I like to keep things positive for the most part around here, but I also feel compelled to share openly and be transparent with you all about my struggles. In the spirit of transparency and honesty, I’ve got to tell you, I’m having a hard week.
It’s been one of those weeks where I struggle to accept my situation, a “life isn’t fair!” week. The feelings of discontent grew throughout the entire month of May so slowly and stealthily that I didn’t even realize they were there until one tiny thing tipped the scale and everything came to a head all at once.
May was a month of friends graduating with master’s degrees.
May was a month of weddings.
May was a month filled with beautiful photos from friends who live and work abroad.
May was awareness month for many different chronic illnesses.
The first three points symbolize all the ways the world is still turning, despite the fact that I feel so far removed from it. Life goes on, even when it feels like mine has stopped. I had dreams to have a meaningful career, to travel and see the world, to be the wife my Hubs deserved. Instead, these things become reality for others while I watch from my couch. I am so happy for my friends and family, but it is hard to watch everyone around you achieve the things you wanted for yourself.
The fourth point is upsetting in a different way. My Instagram feed was inundated throughout the past month with posts about people “taking a bite out of Lyme”, facts about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, mental health, Myalgic Encephalitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, autoimmunity, and many others. It was inspiring and encouraging to see so many people speak out about issues that are important to them, but after 31 days of it, I began to grow bitter. Why don’t I have a diagnosis like these people? Please hear me on this: This is a me problem, not a them problem. I would never try to stifle a voice working to bring awareness to an important cause. But again, being fully transparent, I can’t say it didn’t sting a little bit to read each post.
These things, coupled with the stress and fatigue of traveling, a wedding, and the homesickness that inevitably follows each trip to Tennessee, plus some really intense mood issues, landed me back in the familiar pit of depression.
This week was ugly crying. The kind of crying where your face hurts from being scrunched up so tightly and is soaked with a mixture of tears and snot, but you don’t care. The kind of crying that ruins makeup, if you’d cared enough to put any on that day. The kind of crying that comes from an ache deep down inside you that you can’t even name.
This week was apathy. It was pajamas and sweatpants. It was unbrushed hair and an unwashed face. It was Hubs carrying me from the couch to the bed. It was sitting in silence, because I couldn’t bring myself to even watch TV or read more than a few pages. It was the unshakeable feeling that nothing mattered.
This is not me. This is depression. This is just something I’m walking through. This is one part of my journey with chronic illness. This is something else that I will overcome.
This week was hard and ugly and infuriating, and it’s not over yet. I’m still processing through a lot of emotions and working to be totally honest with Hubs about how I’m feeling. In the brief moments that the darkness subsides, I am reminded that nothing lasts forever. There is always hope to be had.
“For you are my lamp, O Lord,
and my God lightens my darkness.”
2 Samuel 22:29
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