The Forgetful Frog #20: Traversing a gamut of emotions

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog April 22, 2016 14:58

forgetful-frog-image3-300x2301-300x230-13I am sometimes astonished by the suddenness of mood change that so often comes my way.

One minute ago, I was feeling sorry for myself, resentful of my troubles, and just plain cranky. I spent a moment snuggling under my warm, soft blanket, with my eyes closed, and listening to my sweet dog breathing. Miraculously, I opened my eyes feeling, once again, incredibly fortunate and grateful.

I think this could be how prayer has maintained such a central role in human history. Contemplation can foster peace of mind. And the thought of a God, or some divine orientation, can certainly foster contemplation.

In my case, of course, my dog can serve that divine role. My adoration of canine company is much stronger and more heartfelt than any church-inspired prayer, in my case. But I do think it has given me a new insight into worship. And I do not mean to belittle religious faith. If anything, I mean to express the preciousness of my love for animals.

Pseudobulbar Affect. I remember this medical phrase, although it’s been many hours since my sister left. Her neurologist husband told me this is the phrase to describe my irresistible inclination to sob uncontrollably at emotional moments. My sister’s arrival and departure are two perfect examples.

I feel like I am always complaining, but today, the pain in my right ankle and left hip is daunting. On days like this, I wonder if I might prefer to spend the rest of my life using a walker, rather than going through the pain and fear of learning to walk without it.

Of course, suggesting that to my husband would, in all fairness, suggest a willingness on my part to let him do all the work, from now on. I cannot take advantage of him in that way, but I certainly am sick of mobility troubles.

I know it is unhelpful, but I cannot seem to shed my resentment for all the walking difficulties I have had, since I was small. Again, as soon as I express that, I am ashamed of myself, because I know so many people have lives so much more difficult than mine. I’m afraid I dwell in this back and forth, but I have not been able, so far, to break away from it.


Today, my husband is out fishing, for which I am very glad. Fishing is an important recreation for him, and the more he can get out, the less guilty I feel about his having to do all the work around the house.

The combination of my Catholic upbringing and my inability to help can sometimes be almost overwhelming when it comes to feelings of worthlessness. I give him foot rubs and scalp massages until my hands ache, and he is appreciative. But it still does not seem anywhere near a fair trade.

If the day ever comes when he is disabled, I hope I will be able to help him as much as he helps me now.

I know that many people think their sisters are cool. But I just need to say, without hesitation or apology, that my sister is the coolest one of all. She just left, after visiting me, along with her husband and oldest child. They are unquestionably three of the most precious people to me.

These days, I remind myself constantly to discard the regret that creeps over me daily. It’s an effort, but I am determined to enjoy my sister, without giving credence or attention to the remorse which threatens my cheerfulness.

I must stick to my conviction that I have always done my best with regard to family relationships. Through absolutely no fault of her own, my sister was beyond the reach of my emotional capabilities, for many years. I can’t get that time back, but I can make the best of the future.

To be continued…

The author, who asks to remain anonymous, is a foothills resident in her 50s who writes with the help of a computer tablet and speech-recognition software. She hopes that her notes on coping with the physical and emotional aspects of disability will help others facing difficult challenges know that they are not alone.

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog April 22, 2016 14:58
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