Posted by: Shira Danin | April 9, 2010

Emotional Breakdown

Passover is over and I am full of thoughts.

We managed to visit Tomer’s family and my family.

As I wrote in my previous post, Passover eve made me reach interesting insights regarding my family and the importance of our time together for me. It was always really important for me to be with the whole family, and every time we all met (since I was young) I always say “hey…we’re all here together” with a big smile. (Since I am the youngest by 9 and 12 years I got live alone with my parents since a young age and I always missed my siblings). I spent the Seder (Passover meal, during which we read the Hagada – Passover story) with Tomer’s family. I then realized how important it is for me to read the story and sing the songs with my family or at least the way we do it. It’s a good thing we never stop learning our entire lives.

Another example of the strong bond between my family and I and the importance of our relationship to me is the tattoo I got that symbolized my family.

My mom says that the connection we have (her children) is special and that most families aren’t like ours. I think she takes the time to explain that to me to make sure I don’t judge other siblings in other families.

This year I got to my house in Jerusalem only for lunch on the second holiday (a week after Passover eve). We had extended family over: all my siblings and their families, and all of the cousins and aunt and their families from my mother’s side. I was so excited to see everyone and that “we’re all going to be together”.

Tomer and I spent the night before lunch at my parents’ house. I, as usual, forgot to bring the pills I take every night, so I fell asleep at 2am and woke up at 6am. I knew it was going to be a difficult day since without sleep I am much more raggedy than usual.

But I did enjoy waking up early and spend the morning talking with my dad. He told me all kinds of old and new stories about his work and it reminded me a bit of the mornings when I was hospitalized, in a good way. When I was hospitalized about 3 years ago, my dad would sit with me morning to evening and my mom would come in the evening and stay with me over night. I wasn’t able to sleep more than two hours a day.

I managed to finish the drawing i was making for my parents that morning.

Tomer helped my mom set the tables and I enjoyed chatting with my worried parents (it’s not easy having a daughter with Fibro).

Till my brother and his future wife arrived everything was fine, not that they had anything to do with chaos in my head in anyway. It’s just that when they arrived some little things happened that drove me a little crazy.

Before I explain what drove me crazy, I have to say that the things that “upset” me were entirely irrational and there was no good reason for my response.

At first I tried to fix a problem on my mom’s computer. I thought I could get it fixed but I couldn’t find the right button. I tried a lot of things but couldn’t get it. My brother came in, saw I was going crazy and told me to get up and that he will fix it. He did and immediately found the button.

I started to feel the nerves and stress building up in my body. I went to see how Tomer was getting along helping my dad with his computer. When I came in the room I saw they moved on to something completely different. It seemed Tomer and my dad were getting along just fine and didn’t need me either so I got a little more bummed out.

I didn’t want to be cranky during the whole family gathering so I poured myself a glass of wine and went outside to calm down in the sun. Over the past two weeks my body has been going crazy and I’m always either extremely cold or suddenly hot and stuffy. So, sitting in the sun and soaking up some vitamin D worked well for me.

It was great fun seeing my entire family, hugging all my nephews and my cousins’ kids. My cousin’s little girl loves me very much (and I her). As soon as she walked in she ran straight towards me and hugged me and wouldn’t let go. She followed me everywhere and sat next to me wherever I sat. I always enjoy spending time with all the kids in the family. When everyone started eating I had zero appetite, when I don’t sleep well my appetite gets all mixed up and I’m too tired to eat. So I sat with everyone as they ate, till it hurt too much to sit. Then, I got up and stood behind my cousin and Tomer.

Every once in a while I wanted to contribute something to the conversation and would start to talk. Because I was standing behind people they couldn’t hear me and someone would cut me off. Everyone kept suggesting I sit down. I kept having to explain that sitting hurts more and I’d rather stand. I’m not angry or upset that my family worries about me and wants me to be comfortable. I know everyone there loves me and worries about me. It just makes me sad because it keeps bringing me back to dealing with the pain, when I was already suffering from the pain and trying to keep on a happy face.

Towards the end of our family gathering we got ready to take our regular photos that my mom takes every time we are “all together”. All the kids (Morit, Barak, Iris and myself).  All the kids and their partners. All the kids and the cousins… when we wanted to take the one with the kids and their partners my sister’s husband said he isn’t needed in the picture and that he is outside with the kids…I called him over a few times, everyone called him over, we all waited. It really wasn’t dramatic or annoying but it made me a little crazy. I managed to not yell at him. Waiting for my brother in law when I already wanted to go home just added on to all the other little innocent things that drove me nuts. But it turned out nice eventually:

Later I wanted to take some food home. My mom said there are empty boxes and that I can take whatever I want. My sister came to ask where were the boxes our mom left for her and saw one of the foods I took was planned for one of my nephews who didn’t show up. I didn’t know and it bummed me out that I couldn’t get what I wanted. So I got upset, I said with anger “fine, then this box is for him” and went to the room we slept in.  I started crying uncontrollably. No one came to see what was up, and I was glad, it gave me a moment to relax and breath. I thought I calmed down and that I can leave with all my stuff without crying again.

