Thursday, July 07, 2011

digging tunnels

I haven't posted in going on two weeks now, and every day that went by I thought maybe the next day I would feel like writing something.
 I think it's not that I didn't feel like writing, but that I wasn't sure which pieces of life lately I want to share.
But I thought about it, and blogging is the equivalent of a pink, sparkly diary with a lock on it and that pen that writes in six different colors depending on which little tab you press down.

So I might as well be real. Straight up. Factual. I'm about to get all "dear diary" on you. Prepare to be hit square between the eyes with the realness of it all.

Big Picture:  
Life is good. I have food, shelter, water, and the Real Housewives of NY. The basics.

Small Picture:
Depending on the day, I either feel like a fly stuck inside a window that keeps cracking it's head on the glass trying to get out, or some type of mole that keeps digging holes and flinging dirt all around and the tunnels are all intersecting and crisscrossing and up and down and the other moles are all "what the heck is up with this mole" and the tunnels aren't going anywhere but by gawd I'm digging those tunnels like it's my job.

Which, incidentally I no longer am gainfully employed so tunnel digging is actually a possible career option. This is piece number one contributing to my stress.

I'm losing my marbles here people, and here is why.

Thing One: I really need routine and structure in my life to feel balanced. I like to have calendars and schedules and time-lines. And I haven't had any of that lately. My husband's been working a lot for the past 4 or 5 months. A lot a lot. Our church (where he works) finally found a great person to fill in a much-needed staff position. In the time since the last person left and they hired a new person, he's been pretty much doing both jobs. It's kept him out most nights of the week.
 I don't  know how single parents do it. I absolutely tip my little tunnel-digging mole hat to you, because what I've been doing has only been a small fraction of what single parents have to do every day all by themselves and It. Is. Hard.

Thing Two:  I can count on one hand the number of times Juliette has slept completely through the night. She'll be 10 months old in a couple of weeks, and combined with not sleeping well at all for the last 2 months of being pregnant with her, that's pretty much a solid year of not enough sleep. Maybe this is normal. But her older sister has been sleeping for nearly 12 hours straight since she was 4 months old, so this has been a rude awakening (literally) for us. Just about every single night I yell "I can not do this for one more night!!". And then like the movie Groundhogs Day...bam. I'm yelling the same thing the next night. 

Thing Three: I'm all set up to start my own interior decorating and event design company. I have the name.  I have the office space set up in my house. I have marketing materials to mail out...stamped and ready. I have the LLC paperwork that makes it an official company. I have a website. I have everything ready. And I haven't pressed "go". I'm seriously paralyzed. completely frozen. It's ridiculous how frozen I am. It's like when I did theatre in high school and every time I was about to go on, I would stand in the wings and my entire mind would go blank and every word I had memorized would disappear for one horrible second. It would happen every single time. This is like that. Except that this time I have no idea if all the right words will come rushing back at the last second, or If I'll actually be left standing there with nothing to say or show for it all. I can't decide which is worse; that I get absolutely no response at all and not a single interested call, or I get calls but it turns out I can't do this thing that I've hedged all my bets on, that I'm not good enough. That I've put all my eggs in a beautiful, expensive basket and then it turns out the eggs are all rotten and spoiled.
We have about 3 months for me to try and make this work, and if it doesn't, financially we'll have to take a good look at what we're going to do going forward.

