My Picture in Picture life – A letter to my loved ones

Dear Family and Friends,

I have a few thoughts I would like to share with you. Many people in my situation find themselves writing letters like this to their loved ones in order to effectively share their feelings, thoughts, emotions and needs. It can be very helpful to everyone involved. I have considered it many times before but I am not good at the explanation kind of thing so it would have just been a bunch of jumbled up words, accompanied by some raw emotions (that I don’t like sharing in the first place) and I don’t believe it would have been very useful. It probably would have just been sad.

Until Today.

This morning I ran across a comment on the Resolve facebook page. This anonymous lady mentioned living Picture in Picture and I though…what a great way to explain my situation to family/friends. So I borrowed this metaphor and made it personal. I will try to be short and sweet here but nothing about my life right now is short and sweet (except for maybe my good days) so please be patient.

I live my life through “Picture in Picture”.

You know, the tv feature most tv’s have these days. Let’s begin with the definition…

Picture-in-picture (PiP) is a feature of some television receivers and similar devices. One program (channel) is displayed on the full TV screen at the same time as one or more other programs are displayed in inset windows. Sound is usually from the main program only.

Picture-in-picture requires two independent tuners or signal sources to supply the large and the small picture. Two-tuner PiP TVs have a second tuner built in, but a single-tuner PiP TV requires an external signal source, which may be an external tuner, VCR, DVD player, or a cable box. Picture-in-picture is often used to watch one program while waiting for another to start, or advertisements to finish.

Thank you Wikipedia… Now, allow me to elaborate.

I live with more than one reality every day of my life. One reality is on the full screen and my other reality is on the inset screen in the corner. On one screen I am living a child-free life and loving it. I have an amazing home, a few great friends/family, PC and more. If I happen to be having a bad day, which means my symptoms are overwhelming, this is the screen my health is on. Especially on days I have doctor appointments and such. On the other screen I am infertility, chronic illness and upcoming surgeries. I am devastated that PC and I will never have biological children. I am trying to grieve the loss of that dream and life and at the same time trying not to let that grief control or define me. If I’m having an ok day (my symptoms are calm for now), this is the screen my health is on. Both screens are usually full of “commercials” about managing my symptoms, anxiety and depression.

The part that makes this PiP life so complicated is the fact that on any given day EITHER reality could be on my full screen and the other on the inset screen. I never know which reality will be on which screen. Nor do I know which one will be louder than the other. And that is the “zip file” explanation.

At all times throughout the day, I can see both screens!

I can hear both screens.

I can feel both screens.

The batteries in my remote are dead and for right now, there is NO WAY to turn this PiP off.

Can you imagine watching “Titanic” and “The Sound of Music” at the same time, all day long??

Do I laugh, cry, smile, frown, run and hide, what????

So I ask you to consider/remember the challenges this PiP life style can present when:

  • I don’t answer your phone calls or texts
  • I do not attend functions or gatherings
  • I am unable to go the extra mile to help someone out
  • I do not celebrate special events/occasions the same as I would have 5 years ago
  • You are teasing me for being unemployed
  • You are feeling ignored or neglected by me
  • You are wondering why we don’t “just adopt”
  • You are questioning my decisions, about anything
  • You are wondering why I avoid any and all drama I possibly can
  • Planning celebrations
  • Planning any sort of announcement (pregnancy or otherwise)
  • and so much more

Understand that I love you and I am doing the very best that I can. I begin each day with a limited amount of mental and physical energy. How can you help?

There are only 2 ways I think you can help me right now. One is Patients! Self explanatory, right? And the other way is Understanding. The best way for anyone to understand what I am going through is to learn more about chronic illness. CLICK HERE to read the absolute best explanation of what someone living with a chronic illness goes through daily. It’s called “The Spoon Theory” by  Christine Miserandino. I beg you, Please read it.

My Pip life costs me several spoons a day.

Much Love To All

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2 responses to “My Picture in Picture life – A letter to my loved ones

  1. –At all times throughout the day, I can see both screens!

    I can hear both screens.

    I can feel both screens.–

    Time will help some healing. After that, you have the responsibility of letting what screen you want to watch! Hope you will go for the better one most of your time, and let the other one play only a minor part!

    Have gone through all in the list, can understand!

    • I am sure trying. Every day it gets just a tad easier but just when I start feeling confident I have a bad day. Vicious cycle I hope to break soon. Thank you for the kind words!!

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