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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This Post Needs A Title and Other Things I'm To Tired To Care About

Let's pretend everything is normal.

Let's ignore the job my husband applied for in Alaska yesterday. Let's pretend my friend didn't call me from an isolation ward of a hospital yesterday. Let's pretend my mother's biopsy didn't come back for Stage 2 cancer.

Let's pretend none of that happened, because at this point, I can't handle anything. My life is great. Everything in my tiny little me-centric universe if wonderful. I slept well last night. My kids are healthy. My husband is still not working in Alaska. Writing is going well. So why am I stressed out?

Probably because I'm human. We're a social species, our planetary dominance is an out reach of our numbers and our civilization building ways. Individual humans are weak. Left without the help of other humans the majority of our species would die (especially if left while very young). We are species slow to mature, slow to learn, and - alas - slow to forgive.

Really, it's a wonder we've survived as long as we have.

Now, I have a confession here, I'm a Fixer. This is usually considered to be a male dominant trait, but it's my personality. I try to fix things. If you tell me you have a problem my gut instinct is to look for a solution. That's just how I'm wired. I probably could change, but why? Things need fixing. I enjoy fixing things. It works. Let's not mess with this.

But it's really hard to be a Fixer when the people you love are far away. Or something like the plane crash in the Ukraine. I want to help. I want to make it better for those people, but there's nothing I can do. The same with my friend and my mother, I have to rely on doctors I've never met who are humans just like me (with a slightly different educational background and a different life experience) to take care of people I love while I sit here and do nothing.

I'm developing an eye twitch.

Sitting here doing nothing is killing me. I'm getting cranky. My muscles are tense and tight. It's sort of an inverse depression where I'm not weighed down by some internal malfunction but being squeezed to death by outside forces I can't control. There's a legitimate reason for concern here (unlike most my battles with depression than spring from a broken somethingorother in my brain). But I don't know how to cope.

What do you do when life gets like this?

How do you handle the emergencies and disasters that you see but can't impact?

Leave me some suggestions in the comment box. I need a way to cope with this and eating all the chocolate chips in the house is not the healthiest way to do this.


  1. I just try and do something positive, even if it's some little thing like making someone smile, or answering a question on Twitter, or letting a car pull out in front of me when we're all stuck in traffic. Just a tiny something to make the world a little bit better. If we all did that, the world would be a better place, aside from the things we just can't do anything about. Like Forrest Gump said, shit happens whatever you do.

    1. True. I just hate feeling so helpless I guess. I want to fix everything for everyone. But locally is a good start. I can help the people here. Thank you for the good idea. :)

  2. Oh, and hugs. Because that's the other thing we can do.

  3. First off, BIG HUGS. Fellow compulsive fixer here. And I agree with Pippa. Doing something positive for someone locally that helps get you out of your head is a fantastic start. And also figuring out the small ways you can help in the other cases. Making a list of easy to prepare healthful meals that are good for cancer patients. Sending flowers or balloons to your friend in the hospital. Sometimes fixing it isn't possible, but just letting them know you're there, you care, is just as important.

    1. I can do that, and it's something that makes me feel like I'm helping even though I'm not there.

  4. *hugs* Sorry to hear about your Mom. I know what you're going through. My Mom was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and given 3-6 months to live. She died at the 5 month mark.

    One thing to remember is that although your instinct is to protect your Mom, don't cut her off from information that you think would stress her. If she calls on a day when the kids have been driving you nuts and asks what's wrong, let her know what's been going on and try to find the humour in it.

    It's hard enough to deal with cancer. It's harder when people treat you like you're an invalid or unable to deal with normal life events in the lives of the people you care about. In a lot of ways it's harder for the friends and family of the cancer patient to deal with it because there is nothing or extremely little they can do.

    The best thing you can do is continue to treat the person as you did before the diagnosis with consideration for their physical and mental conditions. Your Mom will have new limitations because of her health but she's still going to want to be treated as an individual capable of doing things on her own.

    Aside from that, helping locally will help you deal with your Fixer impulses.

    1. My mom was first diagnosed with cancer when I was about 11. I've been dealing with it for the majority of my life. She's a fighter. I'm sure she'll be fine. It's just that we were coming up on four years of no cancer and no chemo. It's frustrating that it's back, but it'll be fine. It always is. It's just... it sucks, y'know?

      My baby brother can't remember a time his mom didn't have cancer. Chemo appointments and living with cancer have become so routine and I wish they weren't. I wish she'd get healthy and stay healthy and we wouldn't have to live with "what if?" any more.

    2. Ack. That makes it harder. I'm not sure how long a person has to be cancer free to be considered "cured" but four years would have made it feel like she was close. The setback is worse because the cancer has moved into the next stage.

      I can only wish you and your Mom and all your family strength to fight this, humour to deal with this, and as many good times as you can have.