I had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of good food, time with family, Henry-time, and sleeping in.
But. I was sore. Really sore, and really tired. And sometimes I was a bitch.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's house along with relatives I hadn't seen in several years. It was great to see them, but I often found myself wanting nothing more than to sneak away from the table and curl up in the spare bedroom. I took every opportunity to excuse myself from the action to pace around in a dark hallway or even to slip outside and distract myself with one of the neighbourhood cats. When dinner had finished and everyone was sitting around with coffee, I was out in the yard, stiff and aching and wishing I could crawl out of my own skin.
I wondered later what they must think of me, and then I thought about all the other times RA turns me into a hermit (or worse, makes me snippy and impatient). Even my Mom notices how snarky I can get when I'm really feeling rotten. "Pain makes you depressed," she told me on the weekend, "and that makes you grumpy."
What pain really does is make me selfish. It turns me sour and makes me impatient with anyone who doesn't get it. It makes my bed or my bathtub seem a million times more attractive than a night out with friends. I suppose that's natural; when our bodies hurt, it's a lot harder to look outside of ourselves.
When I'm being reasonable, I just give up on trying to be nice and focus on being quiet. It's the Bambi philosophy: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Sometimes I think we need to be alone with our pain. We need to separate ourselves, even momentarily, from family and friends who wish they could fix it. We need to let ourselves think the worst, because putting on a happy face when you feel like shit is exhausting.
Sometimes I need to go into my bedroom and soak a couple of tissues. Once I've done that, I can tell myself to buck up. I can remind myself that there have been, and will be, many days of feeling better. (There will! And this week, there have been.) And then I can be nice.