Monday, August 25, 2008

(I'm trying a) New Attitude

Well, they're back. It was a very short respite, made even shorter by the fact that I had to work way too many hours. All I really did while they were gone was work, sleep, let dogs out, and run errands for my mom. But it was nice to know that I didn't have to come up with any "surprise" money, and it was nice to know that I could sleep for 7 hours straight and there probably wouldn't be a crisis.

During the time when DH was gone, I gave a lot of thought to a lot of things that have gone on in the last year. I thought about all the bills. I thought about how much better DH has gotten since he started the Lithium. And I calmly came to the realization that the "Serenity Prayer" directly applied.

"Lord, please grant me
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."

I think this is a time when I need to exercise the "wisdom to know the difference, and accept the things I cannot change."

Somehow, even though it had been staring me in the face for quite some time, I realized that DH is doing the best he can. Not only that, but he's pushing himself. He knows who he was 5 years ago. I know who he was 5 years ago. A hard worker, assertive, kind, ambitious, rational, organized. And I realized that based on the fact that I know DH well, I can assume that none of those traits are probably things that he would like to change, if he had a choice. Which has led me to the realization that, well, he is doing the best he can. And that especially means that he's doing the best he can job-wise, too. I (and DH too) cannot keep "encouraging" him, pressuring him, getting frustrated with him, when he can't bring himself to look for work. The DH I married would have a job in one day, if he had been out of work and out of money. But as much as I pretend, DH is not that same person right now. I can't keep "acting as if" and hoping that suddenly I'll wake up and everything will be normal once more.

So I've made myself a goal: I'm going to stop pressuring DH about working. It's going to be hard, because his ambition was one of the things that attracted me to him. But I need to accept that right now, working might not be possible. And I think that my frustration makes him more stressed out about working and makes him feel worse about himself, too. So I've just got to stop. I told DH what I had decided to do, and he didn't want to admit, either, that he can't work right now. But then he told me that when he thinks about working, he gets this "sick, scared feeling, way deep inside, I've never been scared like that." Which just reinforces my thoughts. I did bring up the possibility of DH talking with the jobs guy to see if he could get into some sort of sheltered program for the mentally ill. One of those "workshops" where there are all kinds of support people there to help, where the work is very simple, and they get paid something like minimum wage, and all the coworkers have some kind of mental illness. DH seemed like he liked that idea, but I did not comment when he did not call his worker about that, either.

For right now, to the best of my ability, I am going to accept the possibility that things with DH may never get back to where they were before he got sick. Things might never get any better than they are today. I will plan for that possibility, and if things do get better, I'll be pleasantly surprised.


perphila said...

baby steps right? Things will never be what they were but finding a new normal takes time. I am still working on that myself....:) Courage and wisdom....easier said than done but you're doing great!