I see you suffering and I’m here to help!
I know there is a sense of loneliness no one wants to talk about. I know there is a sense of abandonment no one wants to express. I know there are undeniable highs and lows, anxiety and depression everyone wants to act like doesn’t exist.
Well, the reality is all of these things can be present when living with a chronic illness.
It is a lonely road when the persons around you don’t feel what you feel. They don’t awake daily exhausted and riddled with pain. The don’t have to dig deep to the depths of their souls for the strength to even get out of the bed. They don’t understand the torment and defeat you feel when you watch others do what seems to be the most simplest of things. They don’t understand that just by them not truly understanding, it drives you into a sunken place where you feel helpless and choose to conceal all real emotion because you know they just won’t get it.
People can go and come as they please and you are stuck in the house, in the bed or in the hospital. Their outings consist of beaches, travel, cookouts, physical activities, etc. while your outings consist of many doctor’s visits. They are able to get in their vehicles and go wherever they want, while you are left watching them leave through the window. They have careers and jobs to go to while your job consists of working with your limbs to be able to move properly and take a shower. They can go to the gym, while your exercise consists of moving from the bed to the bathroom and around the house.
You put on a smile to hide the tears! You never want anyone to see how miserable you truly are. You smile to hide the pain. You smile to camouflage the depressive state you are in and the anxiety of worrying if you can keep up the facade.
They want to do things because they aren’t sick and you try your best to push to go despite how you physically feel so they can have some what of a normal life. You pay for it by worsening symptoms that you can’t express because it can cause conflict.
You want to be normal. You want to be able to go on adventures. You want to work. You need independence, BUT this debilitating chronic illness has changed your entire life!
Now what? You spend each moment trying to figure out how you can be half of who you used to be and how you can make sure life is the same for all around you. The reality is, life will never be the same so you have to find solace in your new found reality.
Your relationships with your family and friends have to be different in order to live successfully together! Some can’t handle the change so they leave, while others think they are coping and supportive all while making you feel like you are a burden and life for them has become boring and something they truly don’t want. They didn’t sign up for this, but they don’t want to seem like they aren’t compassionate so they stick around; however, you can read from all expressions that they aren’t truly happy.
Burden becomes your identity and anxiety takes control of your days, UNTIL you make a serious change in yourself!
You must find your worth and realize you are NOT your disability! You are special, handpicked because you are strong enough to handle the task of fighting this battle. Your battle will help the lives of others going through their own battles. You have to realize people will only view you how you view yourself. If you view yourself as a burden, then others will see and treat you as such. There will be some you will have to let go because they aren’t trying to understand and their ignorance is more of a hindrance to you than your illness is to them. Although you feel alone, you are surrounded by many who are dealing with chronic illness too! Tap into your support groups and open up and talk to people. Stop hiding and display the Warrior you are! Own your truth and share your story! You may still have days of loneliness, abandonment, anxiety and depression, but they will become less and less! Surround yourself with positivity and keep fighting! You can do it! In fact, WE WILL WIN TOGETHER!!!!
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