Insomnia is a bitch, and it apparently is a side effect of dialysis. Lack of sleep equals negativity for me. When I am awake, I am going strong and doing everything I can to feel good. At night, the gladiators of Insomnia climb the perimeter fence and invade my Fortress of Solitude. In my exhausted and weakened state, I am unable to fight as they bombard with me with arrows of negativity. I lose my resolve and find myself starting each new day with a whole new hill to climb just to start at zero.

I’m also tired of trying to be something I’m not.

My last post was very unlike me. I was “maudlin” to quote my dear Bella. To be fair, she’s right. My post was depressing, dim and entirely unlike me. But as Bella said, “Superman is human, after all.” She knows it, you know it. But I need to learn it.

This ties in directly to the name of this blog. Many years ago,I was married with four young children. I was struggling in my career and facing severe financial problems. To add the cherry on top, I was sick. To not worry my family, to keep my job, to keep my sanity I chose to keep most of what was going on with my health to myself. I was told it was denial, I just chose not to think about it, to not let it define me. My wife exploded on me one day for not being forthcoming about my health and shouted angrily, “OK Superman! Do what you want, apparently you’re bulletproof!”

I never claimed to be bulletproof, I just try to be strong.

It’s been my way forever. I want to be the best at everything. Not in a competitive sense and not in a quest for glory. I simply thrive on achievement. I wanted to be a great husband, a great father, a great worker, a great co-worker and a great citizen. I failed at one, but I crushed the rest.

Unfortunately, now my life has been reduced to being great at staying alive.

I tackled the role of being sick like I do anything else. I buckled down, sized up my opponent (in this case, death), learned a skill set and dove in. The end game is easy, stay healthy and hope for a transplant. I set out to be the best dialysis patient ever, with a goal of not ever acting or looking sick.

It’s not as easy as I thought. I’ve had some rough treatments lately, severe cramping, volatile and unpredictable blood pressure and the effects lingered long after each treatment, sometimes late into the night. I get up early each day after treatment with the goal of trying to do something, anything that I can call an accomplishment. I hit the treadmill, I swing and press my kettlebells. I do pushups until I collapse on my own face.

Then I have those days that I wake and I’m unable to do those things. I wake up stiff, feeling pain with no basis, painful headaches and no energy. And I get mad at myself. I tell myself that it is not OK.

I need to stop doing that.

I am a mere mortal. I am comprised of flesh and blood, like everyone else.

It’s ok to be human.

I may need to say it out loud a few times, but eventually I will get it.

My last post was an anomaly, a rarity that is unlikely to happen again. I have no plans to change my Blog name to Superman can’t find a Xanax anytime in the near future.

27 thoughts on “Human”

  1. I don’t know what to say except that I admire your strength–you really are a Superman, even in your most down moments. Are you doing home dialysis or do you have to go to a hospital every couple of days?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem with an illness is that, really, we have no control over it – we can’t predict what it will do or how it will make us feel and if you are someone who thrives on control (I count myself among those people) it’s an absolute bastard to deal with! Grief is the same – there is nothing you can do, nothing you can change so you just end up flailing around in a huge mess of emotions. The only thing I can say to you is – let go – if you feel crap try to accept that that day is a day for relaxing – light some candles, run a bath, listen to some music or do a meditation – try it like a spa day. Most of us would hand over good money for a spa day and treat it as something to look forward to and enjoy and yet a day when we are forced to be inactive is torture – it’s all just a question of perspective. I know that it’s tough when you’re in pain but fighting against it definitely won’t help.
    I know when I’ve been in physical pain, brought on by emotional stress, relaxation helps enormously and acceptance that I’m going to feel like shit for a few days helps too.
    I have to say that I really admire you for showing your vulnerability like this Billy – I’ve followed your story for a while now and have always been amazed at your strength, courage, kindness, humour and selflessness – now I admire you even more. Hugs :O) xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suppose the overall point is that I don’t know why I need to act is if I’m something I’m not. By all accounts I am kicking ass and doing extremely well as a dialysis patient but it’s not good enough, I want to be 100%, when that’s not possible. But for me to back off I fear will cause a slide into not giving a shit.
      Not likely but I worry about it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think you are acting as if you’re something you’re not – from what I’ve seen you run at 100% most of the time, you just need to accept that sometimes 95% is good enough ;O) xx

