The Standstill of Chronic Illness in a Constantly Changing World
Why won’t my body just allow me to achieve and do what I want? Sound familiar?
One huge thing I have had to realize as of late is how hard it is sometimes to face the reality of a life that continues to go when your life stands still.
What I mean by this is there are things we seem to miss out on. Everyone else seems to get ahead as the rest of us are left behind, picking up pieces, mending our hurting and broken lives. We’re trying to do the bare minimum while we watch the people around us accomplishing and achieving things in leaps and bounds.
One of the hardest things for someone to respond with when you share how exhausted and fatigued you are even after a day of resting and doing only what society sees as “the bare minimum” is, “Well that’s just life. If you can’t handle it now, how on earth are you going to deal with the real world, getting a job, etc.?”
I don’t know about you, but I know I really struggle with this and it really hurts to be left feeling like even the smallest victories in my day are worthless. People don’t know how hard it is to stand back and watch your friends graduate, get in relationships, get married, have kids, go overseas, work, etc., while your priorities for the day are surviving and providing yourself with basic care, such as showering, eating and getting outside if possible – let alone leaving your room.
When it feels like you’re dating the four walls of your bedroom and your day job is compiled of fighting just to accomplish something, rest, eating, sleeping, repeat, life can feel so discouraging, leading to hopelessness and the added weight on your headspace and physical capacity.
My dear friends, never see your goals of making sure you eat, drink water, rest, go for a walk, put the washing on, shower or whatever your capabilities are as weak or invalid. These are things to be celebrated, even though they leave us feeling exhausted and needing to potentially sleep even more that day, or struggling for days after.
Since my last flare-up of chronic fatigue in February, I have experienced a huge amount of depressive and anxious days. Feeling like the last few months have been a complete waste. Fighting back thoughts that I may never hold down a job, finish uni or achieve anything, because most days just the idea of thinking of eating, showering or just thinking is exhausting.
This is something time and time again I have to remind myself of. Even this season of rest I’ve been through for the past few months has definitely not been wasted. If you’re like me, you have probably achieved more than you even realize or give yourself credit for. Don’t lose heart – every day is a new opportunity to remember to celebrate the smallest of wins and the biggest of victories.
Keep persevering, and stay strong.
We’re in this together.
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Thinkstock photo via Cebas.