31 December 2006

Guilty Secret

I had a heart attack, this June (that's not the secret).

45, relatively fit (although I smoked), female (evidently), I was not what you could call a high risk.

The infarction was practically a secondary event, as the blockage was outside the heart on a main artery, at the point where spasm occurs; a (normal) stress reaction that pinches a wide artery nearly shut. When normal, however, it also undoes in the blink of an eye, in fact blinking is a fairly decent analogy. I apologise for this boring stuff.

Anyhow, the Consultant was thoroughly confused, because if you compare the blood vessels to roads, then if there's enough porridge in your system to block one of the biggest motorways, it makes sense that smaller blockages should also be showing up in the side roads and back alleys, where a little gloop could do a lot more damage. Not in my case. They couldn't see any other problems at all, not even during two full angiograms. They knocked me out for the second one, and I got my stent simply because the damn thing stayed clamped shut. It seems it was stressed and determined to stay that way.

So, there we are. Since this somewhat earth shattering, life changing period, I have put a lot of thought to how I would change, what I have put off too long, etc etc. Quite a bit of growing up. I have also gone through a period of mourning, of sorts, with attendant anger and frustration.

However, whilst my major concern has been what I might have done (and/or could still do) with my life, what I could change in my attitudes, my dealings with my children etc etc, as an aside I find I have become quite pushy and domineering, quite intolerant and abrupt.

Here's the guilty secret - I go around apologising, telling people I think it must be the tablets I am on, but, really? Really I suspect its simply that I no longer have the time or the be-bothered to afford the luxury of putting up with fools and weirdos.

If someone behaves like an arsehole, I'll probably tell them straight, where before I would tippytoe, apologise for them and find excuses. If they cross the line into actually being a total arsehole then now I have no problem with walking off and never looking back, where before I would pour angst and guilt and what-ifs over my conscience until I felt it was suitably wounded.

I stressed myself into a heart attack, that much it obvious. I have nothing against people who choose to be bloody minded or callous or ignorant, I simply choose, now, not to have them in my field of vision. I've done my time as far as dealing with arseholes goes.

Fair, then, wouldn't you say?

So my suggestion is this; fuck New Years Resolutions which are (and should be) a mere symptom, of (forgive the corn) New Year's Revelations.

If you find yourself staring out at the sky tonight and contemplating what the year was for; how you grew or what you learned, then I would love to hear your discovery.

Wishing you all a very happy 2007.


Anonymous said...

More than fair. And yes, fuck New Year Resolutions. I don't expect any revelations but if I do "see the light" I'll gladly share.

I hope 2007 is good to you and yours, Cheryl. I'll leave you with this thought - blogs have given every loony and his mates the chance to "have their say". Very few of them are worth reading, even fewer worth returning to. Since I've been reading Mad Baggage you've been consistently funny, thought-provoking, intelligent occasionally heart-rending. You've lit up 2006 for many of us despite your difficulties and I'd like to thank you.
Cheers, Cheryl. You're bloody brilliant, you are!

Cheryl said...

Look who's talking....
Back at you.

Erin said...

I don't do resolutions since the year that I resolved not to do resolutions. Revelations though, I have them as often as possible, and this year has been full of them... I'm sure I'll be blogging about it later, when the rum kicks in!

Stegbeetle is right. I rarely comment here, but I read pretty much every word, and it's always ALWAYS well worth the read!

Peace to you and yours in 2007 Cheryl!

fineartist said...

I've learned that if I don't take care of myself, no one else will.

I've learned that I need to let my people fend for themselves more too, because I wont always be here to do it for them, and then what?

I've learned that the truth is hard to hear sometimes but it is always worth listening to.

And I've learned that stress can kill us, and that I have got to find ways to de stress, that, I'm working on.

I've spent all day flat on my back today, the fever broke and I had to come in and check to see if you had posted.

Thank you Cheryl for being a friend, and for telling me the way it really is.

xx, Lori

Badaunt said...

Can I answer this one after I get over this cold? My brain is currently cowering in a corner of my head, hemmed in by a lot of gunk, and whining. I can't get it to come up with anything helpful at all.

But happy new year, anyway! And it's lovely to have you posting again.

zilla said...

Ditto everyone except Badaunt because I don't have a cold, the part about Lori being flat on her back with a fever, because I'm not.

(First thought: Am I an arsehole?)

Oh, sure, I thought about it. I thought about resolving to give up all of my vices and I thought about resolving to break a sweat toward health, but what I finally came up with is this:

I'm physically lazy and mentally hyperactive and I tend to shoot my mouth off at inopportune moments and I frequnetly self medicate with cheap Chardonnay.

If I hear Mr Z say the word "resolution" one more time, I AM going to bite his face clean off. His resolution? To spend less time at the computer. How's he doing so far? Not well at all, quite frankly. He doesn't seem perturbed with himself over it, so why should I be?

And why should we resolve to be other than who we are just because the calendar reads January first? I need a better reason than that.

I am looking forward to the new year, though. Throne reclaiming is a slow process, but it's gone a bit better today, so I'm heartened.

I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.

beckyboop said...

I've been through a bit myself this year.

I've went around apologizing as well....blaming my hormones or my lack of hormones.

Quite frankly, what I have learned is to tell people what I really think. My friends, my co-workers, doctors, and my family. I'm not really gaining any friends, but I don't give a shit. People need to know when they are being arsholes. My filtering capabilities are gone.

I've learned that my husband and son truly love me even though I tell it sraight now and will and can take care of me if I need them to. Hell, sometimes they do when I don't need them to. I feel more appreciated by them.

Fuck a bunch of resolutions! Here's to revalations!


Becky :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I relate so well, Cheryl. A year an a half ago, through illness, I saw that light in the tunnel. You start to get real, through illness, you learn to set boundaries and stop fannying about with fools and rude people. It's in setting those boundaries, living true to yourself and shelving the idiotic conventions of society that one truly ends up healing.

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful 2007. May you know good health, success, love, happiness, laughter, peace and harmony. And may all and only good things come your way - you deserve it all!


Anonymous said...

I learned that there's a Loyd Grossman Pasta Careline. (I'm not making this up - look on the back of the pack of spaghetti).

My Resolution for 2007 is to ring it.

All the rest remains as questions...


Happy New Year Cheryl :-)

Anonymous said...

I never make New Year's Resolutions, and am still seeking the calmer self inside 'cause I know she's still in there somewhere, but she got a bit run over by kids/husband/busy-ness and your post here just reminded me of how important it is to find her again. But I did mention to a non-blogging friend on New Year's Day how lucky I feel to have found a few kindred spirits on the www, and your name came up - so glad you're recovering, so glad you're back!

For me in 2007, a new blog (more on that another time): here's a quote from it that's a quote from someone else (just slipping one in before going on a rant about quotes!):

Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter and
those who matter don't mind.
(good ol' Dr. Seuss)

All the best in 2007!

fineartist said...

I love that Seuss guy! xx

And what a frappin great bunch of people here!

Anonymous said...

Life's too short to suffer fools gladly, particularly when your writing gives ample evidence that you are far smarter and more capable than the average humaniod type.

I have a good feeling about 2007....I think it's going to be a good one.....how about you?