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On Feeling Helpless

May 26, 2014

“At what point do you cave, do you say I need a cane, I need a wheelchair, I just fucking can’t because getting out of bed takes too much? But I promised to take my son to the zoo and he’s going to be so disappointed again. Only ever knowing a mom who’s sickness always wins. 

At what point do you admit that you can’t? When you’re huddled on the bathroom floor, again? When you’re too tired to move? When you’re too weak to stand? When the medicines are making you so sick, no food will stay down? Not that you’re hungry, anyways. 

At what point do you beg for help? When all you want to do is make dinner, but you can’t lift your arms or stand. The excitement of a small child who wants to help shredding your heart because you’re so tired, so angry. It’s not his fault you’re failing. 

At what point do you give up? When you can’t dissociate from the pin anymore? When you almost collapse because they expect you to stand? When you’re crying in the bathroom, because you can’t make it through the day? When you smile, because they demand it? You’re happy your relationships are long distance, because they won’t leave you for can walking dates. You avoid pictures, so no one comments on how pale and tired you look. You avoid the mirrors and the haunted eyes staring back at you. You take the meds and pray they help, but everything keeps failing. 

At what point do you get to not be strong? When will they stop assuming everything is okay? When will they stop reminding you of the people who depend on you, as if you don’t know? When do you get to catch a break?

At what point do things get better? Because it feels like a lie. Drowning in the private hell of a body that, once upon a time, could. You hate those pictures now, the reminders of someone you’ll never be again. Why is this so unfair?

At what point do you get to be real, when real means you’re not okay?”

Being 27 means a lot of things, but it should never mean “your body is quitting on you.” 

After struggling with chronic pain for almost five years, I received the staggering dual-diagnosis of fibromyalgia and arthritis. I wish that was the extent of the issues, but it isn’t. In addition to those, I also have: chronic muscle spasms, post-traumatic headaches, carpel tunnel, thyroid issues, TMJ, PTSD, MDD, ADHD, two vertebrae sitting on my spinal cord, long-term memory issues, the Bubonic plague…

Okay, I don’t actually have the plague, but that’s what it feels like.

I’m on an arsenal of medications now. Three times a day (or more) I slug down a handful of pills designed to keep me moving and functional. The reality is a roller coaster of good days and hell days. Overall, I sometimes feel like my body is doing worse, since I started getting treatment. The hard truth is that the deterioration is one of those things that’s going to get steadily worse.

I can’t stand looking at pictures of me from when I was functional. I can’t stand getting emails from the fitness activities I used to love doing. I have avoided canceling my gym membership, because I keep hoping…

I’m scared I’m never going to make it through the rest of my life without needing other people to care for me. Fuck, I don’t even have the energy to shower most days.

I’m 27. This is bullshit.


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