The TRUTH about having a chronic illness.

The truth is if you see me walking down the street I don’t look sick. Most days anyway. I am a fast walker, an avid hiker and I love to ride my bike. There is nothing that I can’t do. On most days. Even on some of the days where I am powering down the street I am feeling nauseous and dizzy but I am tough! I can handle a little bit of nausea and dizziness. There are other days, usually the day after I take Methotrexate for my rheumatoid arthritis where I feel much worse. I feel incredibly nauseous and dizzy. I experience diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting. Then there are other days where my joints flare. They become stiff, swollen and very painful. I find these days very frutrating! I am a go go person. I want to be outside experiencing life. When I am in the house I am getting things done! I am NOT one to sit around. So when my joints flare and I have no choice but to sit I start to get depressed. My freedom of movement is taken from me. My freedom from pain is taken from me. I would say that I am affected by this likely more than the average person. The average person is happy to sit and watch TV and relax. I do NOT watch TV. I am very much feel the need to be a part of the world not sitting back and watching it. Another thing I find frustrating about this disease is the medication I take to control it surpresses my immune system so I get infections easier than other people. That means I get sick more often. What is also frustrating is some peoples inability to understand what I go through. I am expected to act like a normal healthy person because I look that way and most of the time act that way. So when I am taken down for a while people just seem to think I am being lazy or I that I should be able to suck it up and just get r done! For the last week I have been feeling very unwell. I have the chills then the sweats. I feel exhausted and more dizzy and nauseous then usual. I am also going through some emotional stuff right now as well which always seems to make matter worse when it comes to my health. I had to take some time off from work because of my health and a friend of mine told me basically that I need to suck it up and go to work anyway. It is attitudes like this that I find frustrating. I would love nothing more than to just be able to suck it up! In fact I do suck it up, almost everyday I feel unwell to some degree and I suck it up and do what I need to do. But there are times when sucking it up is just not an option. For me to accept this fact of life has been difficult and it only frustrates me more when the people around me can’t understand. Sometimes I am sick. That is just the way it is. Sometimes I need to take time to rest. That is just the way it is. I am not being lazy. I am not slacking. I am sick and I need to take the time to rest, just like the doctor tells me to. I only wish there were more people out there who understood these things. Who understands that I am not an normal healthy person even though it seems that way most of the time. Sometimes all I need is a little bit of love and understanding to make my world a better place. So I can take the time I need to get healthy and be able to get back to life..when I am ready!

The TRUTH about darkness

There is a darkness that lies inside me. I wonder if it lies inside us all? I am so very aware of this darkness because sometimes it calls for me. It wants me to wallow in its despair. Forget the smiles and any chance of warm fuzzies when the darkness wants me, it sinks its claws in and pulls me down. I’ve been dealing with this darkness for most of my life. I remember moments as a child feeling this despair, feeling unloved. I don’t remember the first time I experienced this but I do remember the first time of being truly aware of the darkness taking over. I was sitting in my wheel chair alone in the dark. Just sitting. I felt so very alone even if I turned on a light I still would have been in the dark. I remember feeling the darkest deepest scariest feeling, it was beyond sorrow. I felt like not feeling at all any more. Not being apart of this darkness, I was thinking at the time the only escape was death. But somehow I got through it. After months and months of living there. It took a lot for me to pull out of it, in fact a three week stay at the psychiatric ward was part of my pulling out of it. That was almost 10 years ago. I have accomplished so much since then. I’ve become a better person. I’ve done better things for myself.. but still this darkness lies inside me just waiting to come out. Waiting for the right moment of self loathing and disappointment. Sometimes I feel so good, so amazing in fact that I find it hard to believe the darkness still lies inside me. Then I have other days where I feel so low, I feel the darkness ripping at my chest pulling me down. There is no way to stop it. No real reason for it to be there..  I understand why people self harm. I understand it well. Causing physical pain to yourself takes away from the emotional pain. How odd that pain takes away pain. But its not odd if you think about it. Causing physical pain increases your dopamine which is a feel good chemical in your brain. So your brain basically is trying to overcome the physical pain by rushing it with dopamine. So when people are harming themselves it is NOT to get attention, it really is just trying to take the emotional pain away. I used to cut myself to try and take away the darkness. But I have come to understand that the relief is only temporary but it leaves scars that last a lifetime. I’ve also come to understand that the darkness is also only temporary. I hate it when I am feeling it and get frustrated with it but I know it won’t last. I just need to allow myself to go through it and it will pass Yes Lisa, it will pass. I just need to remind myself. I understand why people end up killing themselves. It feels like you are going to feel this way forever.  For some people it has been nearly a lifetime of feeling that way & they just want it to end. They just want the pain to be over. I can’t blame them for feeling that way, for just wanting the pain to end. I know very much how it feels. I also know that the pain does go away. That life does get better. I know that when the darkness comes it is only here for a visit, its not here to stay. It is not a fun visit but I have learned to deal better with it. To accept it for what it is. What it is, is only temporary.