I retired my laugh pillow this month. It was like losing an arm, not carrying it around with me. Didn’t realize I was getting so attached to a pillow. A million high fives to Melissa Gilson, the angel who lent it to me. Total life saver.
As you probably guessed…this month showed continued emotional obliteration. I did not get better, like the doctors predicted.
I also took my first international trip since India in 2012. The novio had to go to Mexico to renew his work visa so I tagged along for 12 days. Big mistake. Huge.
Physically, I wasn’t ready. Emotionally, well…we all know I was a raging asshole so there’s that. I was exhausted, my GI was in a constant state of agitation, and my emotional health was spiraling downward, which meant Unhappy Erin At All Times. So much anger and sadness and pain. Geez! Where was it all coming from?
This was a really heavy time for us. I was never happy, and I was afraid I had lost my ability to be so. I constantly picked fights just because I wanted to give my rage a voice. I was overwhelmed with the fear that I was now a burden or a liability…something I had never even considered being a part of my identity. I was afraid Rodrigo would leave me because it was more than he signed up for. And there would be nothing I could do about it because I couldn’t control myself.
The anger was the most perplexing. A new experience for me. I get irritated, sure. Every day, in fact. But irritations happen, I acknowledge them, then let it go, and it passes through me like the wind. Gone. But this anger was hot and viscous. It poured over me like lava, and wouldn’t leave until I had given it license to burn through everything in my path. Once everything was thoroughly charred, it would nod with satisfaction, wipe off its hands, and curl up back inside me, waiting for the next opportunity.
Like trying to corral a dragon.
I discovered that I have to plan ahead and bring food with me. BYOF – it’s a thing. WHAT an annoyance. But what else can I do? The level of physical discomfort I had on that trip is something I never want to experience again. And I don’t want to stop traveling so…this is the new me?? Hello. Here is my sack lunch. (plop)
Food. It’s so goddamn crucial to women with endo. Gone are the days where I can pick up a meal from a street cart or wander into any random restaurant and choose whatever I like. I get nauseated if I don’t eat every 3-4 hours, and I get nauseated if I eat food that isn’t endo-friendly. Nausea seems to be my body’s favorite way to respond to this disease. So most all of Mexico was spent being hungry, taking deep breaths and trying to find coping mechanisms. And crying, because I was watching my freedom evaporate before me.
We arrive home from that trip, I barely exhale and then 2 days later we drive to Fort Worth for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving with my family means tons of booze, good food, laughter and parties. For days. We are loud, obnoxious, inappropriate, and have no personal boundaries. I love it so much. But I was so sick and depressed I couldn’t enjoy myself like I usually do. Fake laughter all around. I don’t think anyone noticed, because I’m really good at hiding my emotions.
Through it all, I kept taking that stupid little pill, willing my luck to change at the 8 week mark. It just had to, because I couldn’t go through this process again.