It’s that old feeling of never being right, of never being enough. It creeps on you in the middle of the night. It creeps on you in the middle of a difficult flare. It creeps on you when you let your guard down and let yourself feel for once. For once you won’t be positive and hopeful. For once you will remove the block in your mind that says “don’t think about it.” And when that block is gone the feeling comes for you.
You feel inadequate. You feel loss. You feel anger. Most of all you feel pain. This time it’s not a physical pain, though it hits you so intensely it almost feels like it is. No, this time it’s an emotional one. It’s the feeling that comes with loss and hurt. It hurts so much you wish you could block it out, but it isn’t that easy. The more you block it out, the more it presses on you. It presses and presses until you feel like you’re going to explode with the pain and intensity of it.
Why does having a chronic illness have to be so hard? Why does it have to take so much? And why does it come to some and not others? There’s no satisfying answer to these questions. Life just throws different things at different people. We all have pain, we all have sorrow, which just have different types. You know this, but it doesn’t make things easier.
As you slowly move your way through life, gingerly stepping so as to not aggravate your pain, you look at the people around you. They appear bright and happy and healthy. They don’t look like they have a constant weight like you do. They don’t look like they have to do anything hard. After all, they have their health and anything is possible when you’re healthy.
Of course it’s not that simple. You know that, but when the pain comes, logically reminding yourself that other people have it hard too doesn’t make you less hard. Because hard you have become. You’ve learned that you have no one depend on besides yourself, and it has made you hard. People have let your down and left you alone so many times you no longer trust them. Now you block everyone out, because no one seems to care.
But they do care, some of them. There are people out there who want to help, you just don’t know how to open up to them anymore. How do you open up something that’s been locked inside for so long? How do you trust someone with your pain when so many others have thrown you out the window. You don’t know, but the dam of pain threatens to burst and you wish you had the answers.
Why can’t there be easier answers? Why couldn’t you be a different person, a person who didn’t become so hardened by betrayal and pain? You wish you were softer, but don’t know how to be that way. Soft isn’t for people with chronic illness who have to battle for acceptance and treatment every day. If you’re soft the doctor won’t listen to you. If you’re soft the pharmacist won’t fill your prescription. If you’re soft the insurance company won’t pay your bills. If your soft your family won’t believe you. If you’re soft your illness will break you. You can’t be soft.
You don’t want to be broken. You want to be whole.
You want things to be better
You want to be better
But you don’t know how.
You remind yourself that feeling of never being enough will go back into hiding in the morning. You only allow yourself to feel the depth of the pain for a small moment. Shortly you’ll put on your positive attitude and keep fighting. Because life goes on even with chronic illness and you know things will feel better another day.