Suck It Up

In St. Louis, 2000.

In St. Louis, 2000.

Sometimes, you have one of those days. And at the end of one of those days, it is so nice and essential to have someone you can talk with. Vent to. Explain and commiserate with. Then, after getting everything that has brought you to the point you are at completely out of your system, this same person gives you a hug. Or a joke. Or reminds you how awesome you are and that you will persevere. There is an easy back and forth and then an agreement that whatever or whoever is at fault for said problem is just not worth it and to just move on. Then, you do. And life becomes comfortable again. Togetherness at its best.

I miss that part of Jim. I miss the man that told me he loved me and how beautiful I am. I miss the Jim that could understand why I was upset about something and could simultaneously listen and make me feel better. Even if I was at fault, Jim still adored me and made me feel worthy.

The loneliness is excruciatingly painful at times.

I can handle physical pain. Really. I can. I think all the years of playing sports helps me tolerate physical pain and to understand it is temporary. “Suck it up” was yelled my way more than once and the sharp pain that would resonate through my midsection as I was sprinting up and down the floor was felt, pushed aside and eventually went away. Elbows to the face or body were just part of the game.  I just recently had oral surgery that was quite painful, but I didn’t take the prescription medicine. Didn’t feel the need to. I guess I take a bit of pride in my ability to handle pain. It just comes with life.

I am not too sure though about my ability to handle the emotional pain that I live with. This pain also comes with life but this pain is always lying in wait and doesn’t feel temporary or like it will be going away anytime soon. This is a whole different ball game.

I suppose I am a needy person. I need feedback. I need ideas. I need reinforcement. I need companionship and familiarity. Jim still gives me so very much. As much as he can. I realize this, but it doesn’t change the fact our conversations are no where close to the candid, open, intelligent dialogues of the past.

I miss the man that knew something was wrong and set about making it right. I am learning how to make it right on my own. I am learning to “Suck it up” off the playing field. The same essential rules still apply: No whining. No crying. The outcome of the game isn’t always fair…..

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (12)

12 Responses to “Suck It Up”

  1. Shirley Sehar says:

    I was just having this conversation with my mom last night! That is what I miss the most! The conversation and the having someone to just hold me while I cry without it confusing him!!

  2. Chris says:

    Missing the companionship…most of all…sitting in a room saying nothing but know what the other one is feeling or thinking. It’s been replaced by sitting in a room saying nothing, but looking over and seeing the lost look in his eyes. I miss his companionship most.

  3. Kathy says:

    I am at this same place. This morning at 5:00, I got a “charley-horse” in my leg. It hurt so badly, but there was no one there to rub it out and tell me in would be ok even though he was laying right next to me.I, too, miss the conversations and companionship most. My husband still has good days, but now they are mostly bad. God bless all of us that are going through this same thing.

  4. Karen says:

    My heart breaks for you Karen. You are such a strong woman and I truly admire your courage and love. Thinking of you. Sending you a smile today.

  5. Judi says:

    Karen, loneliness is the hardest thing about this journey. Please don’t think me presumptuous but may I suggest that you be gentle with yourself? Trying to be “superwoman” and everything to everyone is way over-rated. When you are not perfect, forgive yourself as quickly as you forgive your children for not being perfect. Blessings to all of you, you are in my prayers.

  6. Kimberly Smith says:

    Karen, I am learning about feeling lonely. My husband has always been ready to go with me and the kids when we were going out for lunch or shopping and now most of the time he doesn’t want to go. Just a few weekends ago I took our youngest son to a local fast food restaurant and my husband stayed home with one of the older boys. It hit me while the two of us were eating, “is this how it’s going to be?” My son said I miss Dad going with us. It really hurts, but like you said “suck it up”. What else can you do, but just keep moving forward. But, what I really want is what we had in the past. When he’s having a good day he still goes with us for an outing, which we all cherish. Thank you so much for your posts. I don’t feel so alone when I read them. Praying for you and as always praying for a cure.

  7. Diane says:

    I understand completely….I miss my mom. I recently had surgery and don’t get me wrong my husband took wonderful care of me but even at 63 I still would have liked my mom ther to hold my hand and make me some soup. She doesn’t know who I am when we go to visit and she had no idea I had any surgery. I love you mom.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    The key is summed up in the quote :The loneliness is excruciating at times. When someone even sends the “suck it up” line, some part f you realises that there is a person who recognises that there is something you are doing and they are affirming that and are on your side. Alzheimer’s does not allow that. There is no one to say “suck it up\’ let alone hand out the comfort that you need from one you love and depend on. It’s a whole new level of emotion.

  9. Lois Keller says:

    I totally understand. IT sucks that you have to suck it up all the time. You do every day I’m sure for your boys and your strong and helpful and are also sucking it up for Jim. Helping people understand him, that’s a lot of work and energy. So at night, when you write this blog and lay in bed it’s okay to let all that sucking out. We understand.

  10. kendra billingsley says:

    Karen, I know you miss that but I also know you find many ways to make today count and make the best of everything. The growth you have experiencing is shaping your life and your childrens lives in ways you may never fully appreciate. The key is your wonderful positive attitued that says ” this is what is is, how can we move thru this and still keep smiling” See the love and the humor – even in the dark times. If you feel needy, reach out to us, your friends. We are here. Not the same way Jim was for you but we will listen and offer support. And remember, tomorrow is a new day and the sun comes up again to renew our souls. Remember to be thankful for the times you had with Jim before he got sick as so many people have never experienced that type of love and may not ever. HUGS!

  11. Maureen says:

    The other day my Dad said “Honey, you are one in a million”. The other day my 25 year old Son said “Mom, I think you need a hug”! The other day my Husband said to me, honey you can be miserable or you can choose to be happy. I don’t care if I can’t count backwards from 100 by 7. I am happy and I feel good. This disease has brought out the good in so many people around me. And, I thought to myself, happiness truly is a choice. And, it’s the least I can do for my husband. You are doing amazing things Karen. I understand the sucking it up part – my Dad was a Marine. Maybe that’s why what he said meant so much to me! Thank you for sharing with your whole heart. I’m sure you are bringing out the best in a whole lot of people! xo Maureen

  12. Mary says:

    I know just how you feel. If it’s any comfort, I think you will arrive at a point where you sort of just swallow it whole, your new reality – rather than suffering the torture of sipping it day after day. After that, it is less painful – no less sad, but less painful. I read a few books with Buddhist philosophy that helped some – “How to Be Sick” by Toni Bernhard and “Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows” by Olivia Hobiltzelle. I am a Christian, but I think the Buddhists have helpful insights into dealing with loss and sorrow and the concept of “acceptance.” Hopefully, I am not butchering their beliefs, but my take away was this: suffering is caused by desire. Once we recognize and release the desires, our suffering will cease to exist. They offer some “practices” (mental exercises) which can be used to achieve this goal. Of course, releasing our desires is easier said than done.

    I see that Toni Bernard has written a new book, “How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow.” Very well received – one reviewer writes, ”… a beautifully written guide on how to be kinder and gentler to ourselves. She makes us aware of how we often use our everyday thoughts as weapons against ourselves, and how we can take simple steps to awaken ourselves to a more peaceful way of living.” That’s sounds helpful.

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