Dear Diary,

What an unbelievably complicated year it’s been.

On April 1st, my husband will have been off work for 11 months. 11 months of stress and worry, about both his health (physical and emotional) and our finances. I’ve tried so hard to be a steady, strong, upbeat wife, and for some reason this last month has been the hardest on me.

I just feel sad. I think maybe it’s exhaustion that’s manifesting as sadness? My husband has been through so much. He’s had part of his body amputated, now lives in fear he’ll lose his other foot, and I can’t imagine the toll that has taken on his mentality. He’s been so strong for so long, but his ability to hide his pain has gotten harder for him and I want to be his shelter. I want to be there for him when he’s down, but I feel like I’ve been doing it for so long that now I’m finding it harder to maintain.

I have a constant lump in my stomach, and I can’t shake it. It’s like, if I think too much about it, that lump will turn into tears. It’s already happened twice, uncontrollably, and it frightens my daughter and makes my husband feel like he shouldn’t share with me. I’ve never wanted either of them to feel those emotions. I’m so tired of watching my family flounder, of seeing how affected my daughter is by our family troubles, and of watching my husband struggle with mounting depression. I’m really really tired of wondering how we’re going to juggle our bills every month.

Sometimes I wonder what life would look like right now if I hadn’t miscarried. How much harder would it be if I had a six month old baby, in addition to everything else. The idea that a part of me is glad I didn’t give birth, and has given up on having another baby, makes me even sadder.

What a horrible thing to think, right?

We have such an exceptional family who has been there at every turn to help us, and somehow I still feel bitter and resentful. That’s not who I am, and I don’t like looking at myself that way. So, I’ve turned off my Facebook account, because if I can’t control my emotions, I sure can control what stimulates my negativity and choose to shut it down. I would never begrudge anyone success, or their complaints. Nobody’s life is perfect, but we should all be happy. I’m just really ready for our life to get back on track, and I need to not compare.

However, underneath all my melancholy, I think I’ve learned just how deeply reading supports my psyche. See, the struggle of my husband’s diabetic ulcers has been ongoing for nearly two years now and I’ve only really started feeling heavy and brittle over the last month. I can’t help but feel like it corresponds with my inability to read anything. It’s taking me weeks to get through a book that should take no more than a few days. It’s not because I’m savoring, it’s because my brain is too fried to read. Apparently I need fiction in my life to balance my reality, and without it I fall apart.

I have fallen apart.

Yesterday I missed work. I called in sick. I was not physically sick. I was emotionally sick. I needed one day to sit in my pajamas and wallow in a book. I actually finished one, and it felt SO good. I wrote two blog posts, and it felt SO good! I’m writing this right now, I checked NetGalley, I updated my currently reading, put a new book on my calendar, and I felt so much more like myself than I have in weeks.

I don’t know it’s the cure for what ails me. I don’t know that I can maintain the blog, and reading, and my current living world right now, but I certainly believe I now know what’s missing that keeps me whole. I know what my personal goal is. When I can get back here to read and write with as much vigor as I could previously…

That’s when everything will be alright again.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

26 Responses

  1. A couple of things: you’re doing amazing. Second, why are you judging yourself so harshly for having thoughts and feelings? You talk about your husband’s growing depression but what about yours? As a wife and mum I know you want to appear strong and hold it all together but in the long term it will breed resented. Reach out for some support so you can have these moments of your own pain and hardship away from your husband and daughter. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. His suffering doesn’t negate yours. In an ideal world we’d take turns but in reality additional exposure to stress is damaging for our mental health. Don’t suffer in silence x

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  2. I hope your life gets better and I’m truly sorry this is happening to your family.

    Dr. Neal Barnard has helped a lot with diabetes. He helps people fix it through their diet. He doesn’t believe in temporary fixes, but pushes for permanent results.

    He can’t undo what’s already been done, but he can make sure things do t get worse for you family health wise.

    Again, good luck to you and your family.

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  3. 💗💗 I can understand some of it first hand Birdie, and know the struggle that hides behind those words. My husband is diabetic too and started having feet issues. There are more issues going on but long story short, fiction also keeps me going. I know some might say it is avoidance but worrying about it 24/7 only wears us down and doesn’t solve a thing. On those hours we are reading, we are not here anymore and we are allowed to relax and enjoy… and I think our brain needs that break. Just like on airplanes “put your mask first and then the kids” we need to get our mental peace back before we are capable of helping those around us. I’m currently reading about stoicism, it helps me too. I’m going to look up for Dr. Barnard too 😊 I’m wishing things get better soon Birdie 💗💗

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  4. You already know what I’m saying, so I’ll give you only snippets and make it snappy.

    You are a rock. I know you don’t feel it, because I don’t feel like I am, either. But we are. We are the bedrocks of our houses.

    You are an amazing, compassionate, articulate and intelligent human. I’m so lucky to know you.

    If I can in any way help facilitate more peace, please let me know. I’m making apple crisp this weekend because apples were on sale and you know what my husband does with sales.

    I love you. I applaud your raw honesty, sincerity and self reflection.

    You are a wonderful human ❤

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      1. Absolutely – you need recharge time. Just flash your socks and the ‘mean Birdie’ face.

        I will bring apple crisp. I promise this wont be like the banana bread. 😂

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  5. Beware Of The Reader

    Wendy don’t be so harsh on yourself. At the end of the day you are only human. You have feelings and are entitled to them. I can understand yoru struggle as my dad had been amputated from his feet and leg years ago. My husband suffered from severe depression for five years while the kids were small. He often left the house saying he would go and kill himself. I had to be strong. For the kids, for my dad, for my mom, for my husband.
    We may be strong women at the end of the day when you are just plain tired it’s difficult to see life under a rosy light.
    Treat yourself with kindness. Allow all these feelings that you have. Just remember to do things for you own pleasure. If it’s reading books do it! I did it as it hepled me evade my life and live for a few hours in a better world. Taking “Me” time is very important.
    If you ever want to talk without “bothering” your family you can mail me. No judgement.

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  6. Birdie, I can’t even begin to imagine all that you must be going through, I wish you nothing but happiness and that things will look up, and that things will get better, it may not be right away, but hopefully in the near future. ❤️

    Like

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’re going through. I’ll just echo what other commenters have already said — you need to take care of yourself too!

    Like

  8. I’m sorry for all you add going through. The Facebook move was a good one! It effects me so negatively anymore and I end up even more depressed than I started, which is bad because I’m often very depressed already. 🤔

    Like

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