Today, I woke up and didn’t feel good. When my alarm went off and I felt the familiar ache in my abdomen, I wondered whether or not I should get up. I wonder this almost every morning. I usually get up, but some days I don’t. Today, though, I got up.
As the day went on, I did my best to ignore the pain and focus on my actual work. This seemed successful for a bit. Then, during lunch, I went to a kickass panel of my co-workers who are published authors. Talk about motivation, right? Anyway, as I listened to my co-workers talk about their accomplishments and how they did it, my thoughts kept drifting to my own life, as you do. I thought about what it would be like to write a book. It was exciting for a second — thinking about this picture. I mean, duh. Fun. Whatever. Then reality set in.
When I think about my life, I mean really think about it, I get pretty sad. Which isn’t to say that my life is sad — it’s not, really, I don’t think. I find happiness in something every day. But when I think about my life, I’m forced to think about my pain. This pain is expansive. It is both physical and mental and sometimes overwhelms me. And when I think about my pain, I of course think about the effect that it has on my day-to-day life. To say that it affects me in some way every single day is not an exaggeration, though it probably sounds like one. When I’m not in actual physical pain, I am anxious in my mind wondering when the next flare up will be. And when I’m not anxiously awaiting the next round of pain, I’m trying to stay mentally above water from dealing with the repercussions of living in an almost constant state of pain. I mean, even as I type this, I’m deleting sentences over and over again because I’m so tired of talking about this, I barely even know how to anymore. I’m so tired of thinking about it, of going through this cycle of emotion over and over again. I’m so tired of this being my reality.
So, yes, when I think about my life, I think about my pain. And lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m in my own version of the movie Groundhog Day and I just want this goddamn curse to end. My life feels like its on an endless loop.
- Wake up, talk yourself through the inevitable morning pain.
- Make it through the day while trying to stay positive and reminding yourself that you are not your illness. Also, perform your actual job and do your best to socialize with people. Maybe read some gossip blogs about Teen Mom.
- Rush home, hug your dog, immediately lie down because you don’t feel good / are exhausted from being in a constant battle with your body. Watch Bravo because it’s iconic.
When I try to think about writing a book — or doing like, anything, really — it never seems realistic. Because the reality is, holding down a full-time job is sometimes difficult for me. I hate saying that! I hate it. Because man, what the fuck? Other people have it 1049302x harder than I have, I know that. But shockingly, reminding myself that other people have it worse than I do doesn’t make my vagina feel any better.
It feels slightly ridiculous and incredibly self-centered to find a way to make a panel of successful, badass authors somehow into my own sob story. I know this. So don’t bother @ing me. But that’s what life is like when you have a chronic illness. You try so hard to plan your future, to do exciting things, and to have complete control of your destiny. And then chronic pain comes in and fucks it all up.