Strange conversations happen at 4 am. Holly and I had one in the wee hours of this morning. It came towards the end of a very long and very unpleasant night for both of us. Holly's panic attacks hit a whole new level, she usually is winding down and ready to sleep by 3am, but last night, it just kept escalating. I was not in any state to cope with this, my thyroid levels have tipped into hyperthyroid territory, and I've been feeling rotten - exhausted, depressed, dizzy, and the worst part, palpitations and chest pain which at times gets quite scary. While I really wanted to comfort Holly, it was a case of the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.
So, the more crazed Holly got, the more tired I got. I couldn't keep my eyes open, which made her madder and more desperate, and then in turn, made me even madder and more exasperated. It ended up with both of us exploding at each other, both of us so caught up in our own sufferings that we couldn't, or wouldn't, have empathy for each other. After quite a few tears, we calmed down enough to hug and make up, and we started trying to find a way to explain how we were both feeling, which is how the strange conversation took place.
Holly started the analogy by saying how she sees it as that she and Michael and Megan are expensive subscriptions, in that their need for attention and help is the subscription. I've made a commitment to pay these subscriptions, with my time and effort, no matter what. (This analogy made a lot of sense at 4am, mind you.) Sometimes, the cost goes up, Holly's premium is very high at the moment, as is Megan's. Michael isn't that costly all the time, but every now and then his bill goes through the roof.
I then said that from my perspective, while I understand I'm responsible for footing the bill, sometimes the money (my time and energy) gets a bit scarce. I've already taken out a second mortage on my hypothetical loan, and it still isn't enough to cover what I have to pay to keep the subscriptions going. I'm now seeking out the analogical loan sharks, and I feel I just can't keep up the payments, and my physical health is now in danger, and the loan sharks are going to break my kneecaps...or give me a heart attack. :(
As I said, this all seemed to make perfect sense last night, but I think you can see where I'm going with it. Our analogy isn't quite as elegant as The Spoon Theory , but it got us through a bad night.