money I made from my house sale and when that started to look bleak I got a part-time job that darn near killed me. (See my previous blog THE THINGS WE SELL OURSELVES for more on this.)

I did go see a friend of my parents who worked for a lawyer who worked on SSD claims to see what I needed to do to go this route right after I moved. She laid it all out for me. I basically had to convince a judge that I could do nothing. Zero. Nada. If you can do Anything they will deny you. You should sell your car. Get your mom to drive you everywhere. And on and on and on. Meanwhile I had just discovered ASK AND IT IS GIVEN and it was all about the power of positive thinking. How could I believe in the power of positive thinking on the one hand and stand up and declare myself to be capable of nothing? I couldn't. I had always believed in the power of the spoken and written word. I was coming to understand the power of a thought. I walked away from filing SSD.

Then we moved here and the mattress/box spring debacle blew up my immune system (again see THE THINGS WE SELL OURSELVES). I believe I said something about being back where I started. I lied. It's worse. That stupid matrress/box spring literally nuked my immune system. So, yeah, the chronic fatigue and the chronic migraines are back in spades and I'm eating pain killers on the hour. I'm keeping journals of when I take them because I can't remember and I don't want to overdose myself. That would be funny if it weren't pathetic. The kicker is that my immune system, fragile as it was, was holding in check auto immune diseases. Now Pandora's box literally is opened and they have come calling.

So, I sat in my doctor's office and had a good long cry and I got to tell her all of the things I don't say to my parents. And I am not going to get started again now or I just might end up feeling as wrecked today as yesterday. But the thing that hurts the most isn't all of the crap that is headed my way. It's my damn pride. My father has been sending money that he doesn't have for months now until I can get it together. Now it is becoming clear that isn't happening. My only option is to file for Social Security Disability. My parents are paying for my pride. My sin of pride. All the way home I kept hearing Mary Chapin Carpenter in my head, "That of all the things that finally desert us, Pride is always the last thing to go."

And so I threw my rock over and over and I am back at square one.


  1. Keep writing; it is therapy. Even when I don't find answers in my writing, I definitely find better questions. I hate that you are going through all of this. Baby steps.....

  2. Oh, honey... this post makes me so sad. And I understand, being prideful myself...

    I wish there was something I could do to help or to lift your spirits.



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