I Fight So Hard

One of the worst parts of living with chronic pain is all the other stuff that comes along with it.

I often think that I could handle the pain if only it wasn’t accompanied by depression, anxiety, fatigue, weakness, limited mobility, etc.

I’ve struggled with depression most of my adult life and a chunk of my teen years as well. Whether I’m medicated or not, it’s always there. The same with anxiety. While they aren’t new battles, the intensity of how they’re connected with my battle against RA can be staggering.

 

It goes a little something like this:

I wake up stiff and sore. My energy level is low. This means I can’t do much today.

Because I can’t do much, I start to feel useless as the chores pile up.

Dwelling on where the pain is settling, anxiety kicks in as I worry about all it might mean. How bad is the joint damage? If the swelling doesn’t go down soon, numbness will kick in. How long before that causes irreparable nerve damage?

Being overly anxious always causes my OCD to become pronounced. I used to deep clean to control these urges. Since I can’t clean, the OCD goes unchecked and I start to obsess over the littlest of things.

My mind is spinning and yet there is still a calm voice talking. It’s the voice of depression, telling me no one really loves me.

It tells me how my friends are frustrated listening to my constant whining. It tells me I’m a horrible friend, that I make excuses and push them away. It tells me that I’m not really sick, it’s all in my head. It tells me that I’m deathly sick and I’m going to find out very soon that I will spend the rest of my life crippled. It tells me that I’m useless, a burden, that I’m just using my fiance. That one day he’ll get tired of working two jobs to support us and will leave me. It tells me that I’m not worth anything.

It asks why I even bother fighting this disease, why don’t I just give in and let it take me?

 

This is the fight that I battle each day.

To put one foot in front of the other takes more strength than most people will ever comprehend. I am my own arch nemesis, my mind the battlefield for our ongoing conflict of wills. In a perfect world, I would be able to vanquish this enemy of mine and live in peace.

With depression, this is not possible. It will always be there, no matter how much or how little medication I take.

Since the war cannot be won, it is the daily battle I must focus on.

And for today, I’m winning. If only slightly.

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3 thoughts on “I Fight So Hard

  1. Oh honey. This is so true to my life, I could have written it. Try to remember not to compare yourself to “everyone else.” Some people can vacuum every day. I can’t. But making that comparison puts that person on a higher level, in your mind, than you – and that is never true. We all have ranging abilities. You are one of the most compassionate people I know; the support you offer your friends (even people you haven’t fer-real met, like me!) is simply stunning. Who are you (or, who am I? or anyone else?) to make the judgement call that says that what you CAN’T do is more important than what you CAN do? Don’t stoop so low as to make that rationalization, because… it’s not rational.

    As for your soon-ish-to-be hubs? I have the same worry about D. When will he get sick of my stating “this hurts, that hurts, this is wrong…” It’s a combination, for me. I take my baseline pain and try to never complain about that. I only make it known when I’m quite a bit “worse” than “normal” (ugh what ugly words). He knows this, too, or at least I’ve told him that. It takes a little bit of stress off of the day to day *whining.* Also? Your man wouldn’t still be here if he didn’t plan to stick around. I promise you that.

    I ❤ you and I hope that you continue your journey, winning as many days as possible.

  2. I get it. Totally. I’m in the chronic fatigue, ptsd, depression, anxiety boat myself and it’s a near-constant struggle. The days where I am feeling GOOD are very, very few. I hate it. It had gotten better until Jack got sick, though.

    I don’t know if you’ve tried this (probably you have) but I have had some success with a ‘managing depression’ course taken through my healthcare provider. I also combined that with a depression workbook (they sell them on amazon). The depression workbook is good to have on hand because when you’re feeling bad you can just channel all that crap into working on the book. They have one for anxiety, too. The books are additional tools for the battle and this combination of things has lessened the occurrence of my depression. Might help you, as well.

  3. I get this so much. I have the daily depression and anxiety struggle.

    For those days when the lies are loud in your head, read this, and know I mean every word: You are amazing. You work so hard. You give so much. You are worth more than you know. You make this world a better place just by being here. You rock. You bless me every day. It is okay to take a break when you need to – self care is important, and you deserve to be cared for. I love you.

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