Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were great this year. I'm so happy that my headache went down enough that a Tylenol was not a requirement and my jaw (which muscle was broken in surgery) could open up wide enough to stuff all the amazing food inside my mouth without trouble. On Eve at my boyfriend's parents' house there was a big crowd there but I really felt more like myself. It made me notice big time the difference between that gathering and the first rather large social gathering I went to two weeks ago in mid December.
The first gathering in mid December I went to was a group of friends meeting up at our friends' house for dinner, secret Santa, games, catching up, and for most people, drinking. I was very excited to go. I have received a lot of support from them checking in on me since the first surgery and sending me nice gifts, so I was happy to see them to show how much better I'm doing. At the same time though, I didn't want to talk about surgery all night. I wish I could've walked in, stood on a chair, got everyone's attention and said, "Can I have your attention please!" and explain all about my recovery from surgery so far and how I am doing so everyone knows. After my speech, I wouldn't want to talk about my strange head for the rest of the night. Unfortunately, my genius idea of that did not come to mind during the party. When I was talking, catching up with friends I was before anything asked questions about how I am feeling, how things went, was the surgery successful, are you done with seizures, and many more. This just brought back emotions for me.
I consider myself very positive when it comes to what I've been through and how it is affecting me, but at times I unfortunately have a very hard time controlling my emotions. Sometimes I'll just start crying and I have nothing that I am upset at, and if I do seem to get a bit upset because something tickled my mood or emotions, I'll ball my eyes out.
At the gathering, I was a bit intimidated about initiating conversation. I decided to join in with the game Cards Against Humanity so I could turn to some laughter and fun. I really enjoyed myself playing the game. People decided to pause the game to socialize and eat. When I found myself sitting on the couch without anyone next to me and most people with a drink in their hand laughing, joking around, or making plans for the following time getting together, I got a lump in my throat. I wish I knew the face I was making because my boyfriend came over and asked if I was ok. I told him I was fine. I wanted him to enjoy himself, he's been looking forward to this since the last year's secret Santa. I felt like I was about to have tears pouring out. I clenched my jaw and kept down the tears. I went up with him to get food, and felt calmer having him next to me with normal conversation. When it was time for secret Santa, I was in charge of passing Santa the presents. I was glad I had a role. I felt included in the fun. Some people had been drinking a bit too much and with them pulling ridiculous acts, while most found it humorous, it was beyond my sense of humor. I almost found it irritating in a way.
My turn to get a gift, and I threw on a smile. Most people got funny gifts that had to do with their personality or inside joke. I was hoping for a gift making light of my situation. Something I could laugh at. How about a wig for my half missing hair? Maybe a dictionary in case I forget a word? Even better, some instant mashed potatoes so I can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner with my sore jaw? I was ready for someone to pitch in to help me make light of this situation and let loose. I opened my gift and inside was some nice Packers fan gifts- pens, cup holder, stickers, etc. She thought I was sensitive and wanted to get me something she knows I'd like. I smiled, put on some excitement for my Packers gear, and gave her a big thank you for my gift because she knows I am a big fan.
My boyfriend asked if I was ready to go, I agreed. In the car ride to meet my parents to take me home he asked me if I had a good time. I clenched my jaw again and gulped down the tears. I explained that some parts were fun like playing cards, but I wasn't myself the whole time. I said I didn't like constantly talking about the surgery and pain I went through. All I wanted to do was have normal fun conversation with friends. I wanted to know everyone's Christmas plans or if they got stuck in the snow the other day, or how work is going. The times I was talking it was about my brain. The times I was sitting alone, I got emotional because all I was thinking about was surgery and the negatives I went through. I held in my tears because I wanted to be happy that I went out to be social. I was happy I went out. It was the first time in 4 weeks. It was a big step. I got home to my parents' house, went upstairs, and cried until I quickly fell asleep.
I was not myself. I felt nervous thinking of being social again in the near future. I don't want others to worry about me. Why am I crying? Why was I about to cry at the party?! I lost myself for the night. I needed to find myself again hoping it was just an off night. Christmas Eve, now that was a night I was back to myself. Off nights are possible, but I was only looking forward to when I was able to be myself and be social with people I miss.