A mid-life marriage is like a good carpet. It’s stood the test of time and is a little frayed around the edges. A few stains here and there, but still serviceable. You walk all over it without much thought because it’s there all the time whether you notice it or not. The only time you become concerned is when company is coming and you don’t want them to trip over it or think “eeww, they should really get rid of this pox ridden flea trap.”
I think the thing to do is drag it outside, hang over the fence and beat the living crap out of it. Beat it good and hard, let the dust cloud clear out, then beat some more. You can get rid of a boat load of stuffed down aggravations this way. If you’re really in snit, beat all the furniture. Trust me, it can take it.
Trim off any straggly fringes. Oh come on, seriously, are you EVER gonna get down there and sew them back on? I like to compare fringes on carpet to those daily annoying habitual spats. Do you snark at each other every morning about who wants which coffee. Get another coffee pot, his and hers. A buck 50 will get one at a thrift store. I have a least that much in change floating around in the bottom of my purse. If it doesn’t work so what? Give it back to the thrift store. No, just joking on that one. Do the world a favor and throw it out. Just a suggestion, I don’t live in your house do I don’t know what goes on there in the morning or any other time. But you do and you know. If you don’t, what pills are you taking anyway?
I learned a great lesson about early mornings, and coffee, and spouses from my sister, almost half my age. I’ve found that I learn a lot from anyone if I shut my trap and listen, instead of dispensing sage advice from my pedestal of advanced age. She claims that she and her husband of 15 years have reached an unspoken agreement regarding mornings. They don’t try to talk to each other until after they’ve had their coffee. If they do, it can get bad real quick.
Back to the carpet. If it’s a Persian rug or a Persian wanna-be, I know a solution for those pesky faded spots. I speak as an expert on this because I did part-time piece work for a friend who owned a Persian Rug shop. Go to an art store and get some good quality art markers. The liquid kind, not the grease pencil type. Then get down on the carpet and draw on it like you’re a kid with a coloring book. Choose colors that are close to the color near the carpet’s bare spot and fill it in with the marker. It’s actually fun and if you do it with the windows closed you’ll get a buzz from the markers and start coloring on everything, so consider yourself forewarned. When admiring your work standing up you cannot tell that the carpet is worn or faded. If you have a who guest notices, then he or she is so drunk that they have their nose in the carpet. Deny everything and send them home.
Another thought about fringes and straggles in your marriage is to do a bit of soul-searching. I know, I know, what a gruesome task. But only do it a little bit. Do you have a favorite comfy shirt that has stains on it or pair of pants that make you look like a bag lady and when you wear it you spouse rolls their eyes and shudders. Get rid of it—Today! It will only hurt a little and you’ll have forgotten all about it by tomorrow.
If there is some one little thing your spouse does that drives you bat-shit crazy? Tell them what you want for Christmas is for them to lose that habit. It might just work. If not work on ignoring skills. They might turn the tables on you and ask you to stop something that you do. I feel safe because I’m a perfect lady and never do anything annoying. (I threw that in there because the Hub-man reads this blog and I like to zing him.)
Whatever the 2 of you come up with to make it through your day-to-day life is fair game. It all works out in the end.
Yea, you heard me, “I fought the Meds and the Meds won.” Well Phooey, I say. Damn and drat and hogwash and and and… I give up. Those of us who do suffer from mental illness need to remind ourselves that it is not a fig newton of our hallucination.
I did the very thing to myself that others do about depression and other mental disorders. I feel fine! I don’t need no stinkin drugs! Well duh, I feel fine because I am one of the lucky ones that found a good combination of head meds. A combo where the benefits far outweighed the side effects. Mr. Husband was on board with this, one thousand percent. He never said any crap like; just snap out of it, you’re just not facing reality, blah blah blah, rutabaga, rutabaga.
So what did I do because I felt all fine and dandy? I decided to cut back on the meds. That’s the cruel joke, you feel good so you think you are “normal” now and don’t need meds. Now granted I did this with my Physiokeeatrist’s supervision. She did not suggest it. I did and she said “well if you want to try cutting back on drug X, try it for a month and then check back and we’ll reassess your situation.” Thinking back on it, I don’t recall that she jumped out of her chair to do the happy dance.
