After my last post, I worked on cleaning the kitchen. Sometimes, the clutter in my house gets to me. I start to feel buried by all the crap laying around. I’m not a hoarder, but I do have three kids and a hubby and we all have the habit of throwing things on the counter to deal with later. Plus, my kids, like all kids, don’t put anything away, and don’t clean up after themselves unless I ask them to. As I’m straightening the table, rinsing dishes and stacking them in the dishwasher, thoughts that have been on my hamster wheel in my brain make themselves known.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my old job. As I drive my kids to school and pick them up from school, I see people from my old life. My brain goes through a weird kind of process at that point. I don’t consider waving, I just kind of hold my breath and wait for them to acknowledge me. Then, I think to myself, “What do I look like right now?” or I worry about whether or not they think I look sick or not. It doesn’t end there, because then, I start to go over the time since I quit working in my head.
The most difficult part of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome has been staying at home. Fibro/CFS took my ability to work and with it, my sense of self-worth. No matter what I do during my day, in my brain, it means nothing if it doesn’t make money. I haven’t contributed to my family’s bank account and that is something that I can’t let go of. I was raised to work hard, no complaints, no excuses. My Step-Father is 81 years old and he works full-time. He has more aches and pains than anyone I’ve ever met and has health issues for the 25 years I have known him. He gets tired, he hurts and he still works. I have so much respect for him.
He taught me to work hard and not give up. Staying at home, even though I have gained so much time with my kids, makes me feel like I’ve given up. I don’t know if I can live with myself this way. I feel like I’m hiding. I’m scared. I don’t know if I could do a job anymore and I’m too scared to try. I’ve talked to my doctor about this. I told him that I have a good day and worry that maybe I should be working. He asked me, “But if you did go to work for 8 hours, what would you be able to do when you got home?” The answer was obvious. Nothing. I’d be laid low and I probably wouldn’t be able to do anything for days after. I have so many examples of when I pushed through the pain and fatigue to do something with my family and I don’t make it over an hour.
Why, knowing this, do I continue to beat myself up about this? I just can’t reconcile any of this in my mind. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to.
Plus, I think about what kind of example I’m setting for my kids. I don’t even know. I don’t even want to think about this.