I realized this morning at about 5a.m. that my life is like a bowl of alphabet soup. I’m floating around in a bowl full of letters. I am a BPD with IBS married to an ADHD man with an OCD child….well, you get the idea. I’m sure if I thought about it a bit more, I could throw some more letters at you. But, I’ll let it go at those. There isn’t a day that goes by without one set of letters influencing some aspect of my daily life.
I guess the biggest one is my husband’s ADHD….severe ADHD. He is medicated and that does help, but it’s not a total cure. The medicine helps his focus and forgetfulness a bit, but there are other issues there that I don’t believe the medicine touches. My husband is the most caring man you could ever meet. Sometimes, a bit too caring. He is working on that, though. He will do anything he can to help me out at any time. But, he can be impulsive in many areas, a bit accident prone, if you will. He will fix the refrigerator door, but in his exuberance, he may break another piece. You get the picture. I love him with all my heart, but sometimes….. 🙂 That ADHD is always present in our lives and I have learned to deal with that, learned to accept him for who he is and what that label means to our day to day life.
My BPD–Borderline Personality Disorder–is always there lurking under the surface, waiting to explode. People who live with us BPD’s say the “walk on eggshells”. It’s true. The smallest thing can set off an episode, a meltdown. I know that is not an easy way to live for anyone, which is why most of us can’t hold close relationships or friendships. We are a ticking time bomb. I have learned, through the help of my patient husband, how to cope much better over the past 2 years. He knows my signs, my warnings that something is about to happen. He knows what sets me off and tries to avoid those situations. He is very good at preemptive strikes. I was upfront about my disease from the beginning. I had one disastrous marriage because of my illness and I didn’t want another. In fact, I didn’t want a relationship at all. I see myself as damaged and broken. I always have, which is why I feel like I am lethal to others and should be avoided. But, he broke down those walls by reading up on my problem and accepting to move forward with his eyes wide open. He has been the glue that has put me back together. There are some pieces still missing, the glue isn’t always waterproof, but I’m in a much better place than I have ever been thanks to him. If you don’t know much about BPD, please look it up. It’s a widespread, yet quite unknown mental illness.
IBS….Irritable Bowel Syndrome or otherwise known as “We have no idea what cause your stomach cramps and diarrhea, so we will give you some letters.” I have had stomach problems since I can remember. About 3 years ago, I was taken to the ER with severe abdominal cramps which they thought was appendicitis. I’ve been to every specialist under the sun, had MRI’s, CAT scans, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, and exploratory surgery over the last 2 years and they can’t find anything wrong with my stomach. They found I have Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a disorder of the esophagus, which must be monitored to watch for cancer. But, no solution to my pain or bowel issues. I have been trying to pinpoint foods that flare up my problem, but lately it’s been almost everything. Good way to lose those extra pounds, but not the way I’d like to. Stress can play a big factor in this as well.
My youngest son has had OCD for about 6 years. It has improved leaps and bounds since he was first diagnosed with it. It’s only there once in a blue moon now. It used to be a nightmare, especially all the bedtime rituals he had. I am very proud of the strides he has made in it. OCD can be debilitating, so I am very happy that he was able to combat this problem.
All these letters that make up my life will be put through the ringer this week. My dad goes to an orthopedic oncologist at a regional medical center tomorrow to have a tumor looked at and assessed. I’ve been worried about this for about a month now, so hopefully we will get some answers tomorrow. As their primary caretakers, my parents can be quite the handful at times. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am just grateful for every hour I have and try to pay them back, in some way, for all the amazing things they have done for me in my life. On Thursday, my husband finds out the results of his back MRI and what the next step may be, surgery or injections. Tomorrow, my youngest starts 10th grade. So, it’s a week of trials for me and my alphabet life. Everyone has trials every day and we manage as best we can to get through them.
I just remember to breathe, to take a few minutes to gather myself if I need to. Or a few minutes to scream into a pillow or punch it, if need be. I cry if I have to, yell at the wall if I have to, maybe have a glass of wine. I lean on my husband. I read. I write my feelings down on paper. When I see them on a page, they seem to lessen in my mind. If I hold in the fear and the uncertainty, my body reacts to it. I go into not only a physical tailspin with my stomach, but an emotional one as well. It’s not only unhealthy, it’s exhausting and a waste of time. I have better things to do with my life. I might as well take the alphabet soup and make some extraordinary words out of it. Like “happy” and “hopeful”. Those will do as a start. 🙂