I was watching TV with my husband this evening, and something struck me…
Today has been a day. In fact, I’ve had many ‘days’ lately. Too many, actually. Today was one of those days that made no sense. My moods and emotions were so erratic, I felt like a ping pong ball being hit back and forth – the direction of my next move a surprise to everyone.
I’ve felt sorrow today. I’ve felt despair. Doubt, fear, helplessness, loneliness. Anger, frustration, confusion. Insecurity, embarrassment. I felt all of these simultaneously at certain points during the day. But there is still the one I haven’t mentioned. It’s the one that is hanging on tightly, trying to smother me. Guilt.
I feel guilty that I don’t have a big desire to spend time with my family. I feel guilty that I’m so distant. I feel guilty for thinking about how much I want to give up. It’s shameful, really. But at the same time that I feel guilty for wanting to escape it all, I feel guilty for being here and making things hard for my family. It’s a double whammy.
Back to the TV show from tonight. Grey’s Anatomy. There was a woman who had been in the hospital several months, and it was apparent she was dying. She made the decision to be taken off of the ventilator. She had suffered long enough.
Take me off the vent.
During this scene, I couldn’t help but feel jealousy toward this fictitious woman. She had the option of ending her suffering. The doctors understood. Her husband understood. She was tired, and she was ready. It was merciful to take her off the vent.
Take me off the vent.
In my case, this would not be looked at as an act of mercy. It would not be acceptable because my sickness is different from hers. Mine is hidden behind my eyes, and you only see it if I allow you to see it. Mine doesn’t steal my breath, but it has stolen plenty. My identity, my laugh, my smile, my joy, my stamina, my marriage, my friendships, my mind, my time, my hope…and the list goes on.
There is no cure. There is no procedure that will correct the issue. But still, I have to stay on the vent. Frankly, it doesn’t seem fair. Frankly, I don’t want to. Maybe it’s wrong for me to feel this way. Maybe it’s selfish. Maybe it’s weakness. Whatever it is, my insides are screaming
TAKE ME OFF THE VENT!