While Thor recovered from his fifth surgery, I returned home for a short respite. Thinking I could catch up with sleep and household chores, I welcomed the break.
I looked forward to some ‘me’ time.
What I encountered instead was a tsunami of emotions – anger, grief, disbelief, desperation, and depression, among others. Caught off guard, I fought to keep them under control, distracting myself with mundane activities, trying to run from feeling.
I called up any available friends, and when that failed, I collapsed into myself.
What I couldn’t shake was the idea that my depressed state was completely selfish. The voice in my head said: “You have nothing to be upset about”, and I agreed. It was Thor who was in hospital and who would have to endure more procedures. It was Thor who was living through pain and myriad doses of medication. My job was to support him, and in my current state of emotions, I felt ill-equipped to do that.
Derek Lin suggests that we have power over ourselves, as our own sovereign. He suggests that when depression sets in we have to “(r)ewrite the meaning of the event.”
It will take me some time to work through this possibility. What I feel now is compounded not only by the reality we face, but also the extensive guilt that overwhelms me. My anxiety has clouded my ability to think clearly and cope with everyday tasks, sapping great amounts of energy, and as a result, I am off work. I am not accomplishing the things that I believe I should be able to do.
Thor will be having surgery number six before I am able to bring him home again. In that time, I need to find a constructive way to deal with my emotions. He doesn’t deserve, nor should he have to feel responsible for my emotional turmoil.