This post is unashamedly for me. You can read it if you'd like to, and if you get something out of it then that's awesome, but if you're bored to tears and think it's a self-indulgent piece of nonsense... well, you were warned and kept reading anyway. :-)
When I last posted, I thought that yes, things had been bad but that they were now turning a corner. Well, it turned out things could get worse. I'm doing a lot better now, and I'll update about the medical/sleep disorder side of this at some point, but for now I'm just going to talk about the emotional side of this.
It is hard to be positive when crap things are happening to you.
It is hard to have good self esteem, when there are a lot of things that are wrong with you.
It is hard to believe that things will work out okay, when they keep getting worse.
It's hard to keep a sense of humour, and equally hard not to turn humour into a defense mechanism.
It's hard not to feel angry, and it's hard not to direct that anger towards yourself.
It's hard not to feel guilty for all of the above when you know other people have it a lot worse.
And it is hard not to feel that you are to blame for all of the above, because every inspirational quote you've ever heard tells you, it's not the situation that's the problem, it's your reaction to it.
You know what? Sometimes it's the situation. Sometimes life just keeps on kicking, and yes at some point you've got to take responsibility, take control of the things you can influence, and dig your way out. But before you get to the amazingly strong kick-ass point of fighting back against what life has thrown at you, it's okay to acknowledge that you don't actually want to have to fight. It's okay to acknowledge that yes, you are amazingly strong and brave and awesome, but it would be nice if your life didn't require so much strength and bravery. It would be nice if your life would stay on track even if you feel cowardly once in a while.
Now I hesitated over writing that second point on this list, because I could hear the chorus of voices objecting to me using the word "wrong". But remember, this post is for me, not anyone else. There are things wrong with me, there is no denying that. There are parts of me that straight out don't work. I have a lot of other things going for me, but that does not negate the fact that there are also a lot of things working against me. I'm putting this out there, because I've come to realise that I have self esteem issues about the fact that I have self esteem issues. Why? Because when I express the fact that I don't feel good about myself, it is generally met with confusion and sometimes anger. When I am well, I can understand this. I can see logically that I have a lot of things going for me, and I can see that the "wrong" things do not take away from that. But when I am not well, I am so exhausted from fighting those wrong things that I cannot see beyond them. They are bigger than the edges of me and it does not feel like there is anything left around that.
To put it simply, Well-me realises she's fricken awesome. Not-well-me is so exhausted and broken down she struggles not to hate herself, and unfortunately Not-well-me tends to get more air time.
I am fond of making my friends promises that on the surface, I have no power to keep. Not promises of favours, but just promises that everything will work out okay. I'm not really sure what my friends think about this. For some of them it probably just makes them laugh, but for others I think it really does offer them some reassurance, because when I make those promises, I truly believe that it will happen. I truly believe that everything will be okay for them, and I give them every scrap of positive energy in me to help make that happen. This may all sound a bit like wu wu heebee jeebees, but, once again, this post is for me, and I'm okay with the fact that some of my beliefs are left of centre.
Yesterday I had this moment of feeling good, and like I had it all under control. In that moment I realised that it was all going to be okay, no matter what happened, in the same way that I know things will work out for my friends. This was a really wonderful feeling but I knew that I might not be able to hold on to it the next time things got hard. So I wrote myself a reminder:
Last night was another screaming-at-3am, injuring-myself-in-the-process, night-terrors type night. I woke this morning tired, sore and feeling unsettled especially as the night terror had related to a real-life thing that happened recently. But when I saw the note waiting for me, I knew that it was going to be okay, because Well-me had my back. And she's pretty awesome.
I'm not always going to be able to hold on to feeling good, especially when my spoons are depleted by lack of sleep or other health issues. But I'm going to do my best to try, and if all else fails I'll just rely on Well-me to remember for me.
Thanks for reading
Little Miss Autoimmune