Thing Four:  I've never written about my husband's ongoing struggle with an extremely painful neurological disorder called Trigeminal Neuralgia. It's not a commonly known disorder, and it's fairly rare for it to affect someone in his demographic so it took a long time to diagnose, and it's been a long struggle to find treatment. He's been on and off of so many types of medications; none of which bring lasting relief. 
He's had this for nearly all of Charlotte's life...he was diagnosed when she was about 4 months old. So it's been almost 3 years now. It's a horrible, horrible thing to see someone you love be in pain and not be able to do anything. It's also horrible to have to admit to you that I've been seriously lacking in grace and patience with him on many occasions. After I've been alone with the girls all day, if he comes home and isn't able to help with what I think is his "fair share" of  parenting or cleaning duties because he's in pain and needs to rest, I don't always think about him or his needs. I think about how tired I am, and when am I going to get a break.Ugly, but true. Two weeks ago, Wes was gone with the youth group at summer camp and his pain level grew so unbearable that we had to push up a new type of treatment he was planning on trying... from August to as soon as he got back. I'ts a (expensive) relatively unknown and new laser treatment that he has twice a day, every day, for two weeks. He had already been gone for a week at this point, and the girls and I didn't want to go another two weeks without him so we all packed up and have been staying at the empty vacation house of a generous family friend near the clinic (about 3 hours away for our home). We're at the end of week two now, and although he thinks it's working to some extent, he's still having periods of bad pain. I hate to be skeptical, and I want to be encouraging and hopeful, but I just have this giant pit in my stomach thinking about the lack of options left for him if this doesn't work. 

All of these things by themselves have been hanging over me for a long time, but in the past three weeks they've all culminated into this giant rock I feel like I'm hefting around. And I'm pulling it behind me with a baby on my hip and a toddler pulling on my leg and all while it's 1045 degrees outside because GAHH south carolina, you and your summers!!

Well that is enough of that, and if you got all the way through this post you deserve an extra diet coke today. And bring me one too.
 We will now go back to regularly scheduled programming of pretty pictures and lovely things
 like this:

and this:

See, I'm not a complete dried out old prune-y downer. I still have some pretty stored away. It just felt ridiculous to keep hanging the pretty pictures if all they're doing is covering up the big ugly holes in the wall behind them.
Here's to good days ahead. I know they're there. 


  1. I love you my friend!! I am sure that you can do anything!!

  2. I read it all, start to finish. I give you a lot of credit. You DO have a lot weighing on you. just know that your business venture will always be there. Don't let it stress you out. I have been where you are with investing in a business plan and it didn't pan out, but I felt like a thousand pounds lifted off of my shoulders when I just decided that it wasn't going to work. I hope your husband feels better soon. And that your baby sleeps longer stretches...sleep is a divine thing, I feel your pain! thanks for sharing, sometimes it's good to just throw it all out there. xo

  3. Geesh - that is a lot on your plate. I hope this big purge brings a little bit of peace to you. My husband has been also going through what you wrote about. Some pain (not nearly, nearly as official and scary as your husband's) but enough to weigh him down and have me think the same exact things you expressed. Then his job was bringing terrible stress. Then we had a very dear friend pass away and it was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back. He finally found someone to speak to about it all and feels ah million times better. Point is - perhaps reaching out to a neutral 3rd party (someone trained and not your bloggie friends!) would be helpful to you. And if I were any closer I'd take those darling girls for you for a day! Hang in there....

  4. You are so loved Bri. Let us know if there is anything, I mean ANYTHING, we can do to help. You are carrying around a lot right now, and I am glad you decided to vent and express it as opposed to keeping it all pent up inside (cuz we know that is NOT healthy to do). Brian and I are definitely praying for ALL of you, and that this treatment leads to some very needed and deserved healing for Wes. You guys are such an awesome family!! Again, please let us know if we can do anything to help!! I have a mole hat in my closet b/c of my past few months, and I can pull it out if needed!!

  5. Just catching up on blogs today. I'm so sorry about your husband having to live with chronic pain. I hope he is feeling better after his treatments?

    We all feel overwhelmed sometimes. When I think back to how much sleep I used to get before babies I am shocked by how little we can survive on after kids.

    You need to press Go on your new company. It sounds amazing!! I also want to reach out to you b/c I'm a graphic designer. If you ever have clients that need an invite designed my rates are super reasonable!!

  6. gosh, thinking of you sooo much with wes' disorder... i can't imagine. hoping you are keeping your head with it all! and him too.


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