Chronic Illness, Contentment

Life Is For The Living

When you live with chronic illnesses, you live with pain, severe fatigue, and a host of other symptoms.  Some days are better and some worse.  Some people have good days, but I no longer do.  This can bring a person to feel very discouraged.

Living

For the lucky ones, who are receiving treatment, their “normal” days may be good enough for them to function.  Functioning, to me, means getting a shower, dressing, and being able to move about and be productive.  I haven’t had a day like this in so long, it’s hard to remember how it felt.

When you have untreated, or under-treated chronic illness, it’s important to not give up.  Keeping a fighting spirit helps a person to keep having hope and prevents severe discouragement.  But, some days it’s just too much.

Holidays can be the worst when one isn’t functioning.  No one wants to miss out on the “important” family days.

Yesterday was a holiday and I wasn’t able to function.  I had the best of intentions.  Because I haven’t been able to function lately, I had planned for a restaurant Holiday meal.  Waking up on Easter morning with excessive pain, nausea, and fatigue, I knew I wasn’t going to participate in this day.

dread

Many people think that a person with chronic illness should be able to just deal with it and overcome their illness.  Sometimes, I have been able to fight through the pain and appear to function.  But, there are many days (too many) that there is no fight and no ability to do this.  Yesterday was like that for me.

Days like this make me depressed.  I wasn’t born like this and have years of wonderful memories.  I grew up to feel that a person who wasn’t productive was wasting their life.  It’s hard to stop that feeling.  Chronically ill people deal with constant guilt that they’re not productive.  And, we feel it when we’re ignored and invisible.

I know that life is for the living.  When you feel as if you’re not really “living”, you feel invisible and unneeded.  It’s a terrible place to be mentally, but those of us with chronic illness can easily land here.

Everyone wants us to “get better” and that’s good, but not realistic.  Just as I must do better at accepting my life, we wish our friends/family would accept that we have changed.  We no longer can live as we once lived.  Our inner and outer battles have changed.

If you know someone who lives with chronic illness, I hope you’ll be caring and show them patience.  They may be fragile and need attention.  In my life, the inner battles are severe and never-ending.  I’ll continue to fight for a life, but when I can’t I’ll just try to survive.

@2018, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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