As a chronically ill person, a sufferer of RA or whatever way you want to describe me my life is quite often lived in a bubble of frustration.
Frustration at being Ill, frustration when I can’t do something, frustration having to cancel plans, frustration at not being understood or believed & frustration at feeling constantly frustrated. Ironic I know.
Since I was 15, I have been in this never ending loop of frustration and sometimes I think frustration is one of the most infuriating emotions. It can be cured with a cup of tea and chocolate like sadness, or a huge bellowing scream like anger. It’s just there, following you around your daily life hanging over you and in truth it’s exhausting.
This blog is about trying to see the positives and realise things could be much worse, don’t let your limits stop you and I still believe all of that. However, it’s also important to be honest and realise that life with RA (and other chronic illnesses too) is not a walk in the park. Far from it and sometimes you have to let yourself be honest, even if people roll their eyes, or call you a whinge bag or think your being dramatic.
What if I told you I know you’re not being dramatic? I know that it hurts and I know that the frustration of knowing that it will never not hurt is heartbreakingly infuriating. I also know that whilst you have days like that ,where all you can see is a big black cloud following you around there will also be times where you will laugh so hard you will forget about the pain, even just for a second. There will be times you are so overwhelmed by love, maybe from a parent, a friend or the little people in your life that the pain will melt away if even just for a few moments.
There will be times that you will be so proud of yourself, your partner or your child that the pain will not matter so much so that its barely there.
They may only be moments, or minutes or hours but they are precious and they will come. These are the moments you have to think about when the idea of getting out of bed is all too much. They are the moments you have to think about when making a cup of tea feels like climbing a mountain. They are the moments you have to think of when existing has become a struggle.
To those reading this without a chronic illness, I probably sound melodramatic and like I am just exaggerating. But anyone who has ever lived with or is still suffering with chronic pain will know that life with a chronic illness means just existing is a struggle. Just sitting on your bed, is painful, breathing is painful, existing is just painful. And we laugh and smile and joke because it makes existing that bit easier, and we go to our rooms or hide in corners to cry because we are embarrassed and besides we don’t want to drag others down.
And we can be happy and we can fill content and we can feel sadness that has absolutely nothing to do with our pain just like everyone else can. We are human and we hurt in other ways but we can also feel total happiness and it’s those moments where we feel vaguely normal that we hold on to that get us through the rest of the time when we are struggling with just being, living, existing.