The Symptoms Conundrum

Anyone with chronic illness knows they have their ups and downs, but how much of the reality of how we feel do we really share with friends, family and healthcare professionals? 

When asked every quarter about my mental health, I usually just say, “I’m fine, thank you.” I don’t elaborate about the numerous sleepless nights or the feelings of worthlessness that lurks daily, inbetween and during, things I do. I highlight the positive and sweep away the negative, because in all honesty I am playing a game to enable myself to remain in the status quo. 

For me personally, change is hard, I dont adapt as well as I think I should or it appears I need to in order to meet the demands of everyday life and I have no hope of better circumstances. Hope is a currency of youth I simply depleted long before I should have felt aged. That is the tragedy and effect of long hours of worry and mental anguish. From time to time I do see a glimmer of hope, but it’s usually a faraway flash and translates to acceptance of my ever growing limitations.

Under the medically compliant and effusively practical surface there lurks a deep and dark well of dread, doom and despondency. I’m doing well if I ignore it most of the day, but after days it becomes impossible to carry on regardless. Superimpose on that the chest pain, shortness of breath, current soft tissue injury threatening to become infected and the anaemia making me tired and anxious, and it just seems too much to cope with at any given moment.

So, I hit the books and thank heavens I don’t face all this alone and am living with the ying to my yang. I try to recapture that feeling of once being free of any burdens of expectations and simply living in the moment and enjoying my life, which is the point of being here as much as we are here to help each other, but somehow I overlooked the simplest of pleasures, whilst trying to cope with the multiple doubts of my existence.

Some say I over think things, some say I cannot see the wood for the trees but I can’t stop and I just want to sleep for a thousand years. 

10 thoughts on “The Symptoms Conundrum

  1. Rotten for you. Have you tried a therapist? I found myself a private one after a couple of particularly bruising relationship break-ups on the trot. I’m not sure she solved the problem, but she certainly enabled me to stand back from myself when the feelings of worthlessness strike, understanding them and evaluating them for what they are and bringing coping strategies into play. Sounds like you have developed your own – good for you, that’s not easy to do. But some help never goes amiss 🙂

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    • I’ve been in psychodynamic group therapy for over two years now and it’s has helped dramatically, but it doesn’t cure and I have good days and bad days. There’s a lot of work still to be done in group but I like sharing the time with others too.

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  2. Sharing is part of caring for self. Thank you for sharing as I too have similar issues and it helps to know that you aren’t alone. Sleep is an optional activity in my life as well. When I throw a private pity party I use the moment to expel my demons and use the waste as a step out of darkness toward the light.

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    • Thank you, sharing certainly helps put things into perspective and change the angle with which I view things. It’s hard not to feel sorry for myself at times and self-pity is also a natural emotional response to feeling ill, but fortunately such feelings do not last and I can limit any pity parties I have. I am still working on lessening the depression and anxiety, though.

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  3. I missed this August post. Anxiety and depression are oppressive, exhausting monsters, aren’t they? You’re not alone. The key is one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. And try never to lose hope.

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