Have you ever stopped to consider how others might see you? Of course you have because you know as well as I do that we are talking about all those labels we try so hard to get rid of. If we step to the side for just a moment, or we change the wording a bit, we might actually be able to laugh at our labels, instead of cry. It’s the whole, “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy,” attitude.
I had never really thought of myself as high maintenance until recently. I’ve always tried to remain independent, not wanting to put upon others and wear out my welcome, so to speak. But, when one has a chronic illness, sometimes she needs help. So I had to drop the façade of independence, in favor of a more congenial, less stubborn reliance on the help of others.
As a disclaimer, despite our grandson’s proclamation that I am always in a good mood, I most certainly am not. I just work really hard to not let others see me, as I go off the deep end, but my poor, dear, sweet husband gets the brunt of it every time.
I have wicked migraines that come on strong and fast and slur my speech and steal my words. I can be in normal conversation one moment, and then the next, I’m a babbling idiot. These meltdowns also come with an emotional flavor. After one incident, I cried and begged Ken to forgive my two-year-old behavior. He said, “Two? More like eight, because you know better.”
One evening during a whopper of a migraine, I insisted on arguing about my jeans and his shoes. I cannot tell you why we were arguing, essentially about the proverbial apples and oranges. I haven’t a clue because it didn’t make sense even as I tried desperately to argue my ridiculous point that night.
It is during my migraines, when I become belligerent like a child, that I am most high maintenance.
When my pain and fatigue shake me to the core, this is also when I am most high maintenance.
When I whine and cry because I am too tired to think straight and I interpret Ken’s gentle coaxing as aggressive pushing, this again is when I am most high maintenance.
He is such a gentle, giving soul, and yet he quickly gives me the evil eye if I am overstepping. It is then that I pray, very loudly, “Lord, please help me to be patient. I know I can be pushy. Please teach me to be satisfied with what I have, Lord. Please let Ken know how much I appreciate him getting me a third glass of water. Lord, I know I am so needy, please forgive me. And thank you for putting Ken in my life. Amen.”
Then he softens, knowing that if I didn’t really need help, I would not ask. Besides, he has opportunities for revenge (oh, you sadistic puppy, you), and he pokes fun at my faux pas (all in good fun, nothing sadistic here). He gets to take a cold, wet washcloth to my fiery body, to extinguish my hot flashes. After all, I do seem to be of that certain age, when women can be overheard saying, “I’m still hot. But now it comes in flashes.”
Moral of today’s story: Laughing at ourselves can be good medicine.