I’ve Been Struggling

Hello Dazzle! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I want to talk about how I’ve been and how things have been going for me. It is all too easy to filter our social media to include only the sunshine and rainbows, but I feel like this is a disservice to everyone. So, today I want to talk about how I have been struggling.

Here is a visual of where I am at:

If you’re interested, you can take the Depression Spectrum Test to assess where you are at with your own depression symptoms.

Let’s start things off with some cold, hard truth. I have chronic illnesses that will progressively get worse as I get older. This means that my future promises an increase in pain, decreased mobility, decreased independence and numerous other symptoms / problems. There are no cures or effective treatments. While there is ongoing research, that research is far from reaching an effective cure and should a treatment be developed it is unlikely to be the type that will greatly alter the course of these illnesses. Those are the facts. And sometimes, those facts are hard to live with.

Because what those facts mean is that I will spend the rest of my life with this suffering. With the prognosis being that the severity of that suffering will only get worse over time. This means that the only end to my suffering will be my death. Do not interpret that statement as my being suicidal, because I am not. It is simply a fact. I will spend every day of my life with these symptoms all the way up until the day that I die. That’s the fact of my situation.

What this means is that there are days that I lay in my bed and I wish that death would come to me, because I cannot fathom how I can go another day with the suffering that I am enduring. And yet, when facing that choice: to either live on with the suffering or to die and be done with it; I have always chosen to continue living. But I can understand why there are those who choose to die and be done with it. I am not certain that I will always choose to keep living. For what will I be facing in another 5 years? or in 10?

I have always found purpose in my life through my work. Being a nurse gave me a reason to keep getting out of bed, no matter how crappy I was feeling. Now that I have left bedside nursing, I find myself feeling adrift and unanchored. Life seems to have less purpose. Would it matter if I stayed in bed today? or tomorrow? Would anyone notice if I simply ceased to exist? This is the challenge that we face when we let go of an identity that we’ve been holding for 20 years. Being a nurse was more then my work. It is a fundamental part of how I define myself. But what about now? Who am I now? With time, I will discover the answer to that question. But this transition has been hard.

There has been a great deal of unpacking for my soul as of late. Digging down deep and pulling up all the things that I have been squashing down for later review. Well, later has come. Now I must look at these musty memories and moldering wounds. Drawing them up to the surface as if they were freshly inflicted, for they are still bleeding and raw. Nothing heals when hidden and neglected. Now, I must allow myself to feel everything I should have felt in those moments, but was unable. And the more I dig around in this muck, the more I stir my rage. 20 years and more, I have given myself to my community. It has broken me and now I am discarded the moment that I can no longer work, denoted as having no value.

This past week, my H2 blocker was not available at any of the local stores and we had to order it online. The result? Medical instability because the supply chain is not protected. I am dependent on a system that doesn’t care about the people that it is responsible for nor held accountable for the health outcomes of those people. I am nothing more then a profit margin. If I cannot offer up my dollar than it simply doesn’t matter; I do not matter. And what little comforts I have are stripped away that easily, leaving me crippled and in my bed wondering what the purpose of living this way could possibly be.

I am struggling with tumultuous feelings that I am unable to name. But there are 2 that I can put labels on: rage and despair. I want to tear things down and burn everything up, but there is nothing to gain from it. Logic contains it, but I can feel it simmering inside me all the time. When you know with certainty that tomorrow will bring suffering, where does hope hide? And when you can no longer build a framework of purpose to uphold your suffering, how can you endure it?

Today, I am not okay. I am struggling and things are hard. Because sometimes in our lives, the tides come in and the waters rise up. Those waters are dark and they overwhelm us. But nothing lasts forever and eventually, this tide will go out. Doing my best to doggy paddle in the mean time while I wait.

Well, that’s about it for my rambling today. Thanks for coming and spending some time with me. If you like what you read, click on that like button. It really does help! Until we talk again, you take care of yourselves!

People ebb and flow
The great ocean of life
Each wave rises up
and crashes on the shore

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