The dark side of a “good day”

Today was most of what I hoped it would be. A perfectly overcast, gloomy, quiet day (mostly) to myself. A day I wish I could repeat over and over again.

The hours went quickly and the day ended as fast as it began.

That isn’t usually how my days go. They are usually filled with anything other than the quick passage of time.

They came home seemingly as quickly as they left. And I’m already dreading tomorrow.

Am I allowed to be angry that I have this life? Am I allowed to go to sleep anxious and upset knowing what the morning will bring me?

At this point, I’m nearly certain my son has Covid. Either that, or RSV. Or maybe it’s just him. His body failing him. The beginning of his end. Is it wrong to hope for Covid, to hope for acute illness rather than the alternative?

He simply isn’t getting better. If anything, he’s getting worse. Monday morning will bring us answers, but it’s torture to wait until then…finding creative ways to isolate yet entertain until we’re sure…where the burden doesn’t lie solely on me alone.

Why my other son isn’t sick is truly nothing short of a miracle…unless he’s just a ticking timebomb as well.

The ugly truth is..I know my son isn’t “sick”. He won’t infect you if you’re within 6 feet of him. But he is…they…are sick. Their lives are more than likely limited, yet I wish my days away from them.

I look forward to my seemingly nonexistent time to myself.

Today was perfect. And it was way too fucking short. I never feel good on a “day off”.

But, today I did. And it’s so bittersweet. I wish I could feel good every day. I wish today were more than a rarity, an every few months type of occurrence. The rainy whether helped. I felt no pressure to do anything but lay in bed and drink coffee and watch Netflix.

I wrapped presents (my almost dead sons birthday is in 9 days…I know. I’m sorry I’m being morbid. I’m genuinely scared for him, and sarcasm is my only way)….I ate hot food…

I fucking had hot coffee. And I didn’t have to reheat it 56 times.

This isn’t a freedom I’m familiar with…but it’s a feeling I don’t want to part from. I shouldn’t have to sacrifice the most basic parts of myself to exist for everyone else.

I’m more than happy to be a mom, a wife, a caretaker…I love it. It’s my identity, and I realize I’m nothing, no one, without that.

But….why does that role have to imply misery? Why can’t I take care of them without have to sacrifice myself, or vice versa?

Tonight, the alcohol speaks too loudly. The empty glass mocks me, daring me to fill it one (or more) too many times.

And who am I to question it?

I’ve experienced enough pain in my lifetime. Before I became a parent, I fulfilled my quota of trauma and pain.

I did my time, I paid my dues. I’ve been through all of the shit.

Sitting around to watch my kids suffer…to wonder every fucking day if this could be their last one….

Why do I have to do that? Why is it on me?

Every parent carries the burden of their childrens pain. That’s just a part of it. A part that I gladly and willingly signed up for.

But why does this have to be my life, where there’s just nothing I can do to make it better?!

I didn’t sign up for this.

My own shit…my own grief and pain is so overwhelming and consuming. I’ve lost a child already.

But I never intended to birth children I would have to bury. No one ever goes into parenthood expecting that.

Today was awesome. It was simple, and quiet, and I spent hours doing nothing when it didn’t feel like hours had passed. Today was an anomaly, one that I’ll likely not see again.

The good is good until it’s not. Until you realize that it’s the exception, and it will never be the rule.

Today felt good until I realized that tomorrow wouldn’t. And neither would the next day…and our days are filled with pain after that. Possibly more so than I could ever imagine.

I’m lonely, I’m scared, and I’m tired.

I had a taste of a good thing today, and it was so short and so fleeting.

I want that feeling, I want the good. Chasing that good feeling is something I’ve done my entire life. Something feels good for a second, so I have to find it again.

But I suppose that’s the exact mindset that makes someone an addict, isn’t it.

Well, shit.

I can’t have the good feelings, so I might as well drown it in alcohol.

Today was good. And I’m not complaining about that. I’m just grieving for the fact that I tasted peace, and I’m scared I’ll never have a chance to feel that way again. I wish every day could have a component of stillness and happiness within it, but that doesn’t seem to be my reality.

I’ve loved and lost a child before.

It doesn’t get easier.

It just means I know what to fucking expect. And it’s not something I want to experience ever again.

1 thought on “The dark side of a “good day””

  1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

    Hugs xo

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