I was wrong. Witti, my sister came and hugged me.

I apologized for snapping. She calmed my down and said it was ok, that they love me even when I’m in pain and I cry or get angry. That made me cry some more because I was touched by my families love for me.

My brother wasn’t paying attention to what happened with the food because he was outside. Before we left and were hugging everyone goodbye my bro asked me when Tomer and I were coming to visit. (A visit to the center of Israel from Beer Sheva in the south is about an hour and half drive each direction).  I told him that we’ll come when we’re in the center. He asked when that will be. I said in 4 months. He said “come on….” And I broke down crying again. I ran outside and Barak (my bro) and Tomer ran out after me. I cried, and tried to explain between the tears what is going on and that the fibro is messing with my head, and the frustration and the tiredness, and everything together….even now as I’m typing this delicate tears are running down my cheek.

Barak (my bro) hugged me and said he loved me even when things are hard and I cry and that it’s ok, and that he and Michali (fiancée) will come visit us in the south. Again, that made me cry, I was so touched from the warmth and love. It also makes me tear up now. Tomer and I drove back to Beer Sheva and after hugging all my cats and resting on my couch, I calmed down.

Two days later I was in a Seminar class from 8am till 11am. I wrote about this class before, when the professor addressed me in the middle of class and asked me “what happened?” and I almost started crying.

So this week we had an article summery and research proposal due but because of Passover holiday we didn’t have time and we got the articles mixed up. We (Omri and I) wanted to talk to the professor. After we talked about the papers due that we didn’t prepare, I wanted to talk with her about the fibro because I knew she was looking at me writhe in pain during class. Because of the pain from the first half of the lesson, and fighting to concentrate, and the pressure from last night because of the papers, the moment I started talking about the fibro I broke down crying again. I tried talking anyway, but I didn’t get to say much. I managed to explain a little and she was very sweet and kind. She suggested I turn to her with every question I have, by mail or by phone. I really appreciated it.

After the second half of the lesson Omri and I stayed back to talked with her. By then I was much calmer and was able to explain my fibro a lot better. She said “good job” for coming to classes and finishing the degree. I cannot explain how important it was and how good it felt to hear that from her.

And now to summarize – the feeling I had with every crying attack (that stemmed from an irrational reason, even though I might understand it), reminded me of the behavior of pregnant women flooded with hormones. Since I am NOT pregnant and I feel all this stress and crying and frustration relates to my fibromyalgia, I decided to give this phenomena a new name: Fibromones = Fibromyalgia + Hormones. I don’t really know if it’s related to hormones but it feels similar.

I like words or expressions that make me laugh. Fibro Fun amuses me, Fibromones makes me laugh.

On my Fibromyalgia page in Hebrew I have 45 members and I am so happy to see every new joiner. I’m also starting to see a little participation which makes me very happy.

To end on a happy note, Tomer and I are together for a year now. This past second Passover eve we celebrated a year together according to the Hebrew calendar and on April 14th we will celebrate a Gregorian year together. We didn’t really celebrate but we noted it among each other. I can sort of remember how my life was before I met Tomer but those days feel very far. Today I am all his and I like it this way. I love him and worry about him and feel incredibly lucky that we got to meet each other.

Tomer and I

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Responses

  1. First I really really really love the flower picture you did! It would make an AWESOME painting in my house….:)
    The picture of you and Tomer, you look so happy….
    The emotions I sooooo understand!!! I am like a rollercoaster some days with mine…..I think it is all the stress, up and down with pain…..

    Let’s just cry happy tears from now on….:)

    • Shira, I love your writing and can empathize with you in many ways, Fibromyalgia Aware magazine is running an article on my husband Ted, our daughter Denise and me in its Spring Issue available free on line or after the 26th of April in Barnes & Noble Booksellers and other fine book stores. Elizabeth is the journalist who interviewed us, our daughter is 34 and lives in Uppsala, Sweden and from what we are told ours is a rather unusual story. If you go on line you can read the article free or if you subscribe to the magazine you can read the story for yourself. Your friend, Debbie

  2. it’s so nice to meet a fellow writer.My grand parents came to the u.s. from palestine!

  3. I am so glad I am not the only one who gets so emotional. At times I sit and cry for no reason. I thought I was actually loosing my mind even though I am on anti depressants and nerve pills. It doesn’t happen every month, but when it does happen it is for several days and nothing helps. I try and seperate myself away from my children and husband, but by now thwy know it is the fibro. I am doing a journal to keep track of the symptoms of the highs and lows. Also to be able to open a support group in our area. I have searched high and low for one and the nearest one is 63 miles away.

    Shira, than you so much for being honest in showing your weak days. It takes a lot of strength to do this!!! I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

  4. Shira,
    I am another fibro sufferer and frequently blog about it. Thank you for showing other people it can be hard to “keep your chin up”. I am so happy your family tells you they love you!


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