I’ve been feeling really good lately. Not normal good, but good for me, it’s been awesome! I’ve been really busy and I’m always happy when I’m busy. I’ve really enjoyed being able to get everything done that needs to get done for once. I’ve been teaching my daughter to play soccer, making Christmas treats, visiting others who need a helping hand, shopping for my family, cleaning my house, helping out at my daughter’s school, and going to Christmas parties. I wasn’t doing any of these things last year, and the year before I wasn’t even able to get off the couch for more than an hour at a time.
I’m clearly doing much better than I have been for a long long time. And yet, I’m afraid. As I run around town busy and happy, I have a secret fear in the back of my head. I wonder how am I going to handle it when I go back? When I start feeling awful again, am I going to completely fall apart after enjoying this freedom? What if I lose access to the medications that are helping me feel better, what’s going to happen to me? These thoughts make me anxious. I am anxious because there is nothing more heart breaking then starting to feel better and then backsliding again. I don’t even have the words to explain how hard it is, but it is soul crushing. As you feel your body sliding back into sickness and you know what is going to happen, it is hard to fight off total despair. And so, even as I feel well I am anxiously waiting for my health to be taken away from me again. It’s not a healthy way to live, but I’ve been through this cycle over and over again in the last three years and I know I can’t handle my hopes being dashed again.
The longer I deal with chronic illness, the more I realize that is is a constant mental and physical battle. We tend to brush aside the mental aspect of physical illness, but I have found that is is just as big of an influence on my life as how I feel physically. I wish it was easy to just live my life one moment at a time and never think about the future and what it might bring, but it’s not. For now I’ve just learned to live and function with the anxiety and I make sure it doesn’t run my life. I wish their was an easy magic answer, but for me there is not.