I wrote most of this earlier this week except the conclusion, mostly because I hadn’t come to one yet. It’s amazing what a difference a few days make – I’m in a completely different place right now, as you can see from the final paragraph. Keep plugging, friends, things don’t stay hard forever.
I’ve been struggling this last couple weeks, I was out of town visiting my adorable brand-new nephew and helping my sister and her husband out, then my husband was out of town, attending a wedding. The closest I’ve been to seeing him in the last two weeks are some photos documenting that the Shiba Inu at his brothers place really does like his toes, and that he got sunburnt at the wedding.
I am missing my husband badly right now. The cats aren’t tall enough to reach the pony-sized spider that was on the ceiling, and is now somewhere in the house. There’s no one with a more accurate internal clock to remind me that it’s time to go to bed, or to get up, or to eat. No one to make sure I’ve taken my meds, or left the house at any point this weekend. No one to just… check in with, say good morning to, and get a hug from. It turns out after living under the same roof as someone for most of the last 16 years, you kinda get used to them being in your life, and your routines.
When my therapist pointed out last week that missing him made sense, I felt kind of dumb, because I was approaching this three whole weeks of alone-time as some kind of proving ground, reassuring myself that I could be a responsible human adult on my own, and that if I couldn’t, it would be some kind of proof that I was some kind of failure as a human. The truth is more complex, acknowledging that I can want and need support and still be a “success” whatever that means.
To add insult to injury, I forgot my phone at home this morning. I’ve been trying out an Apple watch recently, and it’s made it a lot easier for me to subtly respond to my “don’t forget to do normal human things like eat and sleep” alarms, but apparently since they’re all easily accessible without having the phone to-hand, it also makes it easier to leave the house without my phone in my pocket at all.
I realize I sound like a bit of a spoiled tech-nerd, complaining about a day without one more screen to look at, but my phone contains all my “trusted systems”. It holds a canonical version of my calendar. It holds my med reminders which are especially important when missing doses can cause migraines. It holds easy access to supportive friends and family when I need them, and helps me keep hold of a feeling of connectedness, even when I’m taking space for myself.
I genuinely forgot to go to lunch today, without the subtle reminder that, yes, eating was important. Without as regular a schedule as I usually keep (I really miss my husband!), I didn’t feel hungry, and didn’t notice until I opened a bug, and the date-stamp read “1:20 PM”. Even then, my first thought wasn’t “Oh, I forgot lunch”, it was “the time on the bug tracking server must be wrong, did I miss Daylight Savings Time switching?”. Thankfully, I had a quiet day scheduled, and the only “important” event I missed as lunch!
Even with the challenges that this week has presented me, though, I keep coming back to the important points. I’m fed, clothed, and healthy. The cats are fed, watered, snuggled, and healthy. The laundry got done when it needed to, the mortgage got paid, the trash got taken out. I’ve attended all my therapy appointments (on-time, even!), and made sure not to hide from my friends. It sucks, and I don’t like it, but I really am killing this “adulting” thing.