It’s my only way

Why does life have to be so contrary? I constantly find myself having to start all over, with things that I was totally sure I already have done and dusted. For example, my previous post. I thought all that I would ever have to do with regards to “potty training”, was done and dusted in childhood, yet here I am, once more like a baby, incontinent. We all know that they say growing old, is like a second childhood, but I have found that it isn’t just growing old that brings those burdens, health can bring them home even faster. I don’t think that I have ever, directly said that I feel like I am prematurely aging, yes, when it comes to skin, I know I made that link. Just a few months ago, I was looking at my hands and they suddenly looked old, really old. Yet suddenly, I feel as though if someone who couldn’t see me, asked me for a description of my life, that would be it, I am prematurely aging, with a large dollop of pain, added just for fun.

My gray hairs, which there really aren’t that many of, are well hidden with dye, and I don’t have that many lines on my face, but the rest of me, is doing a highly honed impression of someone in their 90’s. Chronic illness has to be one of the most unfair things on this planet. Taking our health is just the start, it’s not happy until it has taken everything. Yes, even I, just occasionally feel sorry for myself, usually, around the same time as I feel as though I am 90. I actually think that it does us good from time to time, to feel sorry for ourselves. In fact, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t, I honestly believe that it is just as unhealthy to be depressed, as it is to be highly positive all the time. Somewhere along the line, we all have to find a balance, and for those of us who are ill, it’s even more important.

Most of the time, I think I do a reasonably good job at being what most people would call normal mood wise. Most of the time, I would say there is little change in “me” throughout all the years I have been ill. That isn’t just luck, it’s down to the fact that I closely monitor my feeling all the time. Well, not minute to minute, but more an overall view. I have made no secret of the fact that I suffered from clinical depression many years ago now. It took years of therapy for me to recover and to deal with the root problems. Some were missed, but in time, they too are being dealt with, but the thing I gained from all of it, was to deal with how I felt about everything and anything when it happens, and not to bottle it up somewhere, in the hope it would just go away. Of all the things I have learned over the years, from “potty training” on, that is the most important life lesson of all.

I have never been surprised by the fact that depression seems to go hand in hand with almost every chronic condition. Equally, I have never been surprised by the fact, that I have never been touched by it so far. I say so far, because, I also totally believe that no one is immune. I have had so many people say to me over the years that they are amazed by how I constantly have a positive attitude. If I do, well it isn’t because I try to be positive, I just try to be me and to be happy. If you deal with all the bad things in your life, if you forgive those who have hurt you, and you work on being happy, a positive attitude seems to be the result. So to those who think I am putting on an act, or sticking to that stupid phrase everyone says “You have to be positive”, I’m not. I actually think that doing so would be damaging and probably the quickest way into depression, putting on an act, just makes life harder, and it’s hard enough as it is.

So today, I feel 90. My body aches, my legs are only working under duress, I’m forced into my wheelchair even just to change the channel on the TV. Yes, we do have a remote, but I can’t see the stupid screen well enough, to manage unless I’m two foot away. My elbow hurts every time I try to go even that far in my chair, oh, and I’ve wet myself twice. So yes, today I feel useless, but I’m still not letting it get me down. It could be worse, I could feel 100. There it is, did you spot it, that’s my trick and it’s that simple, there is always a way things could be worse. I’m more than aware that no matter how bad I feel, it can always be worse. I’ve remembered every severe spasm that I’ve ever had, every time I have found myself unable to breathe or unable to stand. I have a picture in my mind of every stage of not just my health, but those worse than me, and I smile every time that I know I’m not there. I’m grateful when I can deal with my pain levels, and when I can’t, that I have a tablet that will at least help, and I tell myself just how lucky I am, for the way things are just now. So if tomorrow, I wake up feeling 100, I’ll be grateful that I don’t feel 101.

No matter how contrary life is, I intend to enjoy every day that I have, and I have no intention of finding myself once more struggling with depression. This is the only life that I have and no matter what, my health isn’t going to get the upper hand. All of us can get through chronic illness and be happy. I’m not saying it easy, it takes work, but monitoring your own mental health, can save you from a being in a place I never intend to go again. Don’t be afraid to cry, to shout and scream if that’s how you feel, but just remember, at the end of it, you have to smile again. Get the balance right and no matter how contrary your life gets, you too will be smiling.

