I am a MESS! And that’s OK!
Subtitle: Where the HECK have you been???
It’s so much easier to hide it than have to answer 14 million questions about it. But, hiding it is killing my soul. So, it’s time to declare it. I am a MESS and that is OK!
Last spring, April-ish 2018, I just disappeared and went silent from my blog. I didn’t fall off the face of the earth, I just stopped LIVING! I went into ‘barely surviving’ mode.
Sometime around early April, the depression creeped in but I had NO idea. It came on gradually so I didn’t notice a sudden change. I wasn’t up to farming. I wasn’t up to anything. I didn’t feel great so I just ‘rested’……..for almost THREE full months….before I realized what was wrong!
I called the VA in June, as soon as I realized what was wrong, and told them I was severely depressed and to go ahead and get me back on the psych meds. They said they’d get back to me after they talked to the doc. Cool. Still no farming, but trying to consciously fight the depression. Without meds, though, it’s hard to fight a chemical imbalance that screws with your entire body. I felt SO guilty for letting down my audience. I felt so guilty for not farming. We have done SO much work and here I was not even planting seeds or harvesting herbs! I felt like I couldn’t write a June post without writing a May post, so I just kept falling further behind. Guilt and shame, and depression and pain. Months go by.
……………September rolls around. I hurt myself walking in the grocery store… (seriously, I get hurt WALKING, people, I’m THAT awesome at this stuff!) I called the VA to schedule my knee to be looked at. While I was on the phone scheduling that I asked about that old psych appt I was supposed to get in June. Let me quote, “Oh! You just fell through the cracks.” GEE, THANKS! THAT makes a person feel great, right! I mean, sure, let’s let the crazy PTSD vet, who was just in a suicide intervention program 1.5 years earlier, walk around for SIX fracking months with major depression, right?!?!?!? THAT sounds like a good idea! I had been asleep for nearly the entire 6 months because they FORGOT me! And everyone gets mad at the crazy people for being crazy, and everyone gives the VA the stink-eye….but no one actually FIXES anything! (Oh, and apparently, I have ‘water on the knee’ on both knees and now I have to do special exercises to stop the shooting pains. yay.)
Anyway, they FINALLY got me in to see the VA meds-shrink. Back on the hateful pills in Sep. Blarg! But, slowly gaining traction. Still extreme guilt for missing farming season, and I felt I HAD to fill in the missing months. I felt I couldn’t just skip them and start fresh. What a mess people would think I was!
Just a month prior, my neuro put me on this cool new shot called Aimovig. I got 4 samples (I gamed the system a smidge, but I was desperate, people, don’t judge!) I felt like things were STARTING to get better! The business was doing great (more in a sec). I was feeling almost halfway human, which is actually pretty darn good for my normal level of agony. The samples ran out with the Nov shot, so the meds were wearing off right as we were going on our late Nov cruise. Yay. I kept trying to get the script filled by the VA. (Take a WILD guess as to which med the VA won’t cover!)
During this time, our home business began to skyrocket overnight! It was exhilarating! And also EXHAUSTING. I held in as long as I could. But, I physically don’t have the ability to be ON all the time anymore, like I used to! I can only do a couple of “around the clock” days before I’m down for 2 weeks recovering! I used to be the Energizer Bunny! (That was literally my high school nickname.) And now I can barely hang in for a couple days a week WITH the meds, less if I push myself too hard! Without the meds, I’m completely non-functional. Another division of the VA told me I’m 100% disabled and completely unable to maintain employment, even with the meds!…….uh, DUH, what was your first clue??? Now, get the OTHER division to give me the rating and payout for that decision. The right hand has NO clue what the left hand is doing over there!
Dec and Jan went by, then Feb, no one would cover the Aimovig! So, emotionally slightly better, but physically FAR worse than I was even before the meds! I finally got into the neuro again. I BEGGED him to switch me to a similar shot if he thought ANY insurance would cover it.
You see, before I started the shot, I had about 6 pain-free days every month. Yep, only 6. I’m at home, in bed nearly the entire month in agony. That is my super annoying life. Even on “pain-LITE” days, I’m typically still VERY nauseated and any smell or bright light will have me right back in bed. (So, church is REALLY hard with all the perfumes! Seriously? Are you trying to make sure the entirety of the heavenly host can SMELL you from here???? WHY pour a whole bottle on yourself???? They are SO much worse than the Axe body spray teens!) Anyway, WITH the shot, I was up to a WHOPPING 10-15 pain-free days a month and slightly less intense! WOOHOO!!! (Seriously, that’s an AMAZING improvement for me, so I was truly THRILLED!) The pain-lite days were about the same, maybe slightly less intense, and even though the nausea was WAY worse, it was so much better to have less days of agony. After having the Aimovig samples, and then ran out, I was down to 1-3 pain-free days, in agony far worse than before. Something about rebounding from the pain receptors, etc. I dunno, I’m not a neurologist. lol!
The doc switched me to Emgality. (Side note: He did NOT explain that each and every shot would feel like lava-acid, and would hurt like the DICKENS, so painful that my knees would buckle every time. Yay. But, here we are. My new life. yay.) The Emgality is not nearly as good as Aimovig, but I’m surviving. I’m almost back to my new ‘normal’ before the disaster that was 2018!
My business, which had taken off SO fast in Oct/Nov, NEEDED us (me) to be “ON IT!” And I was barely functional Dec through Mar. So, TONS of problems in certain areas, but hugely profitable in others. The area that suffered the most was the one where high-maintenance clients erroneously thought they would have 24/7 access to an extremely disabled vet instead of understanding what I had explained in the very beginning from Day 1, that I am FAR too sick to have high-maintenance, non-self-reliant people associated with our company. The areas of our company that flourished, WAY past our expectations, were those very parts that other business owners told me would never survive, my self-reliant agent divisions. Business owners told me that I needed to hand-hold my agents, to help them with everything, walk them through every step since they would not read anything. I was resolute in my insistence that “if they refuse to read and follow instructions, then I DO NOT WANT THEM!” I was told I’d fail. I was told that was unreasonable. I was told there was no such thing as self-reliant people who read directions and actually followed them. I was told I obviously didn’t understand the business and that I should get out of this business. I was told the product I invested in was a flop and I was being taken advantage of. I was told that it would never work. You know, ALL the things people say to you when you’re outgrowing them and they feel like they have to minimize your successes in order to feel superior to you.
Yet, I continue to spend a few hours a week working on things for our agents, and only when I am feeling ok enough to be online. And it works!
I say all of this to let you know. I am a mess. But, that’s ok! Others have told me I’d fail, and that’s ok. I have doubted myself, and that’s ok. I succeeded and then failed and got up to try again, and that’s ok. I have heartbreakingly lost dear friends and joyfully gained new friends, and that’s ok. I have cried, I’ve been angry, I’ve been excited, and I’ve had every emotion in between, and that’s ok. I am SICK and exhausted and in agony, and that’s ok. People don’t have faith in me, and that’s ok. I am succeeding our wildest expectations with VERY little effort, and that’s ok. My soul is electrified with a vibration I haven’t felt in EONS, and that is OK.
I have found that thing that my soul was calling out to me to do, I found my purpose. And it works. AND THAT IS A-O.K.!