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So it’s been a while…

June 8, 2013

I have been feeling fatigued lately and every time I considered writing, it just seemed like too much work.  Even now, the second sentence seems like an uphill battle.  I guess I just have to power through.  Sometimes that is what is required in writing as well as life.

A few months ago my therapist, a man who has enjoyed robust health for most of his 67 years, said he didn’t know if he could keep going in the face of the challenges I face.  To me these challenges are simply my life and to fail to meet them would be tantamount to suicide.  I think all of us who have some kind of chronic health condition face the same kinds of decisions.  A big issue for me is how hard do I push.  If I overexert myself, I might pay the price for days afterward.  Yet I do not want to spend every day mainly resting on the couch.  When you have a chronic problem that really is unlikely to get much better, you can’t keep putting things off.  I may not feel great, but I still wash the dishes because I don’t want to have twice as many to deal with tomorrow.  I walk the dog because she needs to go outside.  I may go for shorter walks when I am tired, but I still need to do at least that for her sake.

One of the big challenges is keeping my spirits up in the face of disappointments.  It’s important to keep finding new activities and interests to keep me engaged in life.  I have to make the effort to stay in touch with friends so I don’t become more isolated.  I keep my mind active with things like reading and research, seeing movies I haven’t seen before, trying new hobbies.  I acknowledge my feelings of fear, anger, inadequacy but try not to get mired down in them.  I look for ways to be hopeful.

One thing that helps me a lot is talking with friends who also have chronic conditions.  These people understand the daily ups and downs and have likely faced many of the same difficulties.  This social support is my lifeline.  I also stay in touch with my psychiatrist.  She is someone who can look at my behavior objectively and suggest medication changes or other interventions if I seem to be slipping into depression.  For some reason I very much want to deny that I am depressed.  I’ll admit to depressed feelings at times, but do not want to own the possibility that there is depression present much of the time.  But lately it has become harder to explain my reluctance to write even when I have excellent ideas for articles.  I have to acknowledge that I push myself to answer emails from friends, even though I love talking to them.  It just feels like a lot of work.  

That’s what depression is like sometimes.  Just feeling like it takes a lot of effort to participate in normal activities, like it’s just too much to think about.  Needing to rest my mind more and more.  I have found in my lifetime that it is just as important for me to push myself as it is for me to rest.  Keeping this balance is the way I have kept going all these years.  Also looking for ways to maintain hope for the future.  That is probably the most important thing.


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 8, 2013 1:12 pm

    First of all: you are saying how I feel and I thank you for that, you aren’t alone, Honey, there are a lot of us just like you. Curling up on our couches feeling like it’s just too much to write it out. Thanks: you did it for me. Sometimes we forget that in our lives there are REAL things to be depressed about, that doesn’t mean we are suffering from a chronic depression. (Or maybe I am in a “State of Denial”, but I choose to believe it and so does my therapist.) Chronic illness takes it’s toll. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Especially when well meaning folks try to question our physical, and mental status.
    Took me 4 times as long yesterday to make a small batch of cookies as it used to, just because I had to pace myself and go sit down for a bit before I fell down. Bummer. But eventually the cookies got made, healthy ones at that. I give myself permission to take breaks when needed, no body is really timing me anyhow and I know I am my own biggest critic.
    Hang in there: you aren’t alone.

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