So I cut out drug X and for about a week I was on cloud 9. Tra La La, I feel happy, down to only 1 head pill. If I felt any withdrawal side effects they were minor and traveling, drinking, partying, etc. masked them well enough.
About a week ago the demon came roaring back. He started as this little black smoke puff of annoyance and then it grew into a raging Dante’s inferno of anger, lethargy, fidgets, anxiety, can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t not think, but too tired to do anything. Then it escalated to weird aches and pains I had forgotten about, migraines, and a general but undefined desire to blow up the house. (Just kidding Mr. Hubman, about the house part, but you know what I mean) Brushing my teeth was the big accomplishment of the day. Taking a shower was going into the bonus round.
Then last night I was laying in the recliner thinking; maybe if I’m still enough, I’ll just sink down into the cushions and merge with it, and no one will ever know I was even here, ever. The earth will keep on turning without my assistance. Ding, ding, ding, – danger danger Will Robinson.
That’s when I said, “to hell with this! Who am I trying to kid? Myself, that’s who.” Or rather, that little devil that sits on my shoulder and whispers thing like “you don’t need these meds, wouldn’t you like to be able to brag about being 57 and not taking any meds at all.” Now that’s just plain silly, I do need meds for diabetes and now I’m trying to tell myself that I shouldn’t even be taking that?
So I headed to my magic pill box and took the pill that I “didn’t need.” Well turns out I do need it. I didn’t like that version of me without it. An hour later I felt some semblance of normal. As in happy in general, relaxed, wanting to do stuff. Then I got sleepy at a “normal” hour (for me) and went to bed. I’ll be damned that I did actually sleep, all night.
This morning I woke up happy, before Mr. Husband even. I got dressed…in clothes and brushed my hair. The birds are singing. They were before but it annoyed me. I made coffee! Now I’m drinking the coffee and it tastes good! I stuffed a sock in the mouth of the little nag who says crap like “coffee isn’t good for you.” To hell it’s not! I like it dammit. And I intend to continue drinking it. Bury me with a coffee cup in my hand. But not anytime soon I hope.
So life is good again. The moral of this tale is that if you suffer from mental illness, you have to stop fighting with it. It’s not a battle you can win. It’s a true test of having to trust others to be on your side and there for you. If your spouse, significant other, friends are telling you that there has been an overnight sea change because you went back on your meds. If you notice that people around you are walking flat footed instead of tip toeing around. Well……maybe you need the damn things. Just think of them as one of your food groups and get on with your life.
One thing I forgot to mention in all this rampant absenteeism was a wee little round trip to New Orleans by car. Went there in February for a week to do a spring cleaning of my mother’s apartment. Why on earth would I want to do this? Good question. Mother’s house has gotten a little out of hand over the years because she can’t say no to anyone who needs shelter from the storm. Some of the shelterees left belongings behind. Mom won’t throw anything away. So there you go.
Spring cleaning has a fine tradition dating back to before dinosaurs roamed the earth. I assume there was a temporary break during the Ice Age due to no spring occurring. OK I made that up, but it’s going strong again. Seriously, and according to Wikipedia it dates back to the Persian New Year. It’s called “khooneh tekouni” and means “shaking the house.”
Sister, Mother and I shook her house for almost a week. Started with the ceiling and worked our way down the walls to the floor. Nothing was sacred. We threw so much stuff out that some of we had to sneak stuff out on different trash days so the neighbors didn’t freak out thinking some one died. I’d estimate that we spent 2/3rds of our time cleaning and the remaining waking hours consuming beer. It’s necessary to keep the momentum going.
Mother was a good sport about the whole thing. I forget to tell her that was why I was coming New Orleans. “Hi, I’m here to tear your house apart” isn’t the best opening line for a houseguest. But, with 2 daughters who know enough to not throw away her most treasured possessions we managed to get the job done.
During this trip I purchased and assembled a pub set for Momazelle’s kitchen. It took 2 days and a lot of beer and swearing, but the final result looks great in her kitchen. Thinking back on the whole adventure I now know why I took a break when I got home.
PS: We also consumed massive amounts of fresh roasted coffee. My sister’s husband owns a coffee brewery in New Orleans. He does good coffee. Yum Yum. She sent me a link to a recent article post about his coffee over on NOLA.COM