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When You Get a Case of the 'Whys' in Life With Chronic Illness

I hate when I get a case of the whys. It’s hard to feel it before it comes on, you find yourself in this place of complete absence. Numbness because the physical pain has become almost unbearable. You push but then it starts to invade your thoughts, your push becomes inundated with thoughts of why. It becomes harder and harder to feel like you can go on, never mind the idea that you have to go on. All of it becomes difficult, simply existing becomes difficult.

Why doesn’t this feel like it’s ever going to end? Why is everything so hard all the time? Why can’t I seem to find the place and way where things hurt less? Why am I forced to be this person, to have this much need when I was so independent and wild and free? Why do I still mourn things like this? Why does it seem like I won’t ever be that person who gets it together, who finds success, who wins? Why does this emptiness feel like it’s all that is left for me, this pain echoing through every space I belong in — simply taking my place? Why does the sun shine when I can’t?

Pain is something I can’t control lately, and more and more I wonder if it was ever meant for me to control. Do I have to come to terms with the fact that this might be my everyday life? A life filled with exhausted sighs and wishes for something other than my present. It’s hard to stay focused and present when it’s filled with nothing but this dark painful shit. I meditate and focus on what I think I need — quiet, stillness, relief, love — but it’s just not there. There is heaviness, dragging, guilt, sadness, loneliness. All things that exist in my present too and have taken over any peace I seem to try to find.

It isn’t easy. Not for me and not for anyone around me. If I am broken, they all witness it, their helplessness is something I’m sure they wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s hard. Every day. The ache warrants all of my attention and I wonder if my child will only remember this. The sadness, the limp, the wince, the short tempered fatigued woman who is their mother right now. Who has been their mother for a long time. I question it all, how good am I if I can’t move, if breathing hurts, if all I can think of is how much it is going to exhaust me to take just one more step. How good am I if I can only cook and return to bed because even that is too much. Most times I can’t even do that. 

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I do my best to put on a brave face and sometimes that’s all I can do. That’s all my energy allows. And I don’t know if it’s enough. I hope it is and that they all know I love them with all I have left. I always wonder  why I’m not allowed to do the things other parents do, other wives do, other daughters do, other sisters do. I’m resigned to this place. Like living life on the outside looking in.

A perpetual looking glass.

The why constantly sits there in the back of my mind, deep in the pit of my stomach and beating within my heart. It hurts to acknowledge that there are no answers to that question. It’s one I will live with forever I suppose, it’s an empty wish that needs to be fulfilled.

The answer to why.

Getty image via iSidhe