Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm getting too used to this - maybe

Maybe I mentioned this before. I'm hanging out at home with the kids this week on a stay-cation because their school ended last Wednesday and their summer program doesn't start until next Monday. For the last seven years, I've never taken all of the vacation time I've annually accrued. In fact, I've ended up losing it because I didn't take it. I may as well have written a check back to my employer. Guess I'm just trained to work all the time because that's what musicians do.

But I'm not a professional musician any more. So why am I compelled to work all the time?
I know why. I need to admit this and come clean - it's called distraction from things that I don't want to face.

The habit of keeping myself so busy in order to not think about something painful started in high school. No, I think even earlier than that. Keeping me busy was a coping mechanism my mom used in order to help us deal with my father's multiple sclerosis. Back in the 1970s, families didn't have access to support systems available today. Keeping us all busy and out of the house was to keep our minds on positive things, and not dwell on dad's declining health at home. By the time my dad died in 1980, I was involved in so many extra curricular activities, I could barely keep my head straight. That's how I liked it. Too busy thinking about practices, rehearsals, meetings, float building, dances, boyfriends, and hair styles so that I didn't have to feel. I was so afraid that if I felt something, I would collapse.

It's been thirty-two years. It's a long standing habit that while I'm completely aware of it, I can't completely stop. I know why. I'm ashamed to admit it, because it reveals my cowardice.

My husband has multiple sclerosis. There. I said it. And the reason why I overload my life is because I go back to the old coping mechanism. I've got be pluck up the courage and be here.

Granted, I'm going to be taking off for a week. When I get back, I've got some major resetting to do.

Steve's cool with me writing about this now. I'm grateful for this; I have a few more posts aching to get out on this subject.



  1. I am not sure how to respond so I will not. Thank you for sharing and I am glad you did.

  2. You get major props, for being real about it, facing it and finding a place to start! That's huge!! Love you guys!

  3. Thank you for sharing. That was really brave. We'll keep you in our thoughts.

  4. Thank you for letting us know. I hope sharing this means you'll also let people help you, because you know we are here for you.

  5. It's cool to write about situations in your life that suck. Writing won't change the facts, but we will get to know you better and maybe we will all feel not so isolated. I'm always amazed by the amount of pain a human being can shoulder and still be a positive, helpful, loving person.

  6. Awareness is half the battle. You've shown the world that you're an exemplary student. You're living your life as a brave and loving teacher. Courageous to share your burden in this way, and please know that we are here to help you carry it, Silagh, in ways both large and small and yet to show themselves. Godspeed to you on this challenging road. I'm near, I'm here ~

  7. Hi there. Thanks for sharing this. I have a lot of friends and very close personal ones too who have MS. If I can help you in anyway I want you to know I'm here for ya. It takes courage to admit our issues and BRAVO to you for standing (or writing up) and doing so. If ya need a shoulder just yell, or write, or send smoke signals! :)

  8. Thanks for reminding your fellow overdoers to stop and think, esp about family, Silagh. And don't forget to get friends to be your nudger/shakers when you (inevitably) fall off the wagon...thank goodness for people who are willing to call us on that!