Everyday, I walk this fine line between functioning and performing. Neither are easy, but they’re both necessary. Some days I can’t do either. A lot of times I force myself into both roles. Actually, that’s pretty much every day.
Before all of this started, neither of those was difficult. Functioning was natural. It was everyday. It was just what I did. It was taking showers, cooking dinner, working, cleaning the house, doing laundry, doing homework, playing a game with my daughter, cuddling up next to my husband on the couch during a movie.
Performing was something that either came naturally to me, or that I didn’t have to do because I wasn’t forced into a position to put on a false act to get through a dinner, a typical workday, a meeting at work, or something that I had to have a smile on my face for. It was natural to me, but in a completely unforced way. Performing wasn’t thought of as performing, because I was being myself.
Performing and functioning both existed pre-Essure, but they were both just my way of being. It wasn’t the act of having to put on an actual performance or having to force myself through a higher level of functioning. They weren’t performing and functioning at the time. They were being. Existing. If I didn’t do the dishes, it was because I was lazy or preoccupied with something or someone else. It wasn’t because it was difficult.
The more things changed, both functioning and performing became necessary but also extremely difficult. The journey started a little over a year ago and has progressively gotten worse. It still surprises me sometimes, the lengths that I am going to just to be able to function or to perform–especially to perform.
I’m generally pretty good at making excuses, and that isn’t my endgame here. But, this post is to perhaps help you understand why I am the way I am. I kind of brushed over the idea in my Spoon Theory post, but there’s only so much I can give out in a day. Unfortunately for me, functioning alone overextends most of my spoons. Getting up, dressed, off to work, working a 7.5 hour day, and then coming home to function as a mother and wife… it’s trying. It’s difficult. And, it generally costs much more than I have to give.
My husband has always asked why I seem like a different person around him. Generally, if he sees me around others, it’s because I’m forced into a performance role. I have to entertain our guests, I have to hold an intelligent conversation with my co-worker, I have to put on this brave face for the rest of the world. Some days, I have enough energy or gumption to perform and function. Most days, I don’t. The blessing and the curse of marriage is comfort and understanding, and I’ve put him in a very difficult role to uphold the vows of marriage while being stuck with this wife who can barely function, yet alone perform. How long can a marriage last if I don’t even have the energy to stand up and hug him when he walks in the door? I am blessed with a husband who may not understand my pain, and what I’m going through, but who makes every effort to do so, even when giving up would be much easier.
I have very few friends right now. I have a supportive family structure, and a couple really great friends, but my support system is limited. I’ve had people who have insisted on being my friend, explaining how they understand my pain and my position, but I’ve shut them out. Being in this position, where my delicate balance between performing and functioning is not only fine but terrifying, you’d think I’d welcome all of the friendships I could, knowing that hardly none of them will last because I simply can’t give in return what I could gain from a friendship. But what no one understands is how much work it is to maintain that relationship. How hard it is for me to commit to you, by agreeing to be your friend, knowing that I will have to perform and expend and exhaust myself. How difficult it is for me to agree to dinner, silently ticking the minutes in my head as we make plans, knowing how long I will have to perform just to make it through.
If I had met you 5 years ago, sure. We would’ve been friends. But I exist in a much different place now.
I’m not proud of this shell of a person that I’ve become. I’m ashamed when I sit in front of the doctor who tells me that I am young and healthy and should just get up and move. I am disappointed when I have bad days (everyday), discouraged when I have worse days, and depressed when I can’t function or perform at the level needed.
I’m 12 days post-op today, and some of the symptoms haven’t re-presented themselves. Unfortunately, some have.
If you take anything away from these posts, please take this. Please–if you ever hear of anyone considering Essure, don’t let them. Point them in the direction of thousands of women who have gone from young, happy, and healthy to this.