I know this is not normal. Logically I know it won’t last. When the fog comes, the only thing you can continue to do is keep walking through it. However, as anyone who has experienced deep sadness or depression will know, sometimes it is difficult to see through that fog and it weighs heavy on every part of you, inside and out.
Here’s a couple of things going on for me right now:
- I may lose my job. I had to apply for my own job last week
- I have an injury in my elbows. Do you consciously how much you need your elbows?
These two things have combined into the perfect storm in my life. Both of these things are contributing to my high levels of anxiety, feelings of powerlessness and feeling not enough.
The constant presence of ‘just before pain’ is a heavy weight on everything I do. No matter what I am doing, whatever innocuous activity, I have to think will this flare up my elbows? Before lifting the washing basket. Before moving a stack of plates. Before having sex. Before typing anything.
And so I’m off work. At a time where my job is to be reviewed. At a time where you want to be impressing your local manager, not disappearing for weeks on end while you look fine to everyone.
Just like many chronic pain illnesses my injury is invisible to most people. Which means there is always a seed of doubt in their minds about how sick you really are. This seed of doubt, real or imagined, creates a defensiveness in me (and possibly others) with pain such as this. It’s a feeling of constantly having to prove that you are broken. It’s a judgement that you internalise.
I have always had a lot of sympathy for those with chronic illness and pain. I tended to my ex-wife many times over the years of our marriage and I watched her struggle through her pain on a daily basis. I am the person who says ‘you don’t know until you have watch someone or experience it yourself how pain can interrupt your life .
So just as I’m supposed to be performing at my top level to impress my bosses to keep my job, I’ve gone and left the building. I’m out of action.
And the feeling of being useless, of being not good enough, pervades everything that I do currently. Because not only am I now out of my job for some time, I cannot participate in any other regular life activities that may inflame my injury while I’m waiting for it to recover. Which means my life is reduced to looking out the window, to watching TV, to walking, to cooking, to using voice recognition software when I blog, to ice packs on my elbows daily, and to the constant judgement of everything that I do.
Constant judgement of whether I am a good person or a bad person for not working. Constant judging of whether I am a good girlfriend or not, being completely – almost completely – useless. Constant fear that this situation will not improve and that I will have to be living like this for the next 40 years.
However, you’d be mistaken for thinking that some of those activities that are listed above are almost like I’m on holiday. And there is in fact not much wrong with doing any of those activities if you have a choice of doing others at the same time. But if you want to wash your car, clean your house or go to work and do your job, you actually begin to see that only being able to do these things is not as much fun anymore.
I also know how ungrateful and pathetic I sound.
Of course the situation will hopefully resolve. I have a good doctor who supports me. I have a beautiful woman who supports me. I have a wonderful family that support me.
I’m sure many of you out there have had similar periods in your life. And as most people know, these things are usually temporary. I have to believe that this will end. That I will recover. And that the Universe will provide for me in terms of income and prosperity.
Some days it’s just a lot harder than others to believe that is true.
Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring