Okay, I am going to try to slow my brain down and write this coherently and concisely. The steroid high has made that difficult of late and I may repeat myself, so please bear with me.
Not only do I probably have COPD, but I suffer from depression (bipolar type 2 w/anxietyx40 years) and have been self-medicating with alcohol for at least 10 years with daily consumption for the last 6 years. Over the last 2 years, the amount of alcohol I averaged daily has slowly, but steadily increased. After an almost successful suicide attempt in 2001, I moved to Illinois to be near my brother. It was kind of insisted upon. I have lived here for 15 years, 5 of those years in the same house as my brother and his family. I have lived with them this time for 2 years. My brother, sister-in-law and her family have been through my ups and downs with me. My sister-in-law's family basically adopted me and treat me as one of their own. I know it can't be easy living with me because I have a hard time doing it!!
So I get sick with a cold on May 14th and go into the hospital on May 25th. When I get out of the hospital, I am so happy to be home and so high on steroids, I am a totally different person. Talkative, bursting with energy and happiness in the form of rainbows and unicorns streaming out every orifice in my body. I am not hiding in the garage smoking, drinking and reading, I am jetting around the house organizing, cleaning and determined to retake my life. I am not moping around, anticipating everyone else's needs so I can take care of them and feel some little sliver of satisfaction. I am not beating myself up or constantly telling myself what a waste of space I am. I have purpose! I have a goal! I want to LIVE!!!!
Now, let's talk about the effect this might possibly have on the people around me. They have witnessed my manic episodes before and weathered them. My sister-in -law and I have always talked and laughed about them. She and I get along extremely well and consider each other friends as well as family. My bro and I don't talk as much as she and I, mainly because he isn't the personal discussions type and he is working a lot. We have our relationship right where we want it to be....bro and sis, joking, playing and always knowing we have each other's back. I have acknowledged my good fortune in having them as my family and thanked them repeatedly over the years for everything they do for me. I am not ungrateful at all!
Since I got admitted to the hospital almost 3 weeks ago, something is different. I feel as if I have done something to offend them. So I asked my SIL. Nope, just a stressful time at work and I don't want to talk about it right now. Okie dokie, must just be me and my screwy perception. I carry on with taking care of myself and the house and the kids. Granted, there is more taking care of myself going on than normal, but that is a good thing, right? I am thinking to myself, by taking care of what I need, I am a better person for everyone around, especially my young nephews whose care they have entrusted me with. At no time did I consciously or intentionally neglect anyone or anything else for self-serving reasons. I wait a few more days for things to change back to normal....doesn't happen. They don't smile at me, greet me or talk to me about anything other than household stuff. If I try to talk with my SIL, she is short with me, cuts me off or simply blows me off. My bro doesn't always look me in the eye and seems to avoid me. What the hell is going on??? It gets to the point to where I am afraid to even ask a question regarding the kids or the house. Ok, this not gonna work.
I request a meeting this past Friday night after the boys go to bed to discuss the dynamic between the three of us over the last few weeks. They decide they want to do this before the kids are in bed. Allrighty then. They immediately go on the defensive when I tell them how I have been feeling like I've done something wrong ever since I went in the hospital. That I feel ignored, in the way...like they don't think I am doing even an adequate job with the boys. Wait, don't have a right to know what the hell is up? Really confused, but for my own peace of mind, I have to get to the bottom of this. During this discussion it comes out that they are worried about a possible crash after all the medicine is out of my system. I understand and share those fears I say. They have lived with my illness for 15 years and it hasn't been easy. I know this and thank them for their patience and continued support. My brother doesn't like the way I called him at work the day I was admitted and asked him to pick up the youngest nephew from Pre-School because my Dr.'s nurse wanted me to go to Immediate Care. He agreed to do so as far as I remember. He said I stated it rather than asked; regardless, he didn't like the way I handled it. Ok....to be fair I couldn't freakin' breath or stop coughing, so that might have influenced the way I handled the situation. I didn't point out that I never go to the doctor and the only other time I missed work due to illness for the last 2 years was due to acute appendicitis. I never even took a day off before I went into the hospital this last time. Didn't ask to be relieved early, nothing. Then I just had to point out how hurt I was that no one, other than bringing me a bag from home, even asked me if I wanted a visit during my two day stay in the hospital. No one offered to come see me and no one did. I didn't expect a visit, but it would have been nice for someone to ask if I would like one. I said that and there was silence. Then I get a few more complaints about how hard it is to adjust to my mercurial moods and how hard it is to live with me right now. I promise to be more mindful of how my increased energy affects those around me and ask if they could simply let me know if they see any behavior that concerns them. They agreed and I thought everything would improve and it has, albeit slowly.
Today I see my SIL's mother for the first time in 2 weeks as she was sick last week. Grandma has Tuesdays, my day off. Now this is one of the sweetest, honest, coolest ladies I've ever known and we have always had a great relationship. I love her and all of my SIL's family. So I take a second to simply say good morning to her. She said, oh hi. Did not look me in the eye and gave me her fake smile. Now I know this woman. You make her mad and she will take a long time to get over it! What the hell did I do to her???? OMG, my SIL has been venting to her Mom of course. Which is fine and right and just, I just never considered it. I was almost in tears I was so hurt. I called my favorite Aunt and she helped calm me down. Told me to be patient, that I am hypersensitive right now and breath.
*Important point: at no time during what I am calling, "The Talk" or my event this morning did I feel compelled to reach for a cigarette. Checkmarks in the win column.*
Now, here is what I would ask of my new friends here on EX. Could you help me figure this out? Guide me as to what to do? Tell me if you've experienced anything similar? I am in my blue canoe, but not sure which way I am going and sometimes the dang oars disappear from my hands. Extra points for guessing the song from which I paraphrased lyrics in this paragraph. Will be listening to it on my way to my PFT today.
Sorry so long. Hope it isn't too jumbled and lengthy.