Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I am the Anti Mom. And it's probably going to kill me.

Let's put it this way... My mother has problems.  The kind of problems you hide from your friends and hope your enemies never find out about.

The kind of problems that if random acquaintences of yours happen to know about on the same day you happen to have an "off" day, they are likely to tilt their head to the side with that sad, "oh, it's no wonder" kind of look.

The kind of problems there are 12 steps for.

I remember, clearly, the day I decided I was NOT going to be her. I was 13, it was summer, it was hot, I had little kids to look after, and she had locked us out again.

My little brother was thirsty. He was crying, simply for a drink of water. It was over 90 degrees outside, we were outside, and his little face was redder than a beet.

I buckled up my courage and banged on the door. And no power on this earth will make me tell you the rest of THAT story.

I knew... that minute, as I stared defiantly into her glazed eyes, that she was wrong, and I was not going to be her. My brother got his water.

I had won. I was stronger than she was.

Since that moment, I've waged a winning battle against the monster that I know hovers in the back of my spirit. I have an addictive personality.  I know it, and anyone who know me just a little knows I can get a little crazy about things.

I will not take a narcotic, and if a doctor has the gaul to try and prescribe one, I will fire him promptly. It's listed in all of my files, and I'm convinced the dental assistants are terrified of me. I don't care. Every time I get through a painful procedure with a bit of tylenol, and a prayer, it's like a victory stamp on the passport of my life.

I am NOT my mother. This apple did fall far from the tree, thank you very much.

In case you haven't figured out, I'm thoroughly pleased with myself.

Until my last trip to the doctor.

Let's get this straight- heaven has to move earth to get me to the doctor beyond the yearly check up.

So when my driving anxiety came back,  I tried to put it nicely away in it's mental box. It wouldn't go. When I started to have nightmares about my house burning down, I chalked it up to stress. When I started laying awake till five or six am, then dragging myself through my day, barely managing to stay awake, I worried that if I mentioned it to my doc, he'd try to put me on something.

I am not my mother. I don't take brightly colored pharmaceuticals to help me cope with being human.

But I like to sleep.

So yesterday, when my asthma was acting up so badly I was starting to see black,  I figured maybe I'd just mention it in passing.  I could always fire my doctor if he said "mood management."

Guess what? My body was trying to tell me that it was starting not to feel well. He didn't say "sleeping pill" he said "asthma management." My body was sending me emails that said, "you're starting to get sick." I was promptly putting them in the spam bin in the quest to not be her.

So, maybe I need to be a little more forthcoming with my doctor. I felt a lot less crazy when I walked out the door.

And guess what? With oxygen firmly pumping through my body, I drove to work easily and slept like a baby.

I learned it's okay to pay attention.

No comments: