Sorry Friend-You Cannot Avoid Being Seen
I see you.
You're so sick of being in this place again. You're tired of time being sucked away by wait times and diagnostic tests. You annoy yourself by mindlessly rattling off your loved one's chief complaint, allergies, current medications, surgical histories and comorbidities. Hell, a year ago the word comorbidity meant nothing to you. Now? Now you understand things you never thought you would. Way more than you should. And people for some reason think you're smart but you dont feel that way. You feel like you're barely keeping your head above water while treading with ten pound weights attached to your ankles while the high tide rolls in sooner than you expected.
Oh...how did I know that you're a frequent flier to the emergency room and hospital?
You wear your experience like an old hoodie you've been meaning to throw out. You are familiar with every tear in the thread, cognizant of every stain but know the comfort it can bring when you're scared. These hallways? No longer confuse you. The wait times? Yeah, they aren't fun...but you understand and are thankful you're not one of the family members sobbing uncontrollably in the consult room. The after hours doctor lines? You have the numbers memorized. When the doctor urges you to go to the ER? You don't freak like you used to, you sigh and calmly gather your belongings and bring the coffee because you know it's going to be a bit. Oh, and the way you direct new comers to the waiting room and tell them where the good vending machines are...give you away too.
You are tired. Just. Tired. Between appointments, specialists, home health aides, new medicines, sleepless nights, treatment days and trying to remember to enjoy life you are just exhausted. As you should be. You are only one person.
If I am seeing you and your struggles clear as day then those who love you have an up close and personal viewing to the inevitable melt down that is going to happen if you do not slow down and accept help.
You are not alone.
I know, it feels like it though. But, I promise you are not.
I'm going to say what you don't want to hear...what you are hesitant to do. It took me a while to do it too, but you have to it makes life easier. Use people in your life. Yes. You know those people...the ones who are asking for it, the ones who are begging for it, the ones who are always hanging around in your most vulnerable moments. Use them like they want to be used.
Take them up on their offer to help you. Let them bring you a damn meal. Talk to them. Let them sit with your loved ones. Take the time to shop, take a nap, hike or simply zone out watching crappy television.
You need a break too.
I see you.
I was seen once too, but after I hit my breaking point though. After the caregivers fatigue set in. After a blow up of magnitude proportions happened...that's when I was finally witnessed. That's when my facade of being able to do everything on my own caustically crumbled around me exposing my weakest areas. When ugly tears couldn't stop streaming and I couldn't catch my breath I knew that I could no longer deny myself the help that was readily available to me.
I could no longer deny that I was being seen. Whether or not I wanted to be noticed- everyone could see that my foundation was crumbling. My foundation didn't have the proper support. But, I was certain that my clumsy attempt to stop the growing crevices that I was desperately trying to avoid falling into-could be bridged with my last ditch efforts of duct tape and dreams.
There is no failure in accepting help.
There is only failure when you refuse to make life easy for you in difficult times. Even the strongest of us need a day of rest to recuperate so we can continue to forge onward as our best selves.
Let them see you. The real hot mess you. And then, use them. Use them so you can be a better you.