I've been doing a lot of soul searching the last few days. You see, things around my home have been moving along swimmingly for the past few months, mostly thanks to the presence of Wonderful Poppa. He has been a huge help and a wonderful source of support for me.
He came to stay with us at just the right time. I was just about to hit rock bottom before the Holidays set in. WP was the one who would give me a hug and tell me I was doing things the right way and that he could tell how hard I was trying to make things work. When you are only able to a quarter of what you were able to do before, it takes a toll on your self esteem which only makes the problem worse. To have someone tell you that they can see you are doing all you can and that you are doing well with that, it makes things just feel better all around. I could not have managed to get this far without that kind of support.
When I went back to the doctor and asked for the new prescription that would treat my FM, I was so scared of getting back on the medication roller coaster - feeling bad, starting a new med, feeling worse because of side effects, feeling better when the side effects wear off, wondering if I really do feel better than before the meds or just better than I did at first with the meds. WP was quick to let me know what the reality of things was. When I really needed to know how I was doing, and how long I had been doing that way, he was able to give me the kind of feedback I needed.
Unfortunately, WP is so awesome that I think I get spoiled with him around. He is so much quicker that I am to take care of little things that need to be done. I feel bad that he takes care of me and my family so much, but that's just the way he his. He is good at taking care of people and making them feel better. Now that he has moved back to his own place, the responsibilities are all on my shoulders. Cooking, cleaning, keeping the kids from killing each other - I have to be in charge of all of this again. Frankly it scares me.
The truth is, though, that I can handle it. Over the past month, especially, I have become stronger and more stable than I remember being in a very long time. Having WP here to get me through the worst part of all of this was a huge help, but now I have to stand on my own and continue without him. I am fairly certain that I can. The time for slow recovery is done. Although I am not 100% yet, I am getting closer every day, and what's more - I am able to cope better when I am not feeling my best. A headache means I might move a little slowly or that I keep the radio off. It doesn't mean that I have to crawl in bad for three hours and wish the world away. I am able to realize my limits more and ask for help when I need it. The rest of the family is really more willing to help out than they used to be, too. I can communicate with all of them better and they understand why I ask for their help. That makes a big difference.
So, with all this feeling better going on, it is time to start getting my life back on track again. That means going back to work full time, primarily. I have time on my hands and I am feeling antsy. Plus, we need the extra money around here to keep the forward momentum going. It also means getting my routines back in order so my house doesn't resemble the aftermath of a hurricane. Certain things will get harder - making dinner every night, for instance. I have to keep my menus and think ahead to make sure everything is ready before I get home. But things will also get easier. Having a full time job keeps me on a regular schedule. That means first of all that sleeping at night will get easier, and also that just going through the motions of the day will get smoother. The longer you do something the easier it is to do it, and getting up and going to work every day will get easier for me. And so, I have changed my focus on working from "Maybe something will come along" to "I am actively looking for a position."
I have also decided that it is time to purchase a second car. This is a really big deal for me. My first car was new when I got it and I made payments on it myself. I traded that one in on a bigger car for a our growing family. Bad decisions followed more bad decisions and we lost that nice big car. There is only so much you are able to do when your income is cut by more than half, but in the end, I probably could have held on to the car if I had made different decisions back then. Losing my house followed shortly after and my life has been in a shambles every since.
Purchasing a car (and having to get a car payment) makes me feel weak in the knees to think about it. We haven't had the ability to purchase a car on our own on several years. The van we have now is basically a gift from MIL and FIL. They make the payments and let us drive it. We have purchased a few cash cars as a back up but we always end up with a lemon. The fear of having another payment to make every month is compounded by the fear that we will have another car to repair all the time. I will be the first to admit I know very little about cars, so it is insanely easy for me to get taken by a bad salesman. My sincere hope is that by purchasing a car from a dealership, I will have a lower chance of getting a real clunker and a higher chance of getting something worth driving for next several years.
Buying a car before having a new job to make SURE I can pay for it seems a little like putting the cart before the horse. I believe it is time to take that risk, though. We DO have the ability to pay for the car right now, as long as we are VERY careful. Having the second car will allow me to find a job that pays better and is a better fit, which will in turn make it easier to make those payments. I feel in my gut that this is the right thing to do.
I do hope my gut is not being misled.