Having a chronic illness is a battle that I have to fight every single day. Having three chronic illnesses is like drowning. I can’t ever seem to get my head above water. Just when I think I’m on the edge of some sort of recovery – BAM! Something else goes wrong and one of the three illnesses betrays me.
I have lived my life believing that if I do everything right, if I follow the rules, if I work hard and if I have faith that everything will work out, it will and I will be successful and healthy and that somehow, someway, I will beat whatever odds have been bestowed upon me and somehow I will win this fight against chronic illness.
I have been preaching acceptance and grieving for years and I realize that I myself have not been accepting my own limitations and that I will never be what I want to be – what I dreamed to be. I need to quit playing games with my mind and come to grips that I am who I am. I will never be able to do all of the things I was once able to do and that those days are never coming back again. I’m not giving up. I’m just tired of fighting. I’m tired of trying to be something I’m not. I’m tired of trying to be strong and brave all of the time when I don’t feel that way.
By denying who I really am and what I am truly capable of doing, I am further causing damage to not only my physical self but also mentally. I have been struggling extremely hard the past two weeks and have had several breakdowns, which are very unlike me. I am not someone who is normally an emotional person but yet I find myself in a constant state of anxiety and I am having trouble just getting through the day trying to deal with the normal tasks of life.
I am starting to find that at work I am struggling more and more just trying to get through my shifts and I worked the past three days and had to hold back tears all three days because I was in so much misery. I’ve got to stop trying to feel like I have to prove myself to others – I don’t know what that is all about but I think that if I can prove my worth to others, I feel like I am truly worthy myself.
Look – I am not a sad, sappy, depressed, morbid person and I know my posts lately have sort of went in that route lately and I apologize. I have just been going through a lot, a transition of sorts, and I’m trying to sort through all of these feelings and thoughts the best way that I know how and this is how I do it.
I think I get to a point where I find a happy balance and then something else sets my health issues off and everything goes haywire and I can’t get my body back on track regardless of what I do. I can’t sleep, I follow a diet that is supposed to be nutritionally healthy for me, but I’m not well.
I feel completely lost so much of the time because I have no one to go to who understands what I’m going through except for my fellow online friends. I have no one to really talk to about any of this because to everyone else, meaning the “normals” (healthy people), this stuff is nothing. Their solution is to “just get over it” or to “just do it”.
I’m dealing with real issues that are life altering. I can’t get through a normal day without feeling like my insides are going to explode because I don’t know how I am going to get through it. If it weren’t for my Prozac, things would probably be a lot worse.
That is not a normal way to be, that is not a normal way to live. I feel that way because I physically don’t have enough energy to accomplish the things that need to be done. The problem is, our life is pretty simple, there isn’t a lot of stuff going on and I still can’t function with it. That is a problem. That is chronic illness. That is what is does to our bodies.
When you have a chronic illness, your body is already to the point where it is depleted of so much that just brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or sending an email seems like climbing Mount Everest. As with the Spoon Theory, there just aren’t any spoons left.
I try to be a good mom and I try to be a good wife but my illnesses always get in the way. They always seem to come first before anything and that is not what I want. But they hold me hostage. I will try to fake feeling well and I will push myself to do things with my family sometimes because I know that this all is affecting them, but it just further sets my health back by doing so because my body is just not capable of it.
These illnesses are not going to go away – that is why they are called CHRONIC. Chronic means FOREVER. This is a lifetime deal I am signed up for. I look at my son and I look at my husband and I feel sorry for them. They don’t deserve this – they are vibrant, exciting people. I just bring them down even though I try to be upbeat and positive.
But when your body is throbbing in constant pain and the exhaustion is never ending, it’s hard to feel that way all of the time. It takes energy that I don’t have to try and pretend to be like that.
People are always telling me how happy, upbeat, and friendly I am. This is my normal disposition and how I really am. When the sickness sets in and the flares have been ongoing, my whole demeanor changes and it’s like I’m a completely different person. I don’t even know myself. Chronic illness is a leach – it sucks every bit of your soul and life and leaves a small piece of what we once were. Everyday over the past 20-plus years I have lost more and more of myself from all of this.
I have fought so hard, and continue to fight so hard, for my life and it has gotten to where I have no emotional or physical reserve left. I feel like my husband doesn’t fully accept that these illnesses are not going to go away and he will say things at times to where I feel like he is blaming me for being sick. He will tell me, “You need to get yourself better now! We have this coming up or we have that coming up.” and that just adds extra pressure on me to get well.
I can’t force the flares away. If I could, I would never have one again. If I could talk my body out of them, I would have done that 20 years ago.
Thanks for listening.