Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hoping for a Good Night's Sleep

It is late. I was tired hours ago. I really should try to sleep. Last night I had a hard time getting there, and staying there once I arrived.

I am feeling a lot of stress. I am overwhelmed by the things I need to do. Couple them with how chemo makes me feel, and it is considerably worse.

Interestingly, perhaps, I reached out to someone looking to talk to cancer "survivors." I had hesitated at first because it seemed she may only want those who were able to tell the story of surviving post cancer. But I decided to look up how the term is defined, and it is broader, as it can include people like myself. 

The person's first response to me was to ask if I was "cancer-free." I guess my first inclination was correct. At least it seems. So I explained to her what I just explained to you, and then said that I felt there was a story about LIVING and surviving with cancer to be told. But I also said that I understood if that wasn't a story she was looking to tell.

It will be interesting to see what her response is.

The whole thing got me thinking, as it seems I just don't fit a lot of places these days. Actually, I am not sure where I fit, at all. It is incredibly frustrating to not fit what people think they want and need. If it turns out she is not interested in my story, it may very well be because it hasn't had the "cancer free" happy ending. I think she wants to give hope to people "like me" by having the Happy Ending stories. But why just focus on the end? There is a lot that happens along the way.

But that is "just" me. I wouldn't take that approach, at least not to the exclusion of other things. But that doesn't mean others shouldn't. It frustratingly makes me want to do more within the context of my experience and perspective. Frustratingly - because I just can't. 

I just can't do more. As it is, I wonder if what I do is enough. I also wonder if it matters. I don't even do that much, but it takes precious time and energy. Today I was feeling kind of down as I shared the things I did. I am exhausted. Is there any point? Is there any escape?

Some people get really sensitive at the idea of someone like me taking a "vacation." Someone like me, being someone asking for financial help. The thing is, though, if anyone needs a vacation, it is me. I don't even remember the last one I took - even pre-cancer. Once cancer showed up, I got a 24/7 job dealing with cancer. It is around the clock, and there is just no getting away from it, and all of its tentacles. 

The couple of times I got away were the closest things I got to a vacation. But they were no vacation. My cross country trip I "worked." I did my radio show, and posted blogs, and pictures, and videos. The trip wasn't about me. I wanted to have a conversation that so often isn't had, or is had in the shadows. When I was with my friends I just pretty much lived my life there, as I would here; it was just with a change in environment and scenery. 

Both helped. 

But then I returned home, and returned to the realities of my life, and the around the clock stresses of managing all that I need to, and the hope that I am not missing anything important (which has happened more than once. Many times, in fact.). Managing the reality that my life is a mess. Managing the reality that a lot that needs to get done, isn't. Managing the reality that I am lucky if I have one good day a week. Managing the reality that I can't really be myself, and that much is lost in my chemo-tized state. Managing the reality that the docs would have this be my constant reality til the day I die. 

I really am feeling that I need a break. But I don't know what that means. I could try driving somewhere, but my car has issues. I don't have the money for other methods of transportation, nor for places to stay. I am feeling pretty much trapped. And it is getting to me.

I really feel like the creative in me can't just be creative any more. Creative for creativity's sake. Everything I do I am sharing, in the hope that something will be desired, a donation made, and I will have a little more money to work with. If I go somewhere I usually take cards of some type and/or my jewelry. I feel like I am often "on." And I so need an off. I haven't even tried to bake anything in a while. Been wanting to, but other things have been drawing my attention and energy. I can't even seem to shut down at night any more. I feel so wired. I am sure that isn't helping.

I do not have a "caregiver" to shoulder any of my load. It all falls on me, and I feel like I can barely do anything sometimes. Many times. I feel fortunate to get the things done that I do. If they seemed to tangibly help more, and more often, maybe it would feed me, but instead I find myself feeling depleted, and at times, nearly defeated.

I have all kinds of things I would like to do. I have all kinds of ideas. I just can only do wht I am doing, and am often told - in so many words - that it is not right, or enough, because, you know, it would be a lot better if only I...

What many do not seem to get is that I am feeling like I am drowning. Occasionally my head may seem to be above water, but that doesn't mean I am not drowning. I am still weighed down by all that I have "swallowed" as I dealt with the incoming waves. I can't do everything on my own, but for the most part, I seem to have no choice, but to. And, at times like that, everything is more like a thing here or there.

It really sucks.

I have said for a while that I am tired in more ways than one. There are, though, times like tonight it is much more painfully - and inescapably - evident. 

I wanted to try to sleep, but something was pushing me to write first. I have to hope tha something good will come from this purge - even if it is "just" an ability to get a decent night's sleep.

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