Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Friday, January 27, 2012

a dropped bag of rice

It's a metaphor. The other day, I had a bit of a money shock. See, I'm not really employed at the moment and I was expecting a small sum of money, and then it turns out I misunderstood and won't actually be getting that money. I can't go into details about the whys, but suffice it to say, I took that news really hard.

I haven't been wanting to ask Dan for money because he just forked over a bunch for a plane ticket to come visit me and then a bunch more for the application for my temporary visa. But the truth is, I am so beyond broke that I have less than no money, and that is very stressful.

A friend of mine keeps pointing out to me that I have been enduring multiple traumas over the last six to eight months. I didn't really take her seriously because I generally try to be upbeat about my situation. I think about things on a cosmic level being everything happens for a reason. So I am adaptable and flexible and accepting, which is all very great. But there does come a point, I realize, that I do have to admit that I have been under a lot of stress ever since, well, a long time.

We moved to the Pacific Rim area for a job that Dan took in 2010, but within a few months of being there, it became painfully clear that this job was not going to work out and we would have to figure out either how to make ends meet in a place that has almost no winter employment and that is, because it is a super popular summer tourist destination, an extremely expensive place to live (not to mention very remote). I never felt I could really settle there, and we despite our working two and three and four part time jobs, couldn't make things work. It came clear that we had to leave the area to be able to build a life for ourselves, and if it meant moving to another country, then we would do it. I was not really sad to leave the area, save for a few good friends I made while living there, because eight months of winter rains and cabin fever really grate on someone like me.

So in May of 2011 I experienced the parting of the love of my life, as he drove off to forge our future on the other side of the continent, three time zones and 3,200 miles away. I had the task of packing up our life and moving.

Then I spent the summer with family in Alberta. Having grown up in that province I have always felt like I 'got away'. I witnessed some unpleasant family stuff that I obviously can't go into here, but which was stressful. I also got really sick in August, enough that after coughing all night long one night I saw a doctor and was given some medicine. I have never recovered from that illness, have had some manner of cough ever since, and have been told by friends in health care that I'm probably still recovering from injured lung muscle on top of the bug that's hanging on.

Then came the shock at the border (moving a second time) at the end of September, where they said NO. By that point it had been four months since I had seen Dan and we were together for barely sixteen hours when the border guard told me I could not cross the border with him. We spent the next ten days together, often in sadness, knowing that we once again faced the uncertainty of our future, not knowing when we'd see each other again, when I would be allowed in the country.

Then I stayed with his family for the following two months. The house was a bit crowded, and my cat did NOT get along with the house cat, which was extremely stressful for me. Toni and the Skipper offered their spare room, so I moved again.

Dan is busy working long hours, as his responsibilities at the brewery have been increasing. With the time difference, it is often difficult for us to connect. We communicate largely by text messaging, and if we are lucky, we have a phone conversation on the weekend.

So I have been dealing with missing my spouse, moving, ill health, uncertain future, poverty, and all of that snowballs into bouts of depression. Back in November I had suicidal thoughts, which is something that never happens to me, so I knew things were bad. I had frequent anxiety attacks where I my brain would just shut down and I could cry for hours on end, with no apparent reason. Sometimes it was linked to PMS, sometimes it was just missing my husband.

I have had a very predictable menstrual cycle for years now, so last month when there was a blip and then a late start, I was concerned. I've already had an ovarian cyst and my right ovary removed, so I didn't want to take any chances. So I had an ultrasound this past week, and it turned out to be nothing. So that's good. But it was still a source of stress.

So with the money shock this week and then just feeling like there was no way out from under, I felt like I was a bag of rice that had fallen, spilled, and then soaked in water. Could not see my way to get up. I worried that one day Toni would come home from work and find me on the floor in a heap, crying for no apparent reason. Wednesday was a total write-off for me (well, until the evening, when we celebrated Robbie Burns Day, but that's for another post) and I wondered what it would take for me to get well.

Last night at about 10:15pm, which was 1:15am Dan's time, I had another anxiety attack. I really hate to disturb him, especially this week knowing he is putting in extra long hours before he's away from work for a week, but he has always said contact him any time I'm feeling bad like that. So I did. It was a text message conversation but it worked. I said "Tell me everything will be okay", and he did. My husband, he is so freaking good at giving me pep talks it is amazing. As I told my Twitter friends, he "texted me down from the edge".

I know I haven't really told you much about my inner workings, dear reader, at least not on the Internet. One must be careful what they put up for public consumption. I am in no way seeking sympathy or pity or anything like that. I'm just being honest with you and letting you know that yes, this has all been very hard on me. Luckily I have dozens of good people in my life here, dozens more on Twitter, and tons of friends-I-haven't-met-yet waiting for me in North Carolina. I will see Dan tomorrow, he'll be here for an eight-day visit, and I can reset my mental health. (So if I don't post between now and Feb 4, it's because I'm busy with my husband!)

1 comment:

  1. As someone who has dealt with major depression on and off for 45 years, I am at the point where I would be more worried if you didn't have an occasional meltdown with all that has gone on. I know when you and your hub are living in the same place things will slowly work themselves out. I'm glad you seem to have a good support system. Not everyone is that lucky!