The Chronic Life
Today my sister told me “you’re acting so weird today, I love it!”
She was right.
I was vocalizing peculiar noises. Making odd and questionable declarations. Basically, being a giant spaz. I was being weird, having a blast, and giving no fucks.
It felt so good!
This is a fun side of me that has been dampened by my chronic health issues. When you’re in extreme pain all the time, with fleeting energy levels, and only one spoon left to give, being goofy isn’t an option. You are struggling to just get through the day.
Breathing is hard. Getting dressed is challenging. Walking to the bathroom is a chore. When this becomes your life, your focus is on getting through the day. There is no energy allotted for being weird.
You wake up and feel like your whole body has been hit by a truck. It’s sore, and feels like dead weight. Not the best way to start off the day but hey, at least your alive right?
When chronic illness and/or pain swoops in, it takes your quality of life. It takes your personality.
This doesn’t mean you have the right to be an ass hole to everyone. Having chronic pain and illness isn’t a free pass to let out your anger out on everyone around you. It also doesn’t mean your sense of humor is gone and you can’t joke around. However, it does make it harder for your best self to shine, mainly because all your energy is focused on commonplace things most people take for granted, like breathing, walking, and regaining your life.
When you have always been in good health or relatively so, it’s hard to imagine what this is like. Especially when, a lot of people struggling with chronic illness, don’t ‘look sick.’
I’m sure there was a time that you were exhausted. We have all experienced this feeling. When you are exhausted you aren’t in a giddy, happy state. You feel drained. Well if you have a chronic condition it’s exhaustion on steroids 24/7.
This degenerative state puts you in survival mode. Your focus shifts from balancing work and play to how you are going to get through the next minute.
Chronic illness sucks the ‘weird’ right out of you. Along with your quality of life, energy, and time.
Chronic illness is a merciless, vicious, monster. It tries to consume every aspect of your life, grabbing ahold, leaving you feel imprisoned by our own body.
Luckily for me, I don’t much care for monsters and am extremely stubborn. So, I gave my multiple chronic illness the finger and fought back. I have been recovering for at least four years now (from when my health was at its lowest). Even though I’ve made significant progress and am able to enjoy many of life’s pleasures again I still have a long road ahead of me.
It is still rare to see my ‘weird’ side.
When I meet people I often think about how different I would seem if I wasn’t battling a chronic demon monster. I used to be more social, outgoing, and ‘weird’ before my chronic illness crept in and I went from a state of living life to fighting to get through the day. Oftentimes I find myself wanting to say or do something weird but I just don’t have the energy for it. I am drained by my chronic illnesses. This brings upon my somber self.
You never know what a person is going through in their life. I look healthy, live a healthy lifestyle, and for a living I help people regain control of their lives using food. So the assumption people project on me is that I am in great health.
Without my healthy lifestyle I know I would be worse off. When I started educating myself and using food as my medicine, I started to regain my health and quality of life back. However, my journey isn’t finished. I still have good days and bad days. Thankfully, more of my days have a sprinkling of ‘weird’ in them.
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