I have gone through rough periods in my life before where I was stripped of things I had taken for granted.
Once upon a time I had always been able to earn decent money. I was never rich, but I could do things I liked, and it allowed me to help other people. Then I lost my job, and had a really hard time finding a new one. Even once I did, I never really regained my old footing. Things have never been financially comfortable since. A lot of reexamination went along with that.
Some time before that, I fell into a deep well of pain. I had been carrying it around with me, and I thought I was successfully holding it at bay, until I wasn't anymore. That cheerful disposition that had been the core of my personality was gone for a long time. What came back was worth having, but the struggle in between was really hard.
It appears to be time for another round of loss.
When I first got back from Italy - especially after the trip home - I was really tired, and having a hard time shaking it off. I attributed that to the extra strain of looking out for Mom under unusual circumstances, without any real breaks. I figured it would just take some time to catch up.
I can go for longer than three hours now, but "normal" does not seem to be in sight. And normal for me always meant strong.
It was one of the consolations for being fat, that at least that solidity came with some toughness. People have called me a rock. I have thought of myself as a workhorse. Maybe those aren't the qualities that make you the heroine in a romantic comedy, but they were practical assets and they would come in really handy in times like these.
I am always so tired and low now.
There is an emotional toll to being a caretaker that I haven't been giving enough credit. I mean, I've heard that it's hard, and known that it's hard, but I am only starting to realize how much it is draining me, and how much I am not overcoming it.
There are so many things that I should be doing to try and bring in some money, because I am out. There are also so many things I should be doing to provide enrichment for my mother and make sure she has good quality of life. There is all of this fear and this grief and they drain, but then there comes the sense of guilt and lack of accomplishment too.
As I recognize it, I am trying to honor it. Okay, I am only getting about a fifth of the things that I think I should do done; can I give myself credit for that? Maybe, but the mortgage payment is still due in five days and I don't have it.
That may be going about it the wrong way; in my previous examples I don't think I really learned anything from the experiences until it was all hindsight. Perhaps I should just struggle and keep beating up on myself now, as if I had never learned anything from struggling before, but it would take so much effort.
So it's just limbo - an uncomfortable, miserable limbo - but something has to happen sooner or later, and even terrible changes could remove some burdens, maybe. It's a rough spot to be in.
And the only smile in all of it is a sardonic one at how unfair it is that I should be feeling so delicate without at least having turned slender and pretty.