On my 30th birthday, my best friend had planned this amazing trip to party in Austin. I wasn't keen on the thought of relinquishing my 20's, but she was hell bent on improving my mood with a good old bit of birthday shenanigans. A few hours later, I was curled up in bed before 9 in pain with her banging on my suite door asking me to get in the car so we could head to the club. We never made it and my bad birthday mood never improved.
This is a snapshot of my life living with chronic illness. You make plans, your body makes "other" plans. It's a life filled with pills, endless doctors visits, the financial strain, surgeries, having to plan ahead in case of emergencies, endless unsolicited advice, endless cancellations, dealing with mental health as a result of your health issues, and wanting to punch the next person that cheerfully tells you on revelation of your illness.... to just be positive!
I'm alive right? That's my consolation prize. Always having to hear, it could be worse and yeah, sure it could be, so there is that whole perspective thing but just between you and me, it totally sucks. There are moments where I think back to life before diagnosis and it's almost like a dream. You try not to go there too often and try to focus on what is and what you can do now, but you can't help but think of the before times. Again there is the perspective thing because there are those that have never even known a before time where they weren't chronically ill.
Sometimes you just need to vent (right now!) because it keeps you sane to just release the anger of "why me," but then somewhere along that train of thought you think, if not me, then who? This is my lot in life. It's going to forever be a constant battle when I'm out of remission to remember positive things and keep going forward as best I can. I have to remind myself not to always put on a brave face and to admit that sometimes I just need to go home and give my body a chance to rest even if I don't want to. It's forcing myself some days to take the pills and do the routines that keep me going. It's also knowing that there are others out there going through the same thing that continue to fight on and share with others so we don't dwell in just the misery.
To those out there, dealing with chronic illness too, kudos to you for fighting to get to the next day physically and mentally. It's not easy, and it can be the toughest struggle of your life. If you have support in your life from friends and family, never forget to say thank-you because some don't ever get that. Also don't always hold things in and know that it's 100% okay to have really bad days and to freak out, but you can't stay in that head space forever. Life is still for the living, and that's what we've got to do.