Monday, July 28, 2008

The party in question

For many years, one of our lesbian neighbors has been having a large, very large garden party in July. Lots and lots of people attend. And for the past several years, I haven't gone.

It isn't the people or the venue, it's me: I just can't deal with seeing all those happy, healthy-looking passionate gay couples there (same reason I don't like Pride) and I'm tired of all the conversation around H's health.

Mostly, I am just tired of being the sick guy's partner.

So, this weekend I thought that I would just plan to go to the party…just plan to go for the first time in at least a few years.

Slept in on Saturday. Took a nap later. Good. Putz'd in the garden. Seems OK.

But by 4:30, I was a heaving, sobbing mess. And I continued to be a mess all evening. Even Sunday was a very emotional day. And I'm still verklempt here in the office on Monday morning.

While I'm trying very hard just to accept my lot and make the best of it, I really struggle with situations like this.

Poor H doesn't understand. For him, me not being there highlights HIS loss. For me, being there highlights MY loss.

H just thinks that I want him to die. What he doesn't seem to get is that our situation is what it is because he IS dying.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You are not the center of me

As I've written before , I've struggled with how H's health issues (and the impact to me) have become at times the center of my life. It's all about H and his health and his issues and what he needs and that he's leaving me bit by bit.

And I have fought this centralization (sic), knowing that I can't allow myself to be swallowed up, but usually I got lost in the maelstrom of it. Of course, how could it not impact me?

What I haven't been able to do is to just accept: I am caring for a sick loved one and this is what it is. He isn't any more than he is, which is less than I need. He can't be. He won't ever be again.

And also accept: I don't have the heart to send him away…I couldn't do it when he was so direly ill, so I just have to release that possibility as long as he is weller (sic).

And, most importantly, if I accept it for what it is and don't fight it and rail against it, then maybe I can focus on what I need (which is a lot, admittedly). If I can just get to the point of acceptance that he is what he is and that won't change and that he will continue to be home for now, then (my hope is that) I can be more rational about how I approach my life and what I need.

They say acceptance is the final stage of grief…my hope is that I'm nearing the end of (at least) this part of the road.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bits 'n' bats

Cutting myself some slack

I've been really ragging on myself recently about: my drinking, my performance at work, my social life, my emotional state, my choices, my depression, etc. etc. etc.

I keep forgetting that this is the cost of my choice to stay with H, plain and simple.

Once I started giving myself some grace for why I'm where I’m at, I felt much better. Forgiving others is one thing, forgiving yourself is harder, I think.

At least it's not home

After a bit of time off last week, I can happily say that work is refreshing and just a bit overwhelming. Home is just bleak.

I used to find that I enjoyed his companionship, that it nurtured me to be with him. That is no longer the case.

Odd that work is more fulfilling than home...not because work is so great, but that it's not home.

Giving up

I've tried a bunch of ways to deal with my depression: exercise, cutting back on my drinking, eating better, …. But it's just too oppressive, bordering on debilitating.

Depression is one of the stages of grief, the one that says "I can't bear to face going through this." And I really just can't.

So, today I will schedule an appointment with my Dr. to go back on my anti-depressants. Goodbye, sweet Johnson…it was nice getting to know you again.

Friday, July 04, 2008

If you know what I mean

I get a phone call from a long-time friend's wife yesterday. H and I have know these folks for at least a decade now. I've been invited to a BBQ on the 4th ("we wanted to invite you...") and I can bring "…a guest of your choice…anyone you want to…if you know what I mean."

I said, "Hmmmm, I'm not certain that I do, but H is taking a nap right now, so let me talk with H and I'll give you a call back."

Was kind of taken aback that H wasn't explicitly invited, nee, he was explicitly not invited. This friend's wife also told me some years ago that she didn't like H being around her (much younger then) kids, that he was "too weird."

And when this woman's husband, my friend, was here a week or so ago for a visit, he pretty much ignored H or at the very least, was patronizing and bossy with him.

While I can't claim that I am always the most patient with H, what I can say is that this behavior is not OK. It is not OK to exclude H from an invite and it is not OK to be rude to him.

I think that part of the reason this bothers me so much is that I've already moved on in my head in many ways, yet I still go through the motions of doing the right thing with H. I don't actively exclude him, I try to listen, I try to be supportive.

Yet, I see others doing what I only dream of: H is now yesterday's news. Next.

Once again, the drama is about H. It's always about him; it always is.