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for the shout out of my tough love, now both of our readerships know what a pain in the ass I am. Ha! Spread the word…I AM a pain in the ass and I OWN it. If my not so gentle words and prodding helped you around that corner that you were having a little trouble navigating then for once I’ve used my pain in the ass powers for good instead of mischief. Whew, what a relief. I had no idea, I had it in me.
    As a BPD suffererer I’m constantly confronted with my good and evil, except is constantly doing battle within. Imagine living your life feeling nothing but complete and utter chaos inside.
    Lord knows I’m not minimizing or comparing to your life or death battle. There is no comparison. Being internally tortured every single day of your life for as long as you can remember does take a certain toll on ones psyche though. Most days I feel, is it me that’s crazy or is everyone else?!?😏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish you could stabilize that battle going on inside you, I hate that it may keep all of the good stuff from shining through.
      And it’s fruitless to compare battles, we all have something we’re dealing with

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fight this battle with EVERYTHING I possess, from the minute my eyes open, EVERY single day, hoping to get a heads up on this monster inside me. I think I’m super sensitive today because I spoke with my BFF Deb yesterday (the one who has chosen to forego any more treatment of her terminal Stage IV Urothelial Cancer. Selfishly I want her to try every single thing she can (although I do not breath a word of this to her), on the other hand I’m so proud and honored to be her friend because she’s chosen to do death her way. Not many people get that opportunity. Nonetheless it’s got my emotions raging inside of me. I’ve been up for the past 2 entire nights, on the computer looking for clinical trials that haven’t been approved here yet but perhaps elsewhere….she’s made peace and I ready at any time. Me?? Not so much, but I’m working on it😕

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I had some great words of wisdom or encouragement. I’m sure anything I could say you have heard from people thousands of times before.

    The truth is, I exhibit my human-ness in situations that are far less intense than the things you are having to go through.

    All I will say is … allow yourself the luxury of feeling your very human emotions. They are not signs of weakness or of “giving in” or giving up. They are simply coping mechanisms that were given us to use in situations that require them. They are tools in our “human tool-boxes”.

    And remember, you have a LOT of people rooting for you, praying for you, and sending you our best energies.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I worked for Make-a-Wish in its beginning years – before it was what it is today. Most of the kids I interviewed as a “wish taker” wanted to meet superheroes aka Hulk Hogan, who was, btw a very classy gent back then. I didn’t understand until one night I had to grant an emergency wish and I rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night with a VCR (then a new bit of technology) and tapes of Wrestlemania, beautiful golden-haired twelve year old’s last wish. I can’t describe in words what happened on that frosty night as we got the video going and the superheroes made their dramatic way onto the ring to do battle against each other. I think it has to do with the roar of the crowd. But it was magic and her last words were “butterflies.” And I do think I felt them fluttering around me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Billy…
    Wow! Why are we so hard on ourselves (and our bodies)? I am also learning to be more COMPASSIONATE with myself; my (perceived) flaws, my limitations, my ‘bad’ days. We’ve been ‘conditioned’ to be tough, resilient, and “over-achievers”…and we do ourselves NO FAVORS living this way – we always pay for it later even if we can be proud of our ‘accomplishments.’
    LIFE…it’s a learning curve.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. We tend to keep going don’t we, don’t want to let the side down and all that.
    Then suddenly you’re hit by a freight train and you can’t do the simplest thing. My circumstances were way different to yours, but I was unable to dress myself, couldn’t stop crying or stop shaking, and as to walk? The shaking had me off balance and almost on my knees after a few steps.
    You are human Billy. You’re allowed to have bad days and throw your toys out of the pram if you want to. There’s a lot going on and you have a lot to contend with. Why shouldn’t you have a rant?
    As always, sending positivity your way. You’re not alone, there is a lot of support for you in Blogland.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you for this amazing comment. We all have our situations, I can only imagine what you went through. But you seem strong as hell and I admire as well as relate to that.
      I just need to stop being so hard on myself


      1. You’re very kind Billy. My breakdown was more terrifying than my cancer (all clear) but at the end of the day, I turned it round and learned from it. Sounds daft, but it was probably the making of me as I think I’m a much better person than I was.
        Are you waiting for another transplant?

        Liked by 1 person

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