Saturday, March 3, 2012

Failures, Flubs and other UnLovely Things

This is our family Christmas card from 2006--the year I first came down with RA.  My husband found them in a box in the garage a few months ago. They were stamped and addressed but somehow, inexplicably unmailed.  I have no idea.

There was also a stack of thank-you notes, written by the kids to grandparents and great-grandmothers and aunts and special friends. All ready to go. Not mailed. Two of those great-grandmothers are gone now, and I am filled with regret. Again, I have no idea.

But these are not the only failures over the past few years. I've missed birthdays and baby showers and wedding showers. The list goes on and on.

I'm lost as to how to even write this. I lost friends. I've apologized to a few, but I'm certain that those apologies have fallen short--I am not the same person I was six years ago, and I cannot go back. Making amends is a long process. To those I've let down without even knowing it, I apologize. I wanted to do better.


  1. I have no doubt that your real friends are still with you...regardless of an unmailed Christmas card or thank you. This disease, when we are first diagnosed in particular, plays havoc on our lives and creates so much stress and add in the meds...well we all forget things. I did it myself during my early diagnoses. OK, I am fessing up, my daughter wound up with no one to pick her up from an early dismissal at the bus stop. Luckily I trained my kids for all kinds of scenerios and she knew exactly what to do. She was safe, had her key, called the contact backup and all was well. I commuted and did these practice runs over and over. And good think I did. Point here, we all have forgotten a person, thing or event. Don't beat yourself up over it. It is just part of this process. Forgive yourself.

  2. Deb, I've had this post on my mind for a while. . .I prayed over it several times before I posted it. There are real apologies to be made--things I would like to take responsibility for. RA is hard. RA and 3 children and a job and a marriage are really hard. But that is not enough for me--and I really do owe some apologies--some things couldn't be helped. Brain fog was a biggie. And fatigue. And pain. And just being really overwhelmed. But at some point I also just stepped out and I need to step back in. Thank you for your kind words. Only someone who has been there will ever really understand--which is why I write this blog anyway--to connect with those understand. Thank you. God has forgiven me. So have my kids and my husband and if no one else does that is fine. But for myself, I had to go ahead and say it.
    Blessings, blessings to you Deb.

  3. Oh my, this broke my heart. Reading this post reminded me of where I once was. I was in so much pain that every thing in life took energy, even opening the mail. I had a huge pile of things I planned to open but never did. One was about a home improvement loan we have that was closed because I didn't respond to any of their letters. We didn't want it closed. :( I still often look back and think, how could I have let so many letters from the same company go unopened? I kept telling myself they were probably junk. I just didn't have the energy to deal with any of it - talking on the phone, filling out papers, etc. I kept thinking next week I would have the energy to go through the box of letters. When I realized what I had done, I felt like such a failure. I still feel a little embarrassed and mad at myself, but I also have to accept that my body is only able to take on so much and what RA was giving it was taking what it could do to the maximum. Be kind to yourself. You give lots of loving care to your family and that may be all you can do now. But, saying it must feel good. It gets it out of your system. I remember finally coming to terms with what I had done and admitting it to my husband.

    1. Cathy, You have the kindest heart. This is something I just needed to say--it nagged at me until I did it. Unless you've been through something like we have, there's just no way of knowing how much an illness can take in the way of energy. I can so identify with your story about the loan! Thank you for your empathy. It it so much appreciated.