Normal is Exhausting: The Struggle of Dealing with Every Day Life with Chronic Illness
Every morning I wake up and fight an internal battle against myself to get out of bed because of my endometriosis and other chronic illness. Being newly married and starting to plan our dreams for the future, I find myself asking:
How do millions of women around the world find the strength and energy to balance kids, work, husbands, friends, AND time for themselves?
When I first was diagnosed I only had myself to worry about. I was able to sleep in and miss a class every so often, and no one was impacted but me. Yet, as the disease progressed, the pain became more intense and more constant, the impact on my social life, my life with my family, and my education soon took hold.
The impact is different for each individual because each person’s disease exhibits itself differently. For me, my energy is drained like a plug pulled at the bottom of a tub. It may start filled to the brim as the sun rises, but as the chain is pulled, the water rushes down the pipe and into the sewer below never to be recaptured.
Chronic Illness and Exhaustion
Right now, I am struggling to handle my life and my husband. I go to work each morning, struggle to fit in a twenty walk at lunch to attempt to feel human; and, then, I drive an hour home. Luckily, my husband has been gracious enough to stop our once endless banter of:
“What should we make for dinner”
“I don’t care, what do you want?”
“I don’t care, either.”
“You pick, I don’t care.”
“Me neither, seriously, you pick.”
Seriously, we would sometimes end up in an argument over who cared less about what to eat because we were both so exhausted from work or studying that neither had the energy to make a decision.
Anyways, my God-sent of a husband has been making dinner on the regular, so I can relax for a few moments while I let Toby outside. Then, we do our best to spend at least an hour or so watching Star Trek or something else on Hulu or Netflix together before I pass out from exhaustion.
The thought of doing anything else, such as caring for another human being, is beyond my comprehension level. I can barely muster the energy to lift my fork to feed myself each night. I am practically asking hub to wash my hair and brush my teeth by the time an acceptable bedtime approaches.
Maybe my exhaustion is related to my chronic illness pain levels throughout the day, maybe it is because of the massive amounts of brain power I use at work each day? Gosh, who am I kidding? You’re exhausted, too! We’re all freaking exhausted!
We stay up too late watching television shows that do not matter, reading Facebook posts that destroy our IQ points each second, and worrying about each and every thing thing that we shoulda/coulda/woulda done better had we just been given another chance.
I am so over my current status quo that I cannot take it anymore. I want to keep moving up and beyond where I am right now because I do not want to stay where I am. I want to continually move forward. Away from where I am. Where I am right now is lazy. I am super lazy. I complete nothing. I put off until tomorrow because I know tomorrow will never come and it is easier that way because if I do not start it, I cannot fail. All of these constant emotions cause my brain to move at a zillion miles a second and make it impossible for me to ever completely stop, even when I am doing absolutely nothing.
I am the busiest lazy person. – Juliane M.
My new venture into the world of the living – this world of sharing how I feel and how I see the world around me through the lens of my chronic pain is opening up a new side of me that I am starting to like.
I made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow morning to see if anything can be done about the pain I’ve been in for the last week. I am done being afraid of the unknown. I am taking back the reins and regaining control… because, after all, living with chronic pain and chronic illness, there isn’t much control I get to have, I am not about to give up anymore of it.