Why I Fear I'm Letting People Down Because of My Illnesses
I’ve had fibromyalgia, digestive issues, anxiety and depression, for years. I can trace back to middle school, sitting against the wall in the fetal position because of how bad my stomach hurt. Or high school, when I couldn’t face the day. I couldn’t comprehend how going to school that day would be OK. I couldn’t move, I just couldn’t get up. I can think back more recently to having a nervous break down because my boyfriend went away for the weekend and lost cell phone service, I couldn’t reach him at all. The anxiety of not being able to make sure he’s OK or where we was, was enough for me to have a full mental breakdown…tears, hyperventilating, shaking, even throwing up. After this episode, the shame I felt led me to dig into my arm as far as I could bear it.
This has been my life for longer than I can remember. I can’t pinpoint where everything began. I’ve been to countless doctors over the years desperate for an answer that didn’t end with “unfortunately we can’t do much more about this.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase, I’d be rich. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still cling to hope that someone will have a way to help me. But I’ve also had to acknowledge that this is my life, this is how it is, was, and will be.
I look forward to getting married, going to nursing school, being a nurse, having kids. But the fear I have thinking about these things is dibilitating. How can I be a nurse when I’m constantly in pain? Or nauseas? Or even sometimes when I feel unsteady on my feet? How can raise kids when I can’t even motivate my self to take a shower? Or how can I contribute to a marriage when I am constantly in pain and anxious and struggling to eat?
I fear letting people down. My future husband, my bosses, my potential children, and family. I constantly have to be reassured that I haven’t let my boyfriend down when I barely talk and keep falling asleep during the few hours we get together after work. I constantly have to be reassured by my family that I haven’t let them down when I couldn’t go to my niece’s dance recital because I was in too much pain and had a migraine from the bulging discs in my neck. I’ve bailed on friends far too many times, because I couldn’t bear the thought of have to get up and go out, no motivation, anxiety about how I’ll feel while I’m out.
I should be reassured by my faith in Jesus Christ. That I believe that everything I go through, everything I struggle with, it’s all His plan, and His plans are not to harm. But being perfectly honest, it’s a struggle for me to feel reassured this way. On a “good” day, I see things differently. And I know by the grace of God, the support and love from my boyfriend, and the endless love and support from my family, especially my mom, is how I get through it all. I know they’ve all got my back, regardless of the hell I put them through sometimes, and I know God’s hand is always upon me – even when I don’t feel like it is.
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