Anche Questo Passerá- This Too Shall Pass.
I look down at my wrist as I sit down to type this, and take a deep breath, reminding myself of that very phrase. I knew today was inevitable. I could feel it coming. I noticed my body ached more, my heart hurt more, and all I wanted to do was sleep. It’s such a vicious cycle. Just as night turns to dawn and I can proceed with business as usual, I find myself immersed in darkness again.
So many times I have promised myself I would blog on this topic in the heart of it all. I find it so hard to do though. I’m exhausted. I’m emotional. I’m resentful. I’m agitated. I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and stand in the shower until the water runs cold.
2016 I went in for my VA claim appointment. This just simply means you go see a doctor and walk through what your issue is, and they decide if it is service related or not. If it is, they give you a percentage based on how much it impacts your daily life etc… As I go in to go over all of my claims set to be discussed that day, I am met by the kindest little old doctor I have ever seen. After we did a thorough exam, he started asking me all kind of questions that made nearly no sense to me. After what seemed like forever (I ran 45 minutes over my hour long appointment!) I walked away with a brand new diagnosis, and a forever changed life. Trauma caused Fibromyalgia. I would forever be a spoonie.
My pain has moments where it is barely tolerable, and popping 3 or 4 Tylenol 800’s does nothing me. I wake up after 12 hours of sleep being so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. I find that the slightest hiccup in my day causes me to break down into tears, and amplifies chemical imbalance which in turns effects the depression and anxiety I normally have in complete control. My migraines soar. My patience runs thin with everything from the dog needing out for the 8th time that hour just to be let back in so she can go back out, to my son saying “Mom” before every.single.sentence. I have no energy to go to the gym or do yoga or cook dinner. I don’t have the focus to help Mini Demon with his homework, or finish a single blog post. If I don’t make checklists, things for work fall through the cracks. The issue? I still have to do all those things. I’m a working single mother. I have a job, a son, a house and dog. I can’t just explain to Mini Demon that I am a worthless lump that day because my body hates me. I can’t let his homework go undone. I can’t not give him the attention he needs or fulfill his most basic needs. I can’t not let the dog out. I absolutely cannot drop the ball on aspect of work, because lives of others are involved. Did I mention I’m launching my own non-profit? Yeah. Throw that onto the list of crap that can’t get put on the back burner. My usually impeccable house ends up with dishes in the sink and muddy paw prints by the back door. I don’t yell about shoes being strewn all over the front entry. Mini Demon gets a lunchable in his lunch bag instead of some cute and creative Pinterest worthy arrangement of nourishment. I drag myself to yoga, because the worst thing for a Spoonie is to stop exercising and taking care of yourself.
This invisible chronic illness has cost me friends, relationships and opportunities. It brings out the ugliest side I have. The side that stirs my demons awake and tells them it’s time to play.
I know I have to give and take in order to keep functioning, but by day 3 of a flair up I am
where I am mentally at this very moment. I am mad that I am not able to effortlessly and seamlessly multitask. I’m resentful that I don’t get to be like everyone else. I am upset that at 28, I may actually be as broken as my military retirement makes me feel. I feel like a failure of a mother because patience are thin and energy is low- I’m not the unreasonably fake Pinterest and Blog mom’s who never miss a beat or get sick. Most of all- I feel so absolutely helpless. The girl who is “always busy”, always has so much going on and drifts through it all effortlessly can barely get herself out of bed. On day 3 I am completely immersed in the chronic darkness- ignoring that once again the dawn will come and I will carry on and be just fine. I sit here in a non-productive daze. Feeling so many emotions and none all at the same time. My depression telling me I am worthless. I’m too much to deal with. I’ll never be as good as those who are healthy. I’m a horrible mom. I’m a bad employee. I’ll never achieve my dreams because I’m broken. I’ll never get the life I long for. I ache from head to toe. I want to remove my soul from this broken container and find a new one.
I know that I will not stay immersed in the darkness forever, but while I’m stuck here, I need to remember (like the point of my blog as a whole!) this is MY darkness and it makes me who I am. It proves to everyone around me and myself that I am a warrior. It shows my son to never stop, to never not get back up. It allows me to reach out to those who may be in the same boat, and let them know they aren’t alone. I may be immersed in the darkness, but I need to learn to Carpe Noctem instead of resenting it.