287 // Carry the Burden

This morning was hard, but not nearly as hard as last night.

Some stories aren’t mine to share but what I can say is that having a loved one diagnosed with a severe mental illness can be confusing, frustrating, chaotic, terrifying, and, at times, traumatic. It’s hard to see someone you love hurting so, to see them carrying such a heavy burden. It’s hard not being able to do more than listen and support.

I want to carry the burden for a while. I want to take the pain away.

It’s hard to contend with the disturbing fact that you want to control another person and the reality that you never can. I understand the importance of autonomy and respect that this is their journey to grow through, but I can’t shake the desire to take away their choice just so I can keep them safe. Just so I can ease my hurt a little while.

For now, for me, all isn’t right, but all is better, and some days that has to be enough. Today, it will be enough to simply survive—for all of us.

At least there is comfort in these October clouds and my routine, though physically demanding, will be a welcome escape. I’m trying to remember there are good things happening. I just wish they didn’t feel so far away. There has been more time to call my own this week though I haven’t used it as productively as I’d hoped. It’s ok. Today is a new day and all stressors aside, I can still start again. I’ve already started here.

This was a very un-Monday like Monday. I felt surprisingly social and willing to interact and entertain. I felt cooperative and, dare I say, even happy to be at work. It helps that I knew is would be a short and easy day. I got home a full 3 hours earlier than I normally would and I swear it was almost better than having the whole day off.

It would have been a perfect day if it weren’t for this damn ear pain! I gave in and chatted with a doctor online through my insurance company today and was told not much could be done at this stage. Apparently an ear infection is common after an upper respiratory infection and it could take an additional 10-14 days for the infection to clear up. The plan is more Tylenol, fluids, rest, and cold medication until I’m better. It sucks but I’m glad I could be told that online for free rather than paying to go in and being sent home with nothing.

So, for now, I’m following doctor’s orders (which are actually my wife’s order’s now) and taking care of me first for a little while longer.