Rising Stress Revisited

A couple of days ago I mentioned a major cause of worry but couldn’t go into detail. Well, it’s to do with my wife. She had the results of tests on a tennis-ball-sized lump that was removed about three weeks ago and it was not good news. She doesn’t want me to go into detail so I can’t be more specific.

She has been very ill since the operation – internal bleeding causing a swelling as if she had a butternut squash under her skin and acute, chronic pain. I don’t know how she has managed to stand it so far – I doubt that I could.

But the worst part for her as a gregarious, outgoing person has been the isolation of being stuck at home apart from my company when I’m not at work and occasional visits from friends. This is causing depression.

Now I feel selfish talking about my feelings when she is going through so much but I need to write it down to help me get through. I am mostly coping, thanks to the distraction of work, but it is her depression that I find the hardest to handle. I see and hear how she is feeling and I come so close to being overwhelmed that I feel as if I’m on a knife-edge where the slightest push will tip me over the edge.

I came within a fraction of a meltdown tonight – ended up punching a door frame. I’ve got my equilibrium back now but I feel under tremendous strain. This situation is very likely to continue for weeks if not months and I’m worried that I’m not going to be able to cope if I’m having difficulties after only three weeks.

I’m telling myself that I have to keep it together for her sake but I feel as if I’m failing because she is suffering. I’m not managing to meet my own expectations as regards being there for her: I have work commitments to meet to make sure we have money coming in to keep the roof over our heads and make sure the bills are paid, so as much as I’d like to I can’t be with her 24/7. My employers have been very understanding and supportive and I thank them for that, but obviously I can’t be absent long-term and expect to still be paid after my annual leave has all been taken.

So I’m putting myself under pressure to care for my wife adequately, to keep going in my job, and also to try to help keep the household running by doing as much as I can. I try to keep telling myself that I’m not doing too badly for someone who has struggled to look after himself in the past. But I still feel as if I’m being selfish by taking time out for myself – some down time on my own to try to unwind and help myself keep going. I feel as if I could and should be doing more for my wife, but at the same time realise that I need to make sure that I am here over the weeks to come. I really can’t afford to let things get on top of me so that I overload. I’m worried as hell but I can’t let that distract me until the situation improves.

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2 thoughts on “Rising Stress Revisited

  1. Ben, I am truly deeply sad these things are going on in your lives right now. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you and how much stress and upset you must be feeling.It is important for you to take care of yourself, too. I don't have the same issues as your wife by any means, and I'm not comparing myself to her, but I will say that sometimes me being sick or exhausted and in pain so much of the time is very tiring on my family. It's stressful and nerve wracking for them all and they need time for themselves to unwind, relax and do something just for them so that they can get their second wind, so to speak, and be able to come back and deal with all of this some more. I do the best I can to be as independent as I can, but when I'm in flare ups, that's almost impossible.Take those little moments, if you can, and take care of yourself in whatever way you need to and you'll be better able to care for your wife.I will be keeping the two of you in my thoughts,Bird

  2. Thank you Bird. Your kindness and compassion is a source of strength to me and together with the support of my other friends is helping me get through, which in turn helps my wife. I feel very fortunate to have such friends at this trying time.

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