How many times do you get asked “How are you” or “How are things going”? And how often do you respond with the blanket “good”? I do this often, it’s a way for me to “sugar coat” my life and make people believe that everything is going great in my life — when in reality, this is not always true. If I told you the honest truth you might be surprised by my answer. If I told you the truth you might stop asking me that question. If I told you the truth my response, at this point in my life, would be somewhere along the lines of overwhelmed, tired, sad, tired, run down, feel like I’m drowning, tired — well you get the gist. It wouldn’t be “good” and I’m not so sure people actually want to hear the truth. So do you go with the genuine answer or do you continue to sprinkle that sugar on for everyone?? I don’t know the answer to this, but I do know that I do not want to be seen as a downer, nor do I want to be pitied, but at the end of the day its better to be honest, right? So here is goes —
How are you doing today Ashley?
Hmmm, to be quite honest I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m feeling sad. I’m feeling defeated. Once again I just sent Scott off to the emergency department to get admitted for another stay at Hotel Stanford. This poor guy just got off of IV antibiotics three days ago, he has been on them for a month now, and already has a fever, is already in need of oxygen at night, has decreased function in his lungs, has an elevated heart rate, has been coughing up blood, and is feeling horrible. So, no, I’m not feeling good at the moment. I’m feeling upset. Upset that Scott’s lungs can’t stay healthy. Upset that his crappy lungs are once again ruining any plans we make. Upset that he has this disease and sad that he has to once again be in the hospital. How much more can this man take? Only God knows I guess.
Last night as I was tucking him in to bed, taking his O2 levels, checking his heart rate, making sure his oxygen was at the appropriate level, taking his temperature, giving him his night pills I could see his eyes start to water. I immediately looked away. How do I comfort him? How do I make him feel better? This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, having to watch Scott deteriorate in front of my eyes. It’s devastating. All I could do was pray. Pray for healing, pray for a pain free night, pray for his lungs to calm, pray for strength for myself. I can’t break down in front of him. I have to be the strong one. So, thank you for asking, and thank you for listening. I know tomorrow will be better, but for today, I am giving myself permission to be sad.
I sometimes wonder if people just ask you this question to be polite, but have no intention to actually hear the response. Next time you ask this question really listen and next time you respond, respond with honesty.
Breathing out the sugar coated life and getting real,