Staying positive is hard. The hardest part for me is knowing that it’s not all up to me. A better part is knowing I’m getting help. I’ve been getting help from doctors even before I knew I have ADHD.
Just today I was lying in bed, remembering how awful it was just 2 years ago when it started. I got fired from my job as a statement from the new Operations Director because I was getting too chummy with the union’s committee at work. I had been living for two years in a country that felt like a big tub of water repelling little ol’ olive-oil drop that is me.
I remember how awful sleeping was, back then: I felt tired but I just lay in bed. You know how when you’re falling asleep, in your last moments of consciousness you feel your body getting heavier, sinking in and having that one last thought “This is it, I’m going … I’m delightfully sinking,weeeee…”; do you know that feeling as well as I do? Well, I didn’t have that feeling back then. I lay there, eyes closed, tired and yawning with my eyes closed. Yawning until my closed eyes stated getting teary from the exhaustion. Yawning. I didn’t fall asleep, I fell into unconsciousness. I know this because I know I was eventually not awake. I knew this because it was very violent when the alarm clock went off. When it went off, I woke up like something exploded. It was the only time when I knew what it was like feeling disoriented for a couple of seconds, panicking because I didn’t know where I was and what was going on.
The doctor helped. He got me to sleeping regularly in a short time. I moved away from Austria. I moved back to Germany where I felt welcome again. Like I can connect with people anywhere. It was hard making the change at first. Later, the meds helped. What helped the most, though, was not stopping. Because I didn’t stop, when I felt better, I found everything standing right where I left it – I didn’t have the overwhelming and positivity-cancelling feeling of having to pick up the slack.
Having a tendency for depression and anxiety – that was non-existent in my teens and explosive once I got to college – it’s long been one of my mottos: “keep doing stuff. Eventually, if you get to the point you’re happy, you have most of the work done already!”
Back in April I got an old used bike from a co-worker. From trying to fix it alone to joining an internet Forum and meeting some nice helpful people, with all my ups and downs I ended up getting a 2nd hand bike on E-bay in end of July and, end of August, doing a Tour of about 45km (30 miles) with people I met on the forum. I felt like I was on my way to changing my life. I had also gotten a job offer I quite liked. From whining and complaining that I was lonely and bored during my phone calls with my best friend, I had something new to tell – ok, still feeling a bit lonely, but not bored. It felt like the things I’d been working hard on were finally paying off!
And then I went ahead, and right after the job interview, I crashed my bike. I crashed really hard. I finished my planned tour – crazy gal that I am – but at home, I realized that I needed a doctor. I still could muster enough courage to do a trial-day on my soon-to-be new workplace, but after that, the muscles started bitching and moaning that they were gonna clench up nice and tight to compensate for the fall. I got immobile. I tried my best to go for a walk one hour a day and try to go window shopping, not sit on my ass all day.
But I did sit longer than usual and combined with the new pill I had started a couple of months ago, my left leg cramped up first. Then it wouldn’t let go. Then the pain became unbearable and I couldn’t walk. I had had a DVT – a Deep Vein Thrombosis. I almost couldn’t believe it, because even though I’m obese, I’m not morbidly obese. I walk on a regular basis, I have very low cholesterol and it’s simply not a common thing at 33. It was the pill (that I started taking because of mind numbing pain when on my period) and the sitting. I’m going to be home a total of 6 weeks. I have to bandage and rebandage my left leg several times a day until my “tailor-made” compression stockings are done because I have to keep the leg compressed. The bandage makes it hard to walk normally.
I had to cancel my trip to my best friend: the plane ticket to go to her in France had been a gift from her, non-refundable and we had both looking forward to that trip for months now, mentioning it every week in our phone calls. Because of the DVT, my doc forbade it.
Hit another financial crisis: the little help I got from the state had to be renewed, and because I have a new job in two weeks, instead of saying I still get the money before I get the new job, they decided they can only decide it in December – after I have proven them that I still have a crappy job for two weeks and not so crappy job come mid-October. So after paying lots of medical bills (which are teeny tiny in Europe, but there was a lot of them and I don’t have much), I have no money to pay for my cell and my electricity, even after I asked family for money.
I have been a sobbing mess most days and though I have new ADHD meds, I think they’re working better, but I can’t even tell because well…. it’s an extraordinary situation right now. So it’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard because, although I kept moving, there is still some slack to pick up (the financial slack, that one wasn’t 100% my fault). It’s very hard because I realized, being single and having family and friends far away, that there is no one to help me on my day-to-day life. I’m not completely alone, but there just isn’t any kind of support in the type of mild sickness that almost knocks you off your feet but still leaves you some autonomy. And that sucks.
I had a bitter glimpse of what the future might be like for me despite my best efforts; a glimpse of how poor and inadequate even the best of my efforts are and it’s hard not to panick. It’s hard not to go bonkers. So I sometimes panick and sob. I think this is normal. I’m still thankful for some things.
I’m thankful for being the kind of person who can at least still truly enjoy some little things. In a while, I’m going to the supermarket on foot (can’t afford my bus ticket this week) to fetch a can of pineapples. Because I’m going to bake a one-person-version of a recipe from the french baking-book my best friend gave me for my birthday. And the sun is shining, so I’m gonna be listening to my music, strutting and smiling and happy for at least 5 minutes.
And 5 minutes in 24 hours isn’t much, but if it’s all I can get right now, I’ll gladly take it! Because that’s what staying positive is. It’s not ALWAYS being positive. It’s being able to acknowledge the good parts and marvel at them when they come unexpectedly; it’s being able not to poop all over it just because you feel like crawling in a corner and dying for the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day.
Well, gross exaggeration on the crawling and dying part, but you catch my drift? ;)