Another "Year". Another Day. Another Fear.
A year ago today, I experienced the single most romantic moment of my entire relationship with Ryan. I was sitting at Ruby Tuesday’s with my mum and her sister and brother waiting for him to arrive. He walked in a few moments after I had settled in, went straight past the empty seat, and literally picked me up out of my chair with the most incredible hug ever. Ryan’s not the most outwardly affectionate person who ever lived and he’s definitely not PUBLICLY affectionate, like, ever.
The reason for this display of affection was the results we got, a year ago today, of what I hope is my LAST ever PET scan. The “no more cancer” results. Weird to think it’s now OFFICIALL been a year since we officially got the official news.
The reason Ryan was so overwhelmed with happiness that he was so uncharacteristically openly affectionate is that on that day, it was “over”. I was cured. It was like getting the go ahead to return to and proceed with “normal” life.
There is no “normal life” anymore. I told him today that I have to keep telling myself that if I just keep acting like I'm not completely wrecked by all this maybe I'll actually start to believe it. But the truth is, this entire experience, no matter how strong it has made me, no matter how much it’s taught me, no matter how much it’s helped me grow or how much healthier a life it’s made me live… it’s also, quite honestly, destroyed me. And it destroyed Ryan right along with me.
For instance, I have been struggling with adjusting to the hours at my new job. (I now have to get up before 5am, and I absolutely cannot be even a minute late.) This has basically made me tired. Exhausted, really. And you know what makes that suck extra hard? Being exhausted… all it does is remind me of being sick. It makes me worry.
Hell, as I mentioned in my last post, pretty much everything makes me worry anymore. But what’s even worse for me, is that pretty much everything makes Ryan worry, too. He has not bounced back from this. He can’t get it together. He can’t function the way he has always functioned and he has no idea what to do about that. He wants stability now. He never needed or cared about that in the past. He used to be fine with just scamming around for whatever work he could do. But I took that away from him. Or, my illness did. Problem is, stability generally comes from working a stable, traditional JOB. And I just don’t think he can do that. Neither does he. So he’s struggling. A lot. And I feel like I am to blame.
I put on the brave face. I wear the smile. I live the life of the girl transfigured by her horrific experience. But if I’m being completely honest – I can’t enjoy it. Not the way I should be able to. Not the way I WANT to. Because he’s suffering. I absolutely LOVE my new job. It feels like the type of work I was made to do. I want to revel in it. In the bigger paycheck. The Friday afternoons off. The fact that I traded in my “job” for a “CAREER”. All of it. And I can’t. Because the most important person in my world is not ok. How do you pretend to ignore the absolute misery your spouse seems to be in 24/7 in order to throw up the horns and do the victory dance over your new career? It’s impossible.
It’s so hard to celebrate it and enjoy it when he’s so unhappy. Especially when I have no IDEA what the solution is for HIM.
I mean, here is a man who can do pretty much ANYTHING. And excel at it. Except work a “real” job. And then he spends his days worrying about lack of stability. What do you do? How do you help? And I’m not saying he “won’t” work a real job. I’m literally saying he “CAN’T”. His brain does not function in the right way for that. He was actually offered a decent gig wrenching at a Volvo import garage that does a lot of business. And he had to turn it down. Literally HAD to. Why? Because they listen to the classic rock radio station there. To some people, this is a compromise that they could just make. So “Bohemian Rhapsody” sucks. They deal with it. Ryan LITERALLY cannot function. It’s not a choice. I don’t want to call it a disability or an illness, but it kind of is. So what do you do? How do you help?
Meanwhile, I have spent this entire day thinking about it. (In between kicking ass at my new job and being excited about my official “year” I mean.) And coming up with no answer for him. Which also means no answer for me. I hate resigning myself to the fact that I just won’t be able to truly celebrate ANYTHING until he gets over his terror about my health.
That day a year ago - I just have to hold onto it. Like a little time capsule of the most perfect moment ever. The brief moment where we believed that everything was just BETTER and that it was all going to just keep getting better and better from there on out. I just have to hold onto that day and believe that maybe one day, it truly will...