My “Maybe” Life, I Guess…

This is my life:

Friend: “Hey Amanda, I’m having a super awesome birthday party this weekend.  Do you wanna come?”
Me: “Maybe.”

Colleague: “Hey Amanda, volunteering 5 minutes of your time for this cause that you care about will guarantee that bad thing will never happen again. Can you be there?”
Me: “Maybe.”

Ryan Gosling: “Hey girl… wanna go out Friday night?”
Me: “Maybe. Please.”

(Ok, so I might have paraphrased a little.)  Between the migraines, the neck pains, the anxiety, the depression, and feeling high from the painkillers, I’m living a “maybe life”.  I cannot commit to anything – even things that I really want to do – because I never know how I’m going to feel. Instead I just say “maybe” to everything on the off chance that I’ll be there (but most times I’m not).


It sucks.

I was starting to worry that had I not gone on leave, I would lose my job. In the weeks before I decided that this is what I needed to do, every morning involved a 5 minute evaluation of if I felt pain-free enough to get up and go to work or not.  It was actually easier when I knew calling in sick was “out of the question” because I didn’t stop to question it – I just sucked it up and went to work. (I suspect that pushing myself like that for so long is the reason it got this bad.)  But then the season ended, my workload drastically decreased, and it was so much easier to pop some painkillers and stay in bed knowing my work would not suffer in my absence. I thought that recognizing this and taking a leave was the better option then being a “maybe employee” calling in sick all the time (but I guess we’ll have to see how that plays out).

My personal relationships have been suffering too.  The boyfriend and my friends have all been great, but I know this “maybe life” of mine isn’t easy to deal with. On the rare occasion that I do say “yes” to something, I’ve turned around and broken those plans at the last minute, or ended up leaving early. I even did this when my dad (who I see maybe twice a year) was in town.

Luckily, I’m the only one that makes me feel bad for being this spastic and undependable.

I know that I need to be selfish right now. That the whole point of taking the summer off was to work on me.  I’m actually enjoying all this alone time.  All this quiet with very few obligations is giving me the time to really think about the things I want to do versus what I have to do. But being in my head this much, and slowly pushing people away is not healthy. It might even be making me more depressed.

It helps that I predominantly keep in touch with a lot of my friends and my immediate family over the Internet which is fairly easy to do, no matter how I’m feeling. (Although I’ve been trying to arrange a Skype date with a friend for months now that hasn’t happened.) The problem is, I know I need to maintain, if not improve, my relationships with the people around me, too.

But how do you maintain healthy relationships when you’re not healthy yourself?

I’m being honest and upfront about how I’m feeling.  I’m seeing the doctors and I’m taking the medication.  I’m slowly, but cautiously saying “yes” more often than “no”.  I’m trying to do the best I can.  I hope this is enough.

Are you or someone you care about living a “maybe” life due to health issues?  How are you/did you cope? 

Note: Apparently there’s a whole marking campaign out there about chronic migraines and “living a maybe life”. I don’t have TV so I didn’t know this until I was adding the focus keywords to my SEO. And here I thought I was being at least somewhat original. Whoops!  This post is NOT affiliated with whatever company that is in any way. Sadly, I’m not affiliated with Ryan Gosling either.

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

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9 thoughts on “My “Maybe” Life, I Guess…”

  1. Ack, that sounds legitimately tough.

    Every so often I fall into an emotional rut that’s often exacerbated by feeling cut off from my friends and loved ones (during the school year I teach part time at a college on top of working my regular job. All of the extra prep and grading eats up all of my spare time for 8 long months so by spring I’m usually a quivering ball of stress and sadness). I’ll push myself to make even just a little bit of time to spend with people or even just arrange a call with them. A friend and I even just started writing old fashioned letters to each other – anything to feel less isolated.

    That said, illness definitely changes up the equation. My completely unprofessional opinion is that you should think of every attempt at connecting with others as a success instead of not being enough. Honour yourself by moving forward at a pace that works for you and show gratitude to those great and supportive people in your life.

    Sorry if that wasn’t particularly helpful 🙁 I hope things start to come together for you real soon!

    • NO, this was VERY helpful! Thank you!

      The biggest thing I’ve learned during this whole process is that I’m far too hard on myself. Truth is, I often go month without seeing some of my friends because we’re all so busy – me being sick has nothing to do with that. I just got to remember that, and take better advantage of the good days 🙂

  2. It sounds like everyone is being patient and understanding about your situation except yourself. You havent even been off for a month yet; if you broke your leg, you wouldn’t be upset for not being able to walk yet. These things take time.

    And I agree with what Sara says. Instead of getting down on yourself about what you can’t do, celebrate the victories of when you DO see friends and feel like yourself. Take small steps, as you feel up to it, to get back to where you want to be. And I think explaining your feelings in this post is a really good first step.

    Everyone understands that youre not at your best – you’re so not well that you qualify for sick leave – and no one will hold that against you. We have patience. So take all the time you need.

    • It’s sort of funny/not funny that I saw the boyfriend the night I posted this, and HE apologized to ME for being so spastic lately. I’m like “Do you read my blog?!?”

  3. You said that word SEO. Confuses the heck out of me! Anyways, the people who care about you will understand and that’s really what matters. Hopefully the yes’s will become more and more and you will start to feel able to get out more. Hope it gets better! Life is meant to be lived. Hopefully this break will help clear the fog so to speak.

    • I know, all that SEO stuff confuses me so much too! I just installed a wordpress plug-in that makes it easy. No idea if or how it works, but it take all of 30 seconds to add, so why not?

      “Life is meant to be lived” – I love that!! I have to remember that. Maybe I’ll post it somewhere around my apartment as a constant reminder 🙂 Thanks!

  4. This is such a difficult part of dealing with chronic pain or illness! I’ve felt the same way many times. What I did was go ahead and schedule things with people who were close to me. Because they were close friends/family, they understood that I might not feel well the day of our plans and that I might have to cancel. The times I had to cancel sucked, and it made me feel awful. But the times I was able to go out and feel some sense of normalcy were great.

    I keep in touch with people via texting, emailing, and tweeting when I’m bad off, and that helps me to feel less isolated. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this, as it is sucktastic. *hugs*

    • Thanks! I’ve been trying really hard to schedule more things, and so far it’s been working out. Hopefully that means I’m on the upswing?

  5. Are you comfortable saying something like, “I do want to see you but I really need to focus on me right now”? And then ask them to appreciate that and know that you want to be a better friend soon? I imagine you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying this to acquaintances… but your closest friends may appreciate your honesty. They love you, A – that’s why they keep asking if they can see you.


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