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Don’t Forget to Remember Me
So, sometimes I forget that I have this thing. Sometimes, life will be going so well that I forget that I’m sick. All it takes is a few good days, and for some reason, my brain thinks that I’m cured, that I’ll never have a bad day again, or if I do, it will feel different, and I’ll be able to rise above. Which might be true. But the bad days still feel the same. The only difference is what I’ve got in my arsenal to battle them. Sometimes, it’s not much. I’m waging a war on all fronts, and I just don’t have the troops for one more thing.
For example, I got through some PTSD anniversaries that are concentrated at the end of the year, and I kept telling myself that if I could make it to December I would be so much better. But I forgot about the true nature of SAD – changing seasons. And today is the darkest day of the year, the first day of winter, and my mood has been unstable this whole time. Since then I’ve gone through two PMDD cycles as well, and once again, I totally forgot why I turned into a raging, suicidal nightmare out of the blue.
I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted of the labels, and also being told that the labels don’t matter. Maybe they are a burden to some people, and yes, they are a burden to me as well, but in other ways they are a lifesaver. They literally remind me why I do what I do, and why I should keep going, and keep fighting, because one day maybe I really will be somewhat cured. Or go into remission. Whatever. The point is, without being able to name what is going on inside of me, there’s no way to find any sort of separation. There’s no way to say, “This is me,” and “This is my disease.” We are not the same, though we affect each other. If I do get cured, I will still be me.
Which is a thought that has been hard to swallow. A few weeks ago, I struggled with praying about whether I actually want to get cured. It just feels unfathomable to me that there is another way of being other than the way that I am. What will I do with myself if I’m not a raging hormonal bitch for two weeks out of the month, every month, or if a weird smell on the bus doesn’t send me into internal hysterics, or if I don’t fall in love with everyone who’s even slightly nice to me? What then? The illnesses feel like a sticky tar, calling me back when I try to escape, telling me that I’m nothing without them, that life will be empty, and that they are part of who I am. I won’t recognize myself without them.
It’s an insidious lie, but it’s hard not to believe it. Without the lies, how will I have excuses to take some much needed rest, recreation, and relaxation time, that I can only seem to justify when I’m in crisis? Because when I’m feeling good, I feel like a waste of space if not producing, achieving, and excelling. Can’t wasste the good days.
So, these last few days, I’ve been hit with fatigue illness. Not as bad as it’s been in the past, but this is day two of a pretty nasty headache. The only thing that feel like a win is that I haven’t been dissociating as much. The pain seems to ground me, and it’s nice to not feel so floaty and detached, like I might still be dreaming. This is something I can push through. But I could barely get myself out of bed this morning, because of the pain and the tiredness, and let me tell you, there’s nothing more disappointing than any sort of relapse after a run of good days. I felt like a useless failure, and everything felt hopeless, because I’ve been working so hard to get enough sleep and take care of myself and rest and only do what I can. I thought I was doing everything that I needed to, yet I was still so sick.
I don’t really have an explanation for it. But if you’re reading this and you’re going through the same thing, I hope you know you’re not alone. I wish I could be there right now to tell you that you’re not the only one, and that you can still have amazing days and do amazing work one week, and be completely down for the count the next. I don’t want you to feel hopeless or useless, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to hide. Believe me, those who truly love and care about you just want to hold you and tell you that everything is okay. I’m praying for you, because even when you don’t realize how amazing you are, I know! And I’m sure that you would tell me the same thing if you were here for me.
You’re never as alone as you think. Take it from these confessions of a manic pixie dream girl.
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13