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Not Enough Energy for a Break Down

Today sucks. I started 2021 with excitement and determination for all the things I would accomplish, but so far all I’ve been is sick. Flares, head colds, joint pain, migraines, you name it. With all of the health issues I’ve faced this year, it’s a wonder I haven’t had to deal with COVID yet. I’m still hoping to avoid that one. Today is one of those days when you just break. I’m so over being sick, I’m tired of “being used to it”, and to make matters worse I don’t even have enough energy for a proper break down. I hate my body today. I rarely feel this way, but today I do. I’m angry that this is the hand I’ve been dealt. I’m angry that my body and immune system are weak. I’m angry that I have to deal with pain all the time, but more than anything, I’m angry that I’m constantly letting my kids down.

We are 2 months into the year and my kids have already missed out on so much. From a camping trip we had reserved and paid for and hiking with friends to family events and kayaking, I feel like I’ve spent the entire year planning events for the kids and then cancelling them last minute when I get sick or have a flare. Even simple things like, practicing reading, playing at the park, and doing our little exercises together have been put on hold due to my health. My kids are feeling it. My 6yr old keeps making comments like, “I wish you weren’t born with sickness”, “I wish you weren’t sick all the time”, “I hate when we have to cancel things”, etc. This week they were so excited to go kayaking in the harbor with their cousins but then mom wasn’t up for it. As usual, we stayed home, the kids played in their room, and mom lay in bed. I’m angry that once again, I’ve let down my kids.

My husband talks about how he feels like a single parent when I’m enduring flares and he’s not wrong. He works 8-13 hour days, takes care of me, takes care of the house, and takes care of the kids. I often watch from my bed hating the position I’m in. I hate that I can’t be a better partner for him, I hate that I am not more active, energetic, and engaged. I hate that I need so much help. We’ve been married nearly 8 years and he has spent much of that time caring for me. I’m not just a burden on my husband though, I’m also a burden on my mom. She did a phenomenal job parenting me, raised me, and prepared me for the world. Instead of continuing to grow more independent and becoming a support for her, I became sick and now need more help from her than I did as a kid. I’m angry that I feel like a constant burden.

Now, I could point out all my accomplishments. Things I’ve done in business. Things I’ve accomplished while sick in bed. I could focus on the times I’ve felt better and gone hiking, camping, surfing, kayaking, etc and usually I do. Usually, I focus on all the positive things in my life, all the good, and all the ways I’ve contributed, but sometimes the pain, sickness, and anger drowns it all out and all I want to do is scream. Sometimes I just feel like I’m not enough. I wish I had some encouraging statement to make or some way of wrapping this whole post up in a positive light, but I don’t have the strength for optimism right now. Mentally I know (hope?) this season will pass. I know I’m slowly making improvements each year and I know I’ll never give up fighting for my health. Today I’m mad though. Today I’m letting my anger fuel my recovery and I’m just accepting this miserable state I’m in. Emotionally and physically I feel like I was hit by a freight-train.

The one highlight of my miserable day came in the form of a text I received from my sister-in-law. We missed kayaking this morning, but my sister-in-law and her family still went to the harbor. Originally, we had planned to go kayaking (or on some other adventurous outing) together each week, but after missing the first meet-up today I was feeling pretty discouraged. Amidst my pity-party, she texted me and suggested we have a “plan B”. She messaged me and said “We could plan something you want to do if you’re feeling good, and a backup plan if you’re up for going out but only to do something low key, and if you’re feeling terrible then no worries, you could just take it easy at home and we’ll try again the following week.” I’ll never be able to fully express what it means to receive a message like this. This message made me feel heard, understood, loved, and valued. These words tell me that not only does my sister-in-law understand and empathize with what I’m going through, she also cares enough about me to adapt her plans around my unpredictable limitations. In my darkest moments, when I’m wrapped in anger and self-loathing, someone always steps in and offers me their hand and helps me get back up. I’m still struggling and it will probably take me a while to recover both emotionally and physically from this horrible cycle of flares and illness that I’ve been enduring, but at least I feel mentally strong. Thanks to my sister-in-law, my mental state remains stable and I know, as always, that I’ll endure until the next break in the storm.


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