Tonight I write. Because my brain and my heart feel as if they could burst, leaving a muddy mess of emotion everywhere.
In 35 days, my husband will have a proctocolectomy. It’s the hideous, awful cure for his ulcerative colitis that he’s been avoiding for 12 years. Suddenly, it is less of an option. For me, it’s more of a desperate attempt to stop whatever is destroying his liver. No signs, no symptoms, but the numerous rounds of blood tests say he has the liver of a 0-year-old alcoholic. With no hope for answers, we’ll move forward with surgery, praying that it’s just the evil colon expanding its wrath and that we’ll have ended its reign. Considering the scope of the surgery and the harshness of the recovery, it’s a steep price to pay if it doesn’t work.
This isn’t about me. And, every day I work to make him more comfortable with his new future and play the part of the supportive and optimistic wife. I truly feel he’ll come through the surgery without complications. But, I’m also damaged goods.
Since the day I met this wonderful man, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now, 42 days before our 2nd anniversary, I feel like it is. I get to be happy. I just don’t get to stay that way. I catch myself imaging, in the worst sense of the word, what it will be like if he’s gone. I’ll go on. I know this for sure because I’ve done it before. But the going on is nothing more than being alive and being a mom.
When you’re young and naïve, you think you couldn’t possibly continue living. But once you’ve lost, you know that’s not reality. Life keeps going and drags you along, whether it’s the life you want or not. Every piece of me is screaming, “I don’t want that.” Every fiber of my being is certain everything will be fine, while also petrified by the fear that what I’ve already suffered through is nothing when compared to what could lie ahead.
As much as I thought the past was behind me, it shapes my reaction to my present. It comes back to remind me that the happiness isn’t as absolute as I had finally felt it to be.
So every day I go to work and pretend it occupies my mind. And every night I cycle between heavy conversations and laughter with the love of my life. No one knows how my mental damage makes this all the more difficult for me. No one but you, because none of this is about me.