Life as Lou

Don’t Ask Me How I’m Feeling

  • May 18, 2012 10:40 pm

A few days ago I realized that people had been inquiring about my health for nearly five months straight.  Let’s recap: I was pregnant, then I had a miscarriage, then I realized that something was really not right with the girlie bits, then I had a hysterectomy and rectocele to fix it, then I had recovery from the hysterectomy and the very, very bad complications from the rectocele for two very long months, at the end of which I had a spectacularly painful ovarian cyst rupture and the very next day after I finally came out of the fog of pain and thought- oh my goodness, I think I might actually feel ok- I came down with a sinus infection and the bronchitis from hell, and now I’m over the five day fever, but still coughing hard enough that sometimes it makes me puke. (This is where I get a prize for longest run on sentence ever.)  Now when people ask me how I’m feeling, I literally want to scream, not because these people are on my nerves, but because MY WORD IT’S BEEN FIVE MONTHS OF THIS!

It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the concern.  I do. I really do. For much of 2012 I’ve felt like I’m in this private bubble of frustration and pain, and it is healthy for me when people pop that bubble by honestly inquiring after me.  It’s just I don’t want anything else to be wrong. I want to feel normal and function normally.  I want there to be no reasons for anyone to even think I might need that kind of attention.

I can’t tell you how grateful I was to have so many friends step up and watch my youngest during this time.  I have been in hard situations where I had little support, so I know how valuable and rare and wonderful having such a circle of loving kindness is.  It has been humbling and inspiring. It has also been hugely frustrating to spend so much time sitting on the sidelines wishing I could help others, but not even being able to help my own family.  I felt horrible taking so much time and calling people for help ALL OF THE TIME, especially when I would hear of other friends who had surgery or got pneumonia or had a baby or who just needed a well deserved mental health day. I wanted to help, but instead I needed help.  I felt like a jerk.

I have also developed a huge aversion to calling people to find a babysitter, even when I desperately need one, I’d rather slam my fingers in the car door than be, yet again, an inconvenience. Trouble is, normal life requires occasional sitters as well, and mangled fingers don’t solve that problem.

I’ve hit the point where I can’t help but wonder if my friends look at me through the lens of, “oh, her again- run away before she needs help.” I feel like people who used like me might actually be judging and avoiding me.  I wouldn’t fault them for it.  At this point- I’d avoid me. I tried very hard to spread my help requests out over as many people as possible so it wouldn’t be a burden to anyone, and I hope I didn’t become anyone’s huge pain in the butt.  I can’t tell you how much I hate being on the receiving end of things, especially for so long.  One of my goals in life is to be a part of the solution, not the problem, so you can imagine that I’m not feeling very good about myself right now.

Honestly, I kind of want to just retreat back into my bubble and stay out of people’s hair. I get this way when I feel discouraged or sad, and I know it is the wrong thing to do and that I need human interaction or bad things happen to me mentally, so I am trying not to do that.

I need to regain my health and rejoin the human race.  And I need it yesterday.


  1. Lisa Geraty says:

    I’m sure you’ve doled out more than your fair share of help over the years; now is your payback time. I won’t ask you how you are doing, I will just send prayers and wishes your way that good health will be with you soon. Will be thinking of you as we scrap this weekend…

  2. Priya Venkat says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, Leah. I’m sure you’ve helped a lot of friends in their time of need. Now it’s your turn to need some help. So take it. That way you’ll be up on your feet a lot faster and I’m sure you will be the first person in line to repay the kindness of your friends. Everybody has these kinda days……… WILL be your 100% former self very, very soon. Sending you good wishes!

  3. Lauralee Hensley says:

    Believe me, true friends don’t run after five months of you needing physical help or child care help. However, friends (sorry, me case in point) might leave a friend after a year or two of constant emotional psych baggage. You know the friends that call you day and night, keep you on the phone or have you come to your home to dump all their emotional problems on you. The kind that ask you what they should do, and you tell them, but they don’t. So, of course their situations never improve. The kind that won’t take their medications like the Doctor’s tell them. The kind that Doctor hope to get the drugs they want. They kind that drain you because they constantly say they are going to commit suicide, or threaten other people, but then lie about it when you try to tell authorities so they can get the real help they need. I did have to let a couple of people out of my life for that kind of stuff, but not for the normal stuff in life. Your real friends won’t let you go or avoid you for asking for true help like you needed and may still need for a bit more. I let my two friends go because they were draining me emotionally and keeping me from being there emotionally for my own family.

  4. Michelle Magana says:

    Sorry, that sucks when you get to that point. But I totally understand. I hate asking for help and feel guilty and hate feeling like a burden as you say. I’m not use to it and might never get use to it. But, friends ……real…true friends will always be there no matter what. I dont have too many of those kind of friends here right now since I just moved. People will see right through you if you are also just B-Sn if you know what I mean. You have been going through some real stuff so STOP being so hard on your dang self. Anyway I dont always comment but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Stop feeling so down and hope you get to feeling better.

  5. Nina C says:

    I am so sorry. I can tell you need help now more than ever. I wish I were there just to come and hang out with you and say everything is going to be fine. To watch a chick flick and eat something yummy and horrible for us just because we can. I miss you and I truly want you to be happy. Please call if you ever just need someone to dump to. Even though I cannot be there in person I am still here to listen.

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