I’ve been craving healing since I got back from my trip in October. I’ve been grumpy, irritated by little things, and prone to mood swings. In addition, I’ve been in severe pain. This pain is everywhere, but hits me hardest in my lower back and right hip. My sciatica is also irritated on my right side. Sometimes, all I can do is cry. I do everything I can to find relief including daily exercise (even in pain), eating right, seeing my Physical Therapist, seeing my Psychiatrist, and keeping up with other healthcare appointments. I’ve been trying acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, food supplements, meditation, relaxation, and Tai Chi. I tell you this so that you can get a glimpse at what someone with debilitating chronic pain (so that they can’t work) lives with daily. We aren’t lying around all day eating bon-bons since we don’t have full time employment. I have worked hard every day for over 18 months to be able to accomplish my dream of traveling in my vintage trailer. My body and spirit still lags behind.
There are good days and bad days. People with chronic illness and pain know this pattern well. One day you feel like you can accomplish anything, and the next day you’re laid up in bed. One day I feel like the Dementors have stolen my soul and committing suicide is the only option, and the next day feel the cloud lift. Many times I forget that my current state is temporary, and I do have more good days than bad.
I have been very down on myself that my dream isn’t coming together. When depression happens, I retreat into my own little world. I make attempts here and there at connections with friends, but, in general, I block out the world. I don’t journal or write. I feel badly that I have not been able to be there for some friends that have been going through serious health challenges. One friend has had a stroke, another had a terrible fall which required major surgery to repair her arm, and a lifelong friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Others may be struggling with issues that I don’t know because I’ve isolated myself. When I finally come out from under the dark, low hanging clouds, I realize I need to pay more attention to the people I care about.
While the physical and emotional pain isn’t completely gone, I can see so much more clearly now. I’ve had to get help. Some serious help. I’ve been embarrassed and ashamed at my behavior and how I’ve treated my family and those closest to me. I tell you this because I want this blog to be about awareness of life’s struggles. I can only tell my story, and I tell it with the hope that someone will find they’re not alone (or maybe that I’m not!).
I leave you with a couple of thoughts. If you know the words to the song “I Can See Clearly Now”, you’ll know the next line is “All of the bad feelings have disappeared. Here is the rainbow I’ve been waiting for. It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.” Sometimes we all need this reminder of hope and that good times, they are a comin’!