 

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 14/09/2014 – Total muscle failure

I have just lost an hour of my life in the bathroom. I woke up this morning just before the alarm sounded because of the racket coming from my stomach, there was the most amazing run of bubbles travelling around inside of me and I knew it wouldn’t be too long before I would be going to……

25 thoughts on “It’s my only way

  1. Well, I am glad the outcome of your changes has still left you positive because eventually it sounds as though things ATM have working through.As say you look old we I don’t know you but what I can perceive is you don’t….I went out and saw loads our age and could not believe how old the looked….shocked really. No doubt you feel 90 or more so let’s not dwell too much. The lesson for me in this post is seek therapy you need it. I have and have my fingers crossed for a better out look regardless to chronic illness as it does seem a priority to get through life. Thanks a gain Pamela (((Hugs)))

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    • When I needed it, therapy was a wonderful thing, it helped me no end to deal with the horrors of my childhood. To me, being aware of your mental state is the most important thing any of us can be. If you can’t manage it, then seek help and don’t be shy about doing it either. πŸ™‚

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  2. Very inspirational. I, too, feel 90. I find myself saying that often, but I also find myself saying, “it could always be worse.” And, no matter how bad the pain is, it’s true, it could always be worse. You are so right! Thanks for sharing such a powerful and inspirational post. And, yes, sometimes I cry, it hurts so bad. Sometimes I scream at the top of my lungs because I’m so tired of it. I’ve been known to kick a wall or two..:) Just sayin……………..it could always be worse. Hope you’re having a “good” day. Peace out!

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      • lol lol yeah it made it worse for the wall, when the 2nd time, I kicked the same place, and hit the “soft spot”, and uh let’s just say, there’s now a hole there!!!! πŸ™‚ At one point, I had a frame around that hole in the wall. lol lol lol πŸ™‚ not too many people saw it, though, as it was/is in the bathroom, in our bedroom. ) Take care. XXX :):) Gotta do what we gotta do, right?????

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  3. What a beautiful post. I’m so happy to see that in the dark times you can find positivity. It is the only thing that keeps us going some times. Feel sorry for yourself as much as is good for you, nevermind what others think! πŸ’– sending spoons x

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  4. being grateful goes a long way. I don’t feel I’m depressed. I go through things with a “positive attitude” for the most part. But I do have depression. It is not something I can just force away. It is a part of me just like my other illnesses are. It is something I have to take care of. I don’t wallow in it. I work hard to keep it under control, but it is something I have to deal with. It’s not a choice. I can’t choose to feel better and it happen. Often depression has nothing to do with what is going on in my life. When I’m having the worst times with my illness doesn’t mean those times are the times I’m the most depressed. Sometimes everything seems to be going right and I can’t pull out of a funk, no matter what I think about, no matter what I try. and I try everything. I am depressed. That’s why I have a treatment plan for that too. Part of striving to be the best me I can be. πŸ™‚

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    • This is why I did explain that I have had clinical depression. What you describe, is exactly what I went through, years ago. I too had a treatment plan that included, talking therapy and loads of drugs. As I said, they taught me to monitor my moods and to act on them quickly, but depression isn’t all about mood, there is much more to it, but I believe what I do, helps tremendously in keeping me away from going back there. A “positive attitude” again as you rightly pointed out, will not cure depression, it goes much much deeper. As long as you positivity is natural, fine, but I’ve met many who it is clearly false and that is as damaging, masking helps no one. I got told of terribly for doing it, and had to stop.

      I use things like relaxation, self-centring, something similar to what they call mindfullness these days, and I use it more when I feel my mood falling. I have done this ever since I was declared well, and I have never gone back. I firmly believe that by doing so, it has helped me avoid the depression that is supposed to come along with all my conditions, yet here I am, depression free. Once you have depression, you can’t fight it alone, but once your free, you can stay free. (((Hugs)))

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      • I practice mindfulness. It helps me a lot. I work hard to keep my depression under control. I will never be “well”. I have bipolar disorder, this will be with me forever.
        I don’t have depression because of my physical illnesses. I have a mental illness. For some clinical depression never goes away. They never get well, and it has nothing to do with how their life is going.
        I do believe if you have a healthy mental state you can keep it that way by doing the things you mention. If you have a mental illness you need a bit more, however the things you mention will help even then.

        I don’t think I am depressed most of the time. But when it comes on I have no control over it. My mindfulness practice and gratitude does help it not be so severe, but it’s still going to come. I’ve pushed it aside many times and pretended to be positive when I’m not and that just made things snowball to be worse. I understand your point there. The Fake it until you Make it group are deluded, in my opinion.
        {{HUGS}}

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