Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The never ending list

Since I don't see H much - what with me working and him sleeping so much - whenever I do see him, he rattles off a list of what "needs to be done" and "we need to buy."

Now, I've written before about this, but H's requests for the list are doing nothing but escalating. And in the past I'd get all agitated about this (the "I have to do everything" martyr song), but now I'm less upset about the never-ending list.

Many of the things he asks for - cleaning the gutters, ordering pet food, new eyeglasses - are all fair game, but some are just bizarre.

My favorite is the pressing need to tear out a Laurel hedge in the back yard and replace it with a small building…a studio with power and water that we could rent out. The other fun one is that the 42" plasma TV that we have had for less than a year isn't "big enough," so we need to buy a 54" one. So not going to happen.

The other day, he was pressing on getting something done (I can't even remember what it was now) and I did get upset.

"Why are you so pissed off?" H asks me.

"Well, I can't keep up anymore with just what I need to do and you sleep all the time and then get up and tell me everything else you want me to do. And over time, you're able to do less and less, so you just assume that I'll pick everything up that you can't or don't want to do," I said. (AKA "the martyr song.")

"Oh, I don't understand, but I'm sorry." H said.

I thought about telling him that nothing happens in the house or our lives unless I do it, but it didn't seem worth it. So, I just dropped it as I often do. The trap is that I keep thinking that he can understand and empathize with my experience (he used to be able to), but of course he can't anymore.

The challenge is to take what I think needs to be done and talk him down from the others where I can. And since he often can't remember what he asks for, sometimes I just agree and then change the subject.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Peace in the house

Since the very brief conversation that we had, the tone in the house has been more peaceful, more gentle. No real whining, carping, no angry skulking from H.

Part of this is that between me stopping drinking and taking anti-depressants, I'm just in a better mood.

But most of this is just H and me clearing the air with a thank you and a you're welcome.

This isn't to say that all issues are resolved (far from it), but I needed to hear some appreciation to remove that chip on my shoulder. And, as much as I stuggle to not have any expectations or needs of H, I needed to hear him acknowledge what it is that I've done and continue to do.

Friday, September 11, 2009


We're in the office, surfing the Web and H says to me, "I love you (singleman's name).

"I love you too, honey."

H continues, "Thank you for not abandoning me."

"You're welcome."

Friday, September 04, 2009

Great resources for spouse caregivers

If you're caring for an ill spouse (as I am), I've found a great resource at

Useful information on the site, but the real gems are in the forums (you'll need to register). I spent a fair amount of time being amazed and relieved that others experience what I do (e.g., distress over the change in our relationship, should I stay/should I go?, etc.).

On a different note, I started taking Effexor again for depression. Even tho' I'm only a few days into a low, ramp-up dose, I feel so much better. While I have mixed feelings about taking the meds, I can't argue with the results. And I'm a bit worried about side effects, but better the devil that you know.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Be amazed

'Twas talking with my massage therapist, who's actually a spiritual teacher in some ways, about my decision to go back on anti-depressants.

I stopped drinking because I was not functional and now depression is getting the better of me so that I struggle to function, especially at work.

He suggested, "If you could focus on what H CAN do right now and be amazed at anything that he does...loading the dishwasher, folding any laundry, anything really...then maybe you wouldn't need anti-depressants."

At this point, I was beginning to grumble a bit in protest.

"You have a need for him to do particular things...things he used to do...and the fact that he can't is what makes you sad, depressed. Your expectations are what is making you sad. What if you didn't need him to do or be anything other than just what he is?"

Isn't that acceptance in its purest form?

Still seeing the doctor tomorrow, tho'.