I am tired of waking up every morning to just sit and wait until I can go to bed again. This mysterious physical illness that I have mentioned recently remains with me as I continue to seek answers. I have seen a neurologist, an endocrinologist and a rheumatologist. However, the journey to finding a diagnosis is prolonged as my blood work and test results come back negative and all we can do is order more and more blood work. My neurologist said there is nothing else he can do for me and my endocrinologist can’t do anything for me after this last round of blood work (unless this last round of blood work provides us with enough information to get a diagnosis).
I am so discouraged.
I have been handling this whole situation very well. It has been far from easy to take a break from work and school and life as I know it because I am so weak physically. However, I have not allowed this situation to pull me into a dark depression. Yet. I am fighting and I am fighting hard. I just don’t know for how much longer I can keep spending my days lying on the couch with no vision for the near or far future.
Every day there are certain points in which despair hits me like a ton of bricks and I am reminded of how utterly helpless I am. For goodness sakes, I cannot even use many of the coping skills I have developed over the past few years! Because of my current physical state, I can’t fight despair through exercise or playing instruments or cooking or going on adventures out of the house, or volunteering. I feel trapped. The only time that I do not feel this way is when I am sleeping and therefore not completely conscious.
I realize that part of the reason this is all so difficult for me is because I have so little control. I cannot do much to help myself because I don’t have a diagnosis. I don’t have a treatment plan. I cannot look into the future as much as a year or as little as a week because I have absolutely no idea how things are going to pan out with my health. I do not know when I will be back at school. I do not know when I will be able to travel again. I do not know.
Lack of control is frightening. So, I look for control in little, forgotten areas. No matter how small these may seem, I have to count them all as blessings: I have control over what I eat, I have control over whether or not I take my medication, I have control over whether or not I actively pursue my relationship with Christ, I have control over whether or not I seek prayer and encouragement from my friends and community, I have control over whether or not I keep up good basic hygiene, I have control over whether or not I self harm, I have control over whether or not I see things in a positive light.
I am tempted mildly to self harm because it makes me feel like I have some control over my body (which I am desperately yearning for). But, and you can do the happy dance with me, I have not self harmed for several months! How awesome is that! I am holding onto the truth that self harm will only make my situation more difficult.
Instead of self harming or dwelling on how bad my situation may be currently, I am choosing to focus on the positive. It is no easy task, believe me; It is a discipline. Since I cannot now exercise my physical muscles, I will exercise my mental muscles, my optimism muscles.
The following are five things that I am grateful for today, in spite of my current situation:
- I am grateful for this blog. I am grateful for such an accessible way to express myself and find encouragement in the WordPress community.
- I am grateful for my mom. On top of working full time, my mom has been so patient with me and so loving with me, driving me to several doctors appointments and sacrificing time and energy to help me as much as she can.
- I am grateful for my guinea pig and the family dog. Staying at home is much less lonely when I have two snuggly furry friends to keep me company and remind me in their own way that I am loved!
- I am grateful for a new church community. My sister’s church has gladly adopted me into their family and has shown me so much Christ-like love after just a week.
- I am grateful that God is working in and through me during this difficult period. I do not know what His plans are for me and I do not know exactly what He is doing, but I feel Him with me along every breath of this journey and that is what matters. God is good, ALL of the time.