Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cephalalgia Sentiments

I'm having headaches almost every day. It's gone on for about 2 1/2 months and I'm beginning to decompensate. I've quit taking my hormones in case they were contributing. Then I quit my St. John's Wort. Then the suicidal ideation began. Just a little, I mean. Is it wrong to hope it's a brain tumor?

I went to a headache clinic last week. It was sort of my worst nightmare in terms of western medicine in that the doctor was clearly not an advocate of alternative medicine nor a student of nutrition. We're gonna do these tests and give you this medication and you may forget what to call a ballpoint pen but you'll still know what it is, so don't worry.

Um, no thanks.

I'm gonna quit my job tomorrow, instead. I've been thinking about it for a long time. I had a concrete plan and then tried to talk myself out of it. All these jobs are like my ex-husband. If he had been all bad, it would've been so easy. Same thing here. I'm hoping the headaches will quit when I do.

The other day at work I thought about getting my purse and keys and leaving and driving to Walmart and buying a bunch of real basic clothes, jeans, t-shirts, cotton underwear, socks and boots, some drinking water and food and driving out to our cabin, throwing my cell phone(s) out the window on the way and just staying forever. I figured Freddy would eventually find me and when he did I'd tell him I'm staying there and whatever he wanted to do would be fine. Stay, go, sell the house and cars, declare bankruptcy, I don't care, but I wasn't leaving. I have a wringer washer and tubs out there. Mental note: add clothesline to the Walmart list.

I get a little excited sometimes when I hear about someone committing suicide because I think, if they had stopped just short of kicking the stool out from under their feet or pulling the trigger or swallowing the pills and had, instead, taken that desperation and applied it to something else, what might have happened? How magical could their lives have turned out? I think we paint ourselves into a corner, thinking we have to be a certain way and when we aren't, we refuse to consider alternatives because they don't fit our idea of what life was suppose to be like. So we redouble our efforts and fight against our inner voice and sometimes, we kill ourselves. Or we drink. Or take Vicodin enemas. Or we have migraine headaches. It's not that I don't know what's going on here.

So what is my alternative on the way to climbing up onto the stool with the cord around my neck? What do I do, instead? I guess I quit the best job I've ever had because even it doesn't please me. I'm telling you the truth, if I lived in a big city where nobody knew me, I'd apply for a job as a dishwasher and when I got sick of it I'd go get another one. Or I'd clean houses for a living. I used to do that and I miss it a lot. I was really good at it, like massage therapy. So far, those seem to be my gifts. And what if they are? What if that's it? Would pissing away my nursing license in favor of cleaning houses and doing massages for the rest of my life really be that much worse than working in a good paying, respectable job wondering how much longer I was gonna be able to fight the urge to cut my throat?

In 2002 I was working two ER nursing jobs and drowning in credit card debt. I felt like I was running as fast as I could and could still feel myself losing ground. I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep up the pace and I didn't know how I was going to pay off my debts without losing my house as a result. I started waking up in the middle of the night scared to death thinking about it. In the Spring, I got bronchitis and had to be off work for a week. I was very ill sleeping 20 hours a day. It was during that week, finally getting some rest and being able to think for a change, that I figured out what to do: quit my full-time, lowest paying job of the two and increase my hours at the part-time, higher paying one. It was simple but I couldn't figure it out until I was forced out of the game for a week. They call pneumonia the old man's friend. Bronchitis is sorta like that for me.

It's a frightening prospect, following your heart. It's not like there's any evidence it's gonna turn out okay. It's more like stepping out of a 6th story window and trusting you'll figure something out on the way down.

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