Illness Related Resentment and Learning to Cope

*I am currently in a episode of painsomnia please ignore poor grammar affecting my already horrible writing skills due to the fact that I only have a 10th grade education. (Which is true, apart from also being a college drop out as well.) I also, don’t read large chunks of text because I just can’t anymore. I think I may have had a stroke (which was totally hyperbole the first times I said it, now it might be true but that’s a story for another day).

Depression and chronic illness and/or chronic pain is something that medical professionals just assume come hand in hand. One of the first things your doctor will prescribe you with your diagnosis is some kind of antidepressant. It is 100% normal to end up in a not great place after dealing with persistent pain or being diagnosed with a chronic illness. There are probably new limitations on your life and it means things will change. Along with change there is the possibility that whatever ailment you are dealing with may not have a cure and worse, may get more painful, more debilitating, and more disabling over time. If that is not overwhelming and depressing to you then there is probably something else wrong with you in a not right kind of way.

The point I am trying to make is that depression and all the things that come with it are a normal part of the process of learning to cope with your new life. You absolutely have to let yourself mourn and you also need to know that the word ‘chronic’ means that this mourning thing may become a new part of your life. You may cycle through the stages over and over and frontwards and backwards and upside down. That is all perfectly normal. Unfortunately, though I have this knowledge in my brain bits these rules for normal humans apparently do not apply to me and I expect myself to be a superior specimen mentally. I should be able to defeat the dark swarm of locusts that has been following me and built a city to feed all the starving kitties in the world with the whole swarm. I continuously find myself to be human and a preeminently flawed one at that.

My main issue with the whole depression thing is the resentment that comes with it. It is so very easy to fall into a land of straight up jealousy and resent. There are so many things I had planned for my future. There are so many things I’ve put off for ‘just one more day’ until I feel a little bit better. And there are things that I will never ever get to do now. Though I am unbelievably happy seeing other people grow into marvelous adults, get educations, get married, have beautiful families, go on amazing vacations, get their dream jobs, etc none of those things are in my foreseeable future or even future at that and that can really dig into me at the most random of times. One second I am in love with how much a various baby looks like it’s new parents and the next I’m pissed that I’ll never have that because my diagnosis. It’s so easy to be hateful about everything I’ll miss out on and that is only one example.

Recently I’ve found it easier to take a step back and tell myself that is just not going to be the way things go for me. I have very limited energy during the day and what energy I do have I try to fill that time with something I am passionate about. It also helps to have time with the rabbit and Kurtis. If I do what I enjoy and try not to focus on what I ‘believe’ I should be doing then I end up 104% happier. I’ve had it set in my head that I should be doing what other people are doing, that I should have all along. But, I’ve come to realized that maybe I need to give myself a bit of a break because I have literally been sick for my whole life and it is so much worse now that I need to treat it like I have been sick my whole life. What comes first is taking care of yourself. Not worrying about what you think you should be doing based on other people’s (or even your own) standards. You don’t get a lot of time here and if you want to make it count you absolutely have to take care of yourself first or everything else will fall to shit.

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