Has your life been “ruined” by chronic illness, if you feel that way then this article is for you. The same to all of you who feel useless or like a burden, those feelings are normal but we have to learn to overcome such emotions if we are to live a happy life. One must learn what they need help with and not be afraid to ask for help from their caregiver(s). Knowing what you’re capable of and when to ask for help is absolutely crucial when you have a chronic illness, any patient only has so much energy depending on the condition. Some people may be able to go grocery shopping but be too tired to unload the car when home and so they ask family members or a neighbor that understands your difficulties
Others with chronic illness are stuck on a couch like myself or in a hospital bed almost 24/7 and can only leave the house for doctor’s appointments, which is a huge hassle to accomplish and drains much of our energy. My point is everyone with chronic illness has strength to a different degree, the best way to explain this is with “Spoon Theory” Google that term it’s a beautiful article by Christina Miserderano and it uses spoons to represent one’s energy, a spoon is taken away for each activity and once they’re gone that’s it you’re done being active for the day.
A reader asked me to write this article because people often ask how I remain so positive in my situation. The truth is I keep to closed groups when I am feeling depressed and need help. I write a long post detailing all of my thoughts and issues. Then I ask if any members might be able to make suggestions on how to calm down, or if they know a better way to fight depression. I also text friends I’ve made through support groups and advocacy and often end up calling someone for a long chat to raise my spirits. As you meet others with chronic illness online you are inevitable to like some more than others if you feel a bond between you ask to exchange phone numbers so that you know you can now speak to somebody who understands. If you aren’t comfortable exchanging phone numbers or addresses to mail each other then email is the next best option. The point is getting in contact when depressed, interact with people and let your emotions pour out instead of trapping them inside. It isn’t weak to vent sometimes all of us long time patients vent to some degree and at different times using different methods but we all do it.
Another thing I do to raise my spirits is to make progress on a project it can be anything you can think of that brings you joy. If you paint work on your latest painting, a poet can work on a new poem, an athlete can train towards his speed or stamina etc. Working on a project will soothe your mind and give you goals; it will leave you with a sense of purpose and meaning when you need it most. Best of all you will inevitably improve t your skill over time and that will bring you great pride for all of the hard work you’ve put in over the years. If you fail at something especially if you’re new to it learn from the mistake and move on don’t dwell on it or else you will just make your depression and anxiety worse. You can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it, even turn your horrible chronic illness into a positive situation. How the hell can that happen?
Well look at this very blog it started as a personal thing for me to remember my various migraine related experiences. It wasn’t until I began getting an audience that I bought the real domain name and a premium package on Word press. Eventually things grew and I found a following on all sorts of social media which I now enjoy posting on daily. The only time I let chromic illness defeat me in terms of my writing id when it takes away my energy to type as it did yesterday when I had the worst pain of my life. It is even worse today but some how someway I will persevere. I will continue onward despite all my pain and a potentially terminal illness.
Lately life has been particularly frightening and this is a great example of fight depression. I lost the use of my legs on January 5th and ever since life has been a new experience every day more pain, newly using a commode all the time, my legs being useless just dragging around on the gound, being dressed & undressed, having lots of help when I need to go to the actusl bathroom beause I need to be picked up and lifted onto the toilet it’s embarrassing in front of family and friends you feel almost subhuman at first. However once you get used to these experiences and you tlak to other spoonies (people with chronic illness) about them tey become a lot easier to cope with. This is a fantastic feeling that of not caring so much what others think of you, it’s so demanded hard to obtain as a spoonie and we are white tortured as we learn these lessons but eventually we become veterans of hanging out in public and not giving a crap who look at us for our disabilities or medical equipment or looks.
We know those people are ignorant and they probably will never have the label of compassion and kindness we have towards each other, the comradery we feel is unlike anything else. When I need support on the days I feel well enough to even open a computer now that I’m so sick that the Mayo Clinic is seeing me nest week. Yeah I got an appointment that quick because nobody can figure me out and I’m literally dying here. I need help I scream every 10-30minutes in pain and agony; and every few minute I begin to cry again. I can’t help it this pain is unlike anything else it’s like a full body cluster attack all my nerve and muscles feel as if they’re being consumed by fire and it’s sickening to me. I feel as if I’m slowly being consumed form the inside out and I can feel every bit of it that’s why I didn’t sleep last night. But I remain hopeful as optimism is the key to life in 2015 and we shall all grasp onto it!
This post is dedicated to Michelle Tracy and the Migraine Research Foundation Donate Today!