Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ten Truths No One Ever Tells You: Part I

Ten Truths No One Ever Tells You

that have been on my mind today either for obvious personal reasons, or in conversations with friends (spoken or, hey, even unspoken)

1. Being in pain takes energy - you may not have much energy left for anything else. You may not like the situation, but you'd better accept its reality.

2. No painkiller works forever. A frequent useful pattern those of us on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds discover is to keep a chart. On it there may be, say, naproxen (Aleve), Celebrex, ibuprofen, Tylenol Arthritis (personally does nothing for me, but hey, if it works for you), Relafyn (nabumetone), Mobic (too tough on my tum) -- whatever. And every three months you might want to switch. Learned this from a sports injury guy (he has them, professional rodeo rider, not just treats them). Certainly true in my experience - they work for a while and either just quit, or the side effects begin to overcome the benefits.

(Thus, the first picture tonight is an aspirin molecule!)

3. Grieving takes a long time - and during that time, you may find yourself suddenly, many times, bursting into tears. Not because anything "reminds you", not because anything bad or sad has happened just now, you may even be sailing along pretty well, and bam! Floods of tears. No, you are not going crazy. This is how it is. Doesn't fit our society's "death of a spouse, hey, I can be generous, why don't you take the whole day off!" attitude, but it's the truth.

4. In non-grieving times, however miserable you feel when you are depressed, or feeling negative, or just grotty, "This too shall pass". I don't know why it is, but I am not alone in tending to feel, when I feel rotten, that it's just going to go on like this forever. Funny, I never assume that when I'm happy! I know that will end. Well, so will feeling terrible, usually, though I think grotty times, being depressed, just like pain, take energy. I don't seem sometimes to have the energy to believe things will be better. Mostly now I just decide to believe that.

(Thus the second picture, an elegant statue for all not in the best shape tonight.)

5. When you're with someone sad, you don't have to be sad too. It's OK to have your own emotional weather. I learned this from a funeral director I worked with many times in a town long ago. He always smiled with people. All the other funeral directors I'd worked with looked for all the world like they were attending their own funerals. Fred stood by the door with a big smile on his face. He told me that, after all, he was not grieving. I was about to speak to him about this improper behavior when the woman going through the door, whose husband had just died, said to him, "Thank you so very much for smiling. Everybody around me is keeping a grim face. Your smile reminds me, life goes on, and even I may smile once again one day."

Thus, just for fun, my favorite laughing horse!

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