Hello. Hope everyone is doing well. I am OK.
I posted a couple of entries ago that John has been sleeping 16 hours a day. I also said this was causing me lonliness.
You see, John and I have been doing everything together for a long time. We have both been home together. He is on disability and hasn't been working. So we see a lot of each other. I don't have a job because I am on disability too. So I have been home with him. This is going to be hard for me to be honest about, but I may as well mention it, because it is part of my story. Some of you know it, and some of you don't. I don't work because I am bipolar. That is manic-depressive. It is a brain chemistry illness that I am handling very well with medication and therapy. I have journaled about the fact that I have it in my public journal. So it is no secret. But I haven't mentioned it much lately. My new readers don't know I have it. I feel shakey mentioning it, there is so much stigma involved.
At any rate, I am mentioning the bipolar to say that I have spent the majority of my time doing things with John, because I don't work. Now that he is sleeping, I am terribly alone, and as it were, trying to "redefine myself". I have been nothing but John's wife, John's friend, John's love, John's everything. And I have been almost nothing for myself. Gee, I never realized that. My whole world revolved around him. Not that that is a bad thing. My world still revolves around him.
My main job in life, and rightfully so, consists of taking care of John, making sure he gets his meds (I have to wake him up to do this), cooking for and feeding him (again, I have to wake him up to feed him), hydrating him, waking him up and making sure he gets to his drs. appointments, taking care of him when he gets the flu, etc.
But now that he is sleeping, I am trying to think about what I want to do that is just for me. Gee, I haven't done anything just for me in a long time. I was talking about it with my therapist yesterday, and I told her I wanted some activities that I can do while John is asleep. Something that as he gets sicker I can still stay in the house and watch him, but have something to do. Something I am good at. I told her I couldn't decide what to do. Do I want to watercolor? Write? Make cool jewelry? Something I could do really well. Then I looked at my therapist sadly and said, "But I am not any good at any of these things." She asked me why I had to be good at doing something to do it. She suggested I just pick something I enjoyed. She said she goes to Pottery Barn and paints bowls when she gets stressed. She said she was not good at it. Then I understood her point. I just have to find something I think is fun. My problem is my family is SO super talented and creative that I get frustrated if I can't make a final finished project the way they can, lol. So, anyway, I need to think about what I want to do for fun. Any suggestions would be welcome.
The other thing that my therapist suggested was volunteer work. I can't earn any money or my Social Security will be taken away. If not taken away, then at least some of my benefits will be taken away, and I will be worse off than if I had never taken a job. So the work must be volunteer. Also, because I still get depressed, and sometimes manic, and I have a lot of anxiety going on because of John's illness, I can only take on a commitment of a few hours a week. Also, I can't leave John for long. Just a couple of hours at the most. So I am trying to find something that will fit into my schedule.
My therapist suggested a cat and dog adoption agency, and I loved the idea, but then I got to thinking, I can't bring home Parvo Virus to John. Then someone suggested to work at an old folk's home or a hospital. Again, too risky in the germ department. I have no idea what I am going to do. But surfing the net last night I found a local number to call to find volunteer activities in my area. I am going to call today.
I used to teach English as a Second Language. I wonder if I could do that again. I loved it. But it is a big commitment. Anyway, I will call the volunteer agency this morning and see what volunteer opportunities they have.
So, I am doing all this so I have purpose in my life. A reason to get up in the morning besides housework. Something to get past the lonliness. I do have two other things I am volunteering for. I am on a board at church. And I just joined the local Cancer Survivor's Association Board. Actually, the board just started and we have had two meetings so far. It is fantastic.
And I am also a Secular Order Carmelites Discalced. I am a member of a religious order, one in which the members live in the world, and are allowed to be married. OK, I will explain more about that another time, this journal entry is getting entirely too long, lol.
So those are some of the new ways in which I want to define myself, but I need to think about the specifics. I am kind of excited about volunteering, perhaps meeting a new girlfriend to go to lunch with, and maybe learning a new hobby. I haven't done anything new in a long time. Maybe I will have some fun.
Hoping you all have some fun in your life also, Krissy :)