[Journal] Chronic Illness and the feeling of being left behind

So often we’re forced to use words like “I can’t” or “not today” when talking to people about social invitations or events outside our own house. Tonight is one such time for me, as manthing and I had planned to go into the city together to meet up with some friends. I was trying to be cautiously optimistic about it all, but as the day progressed, I realised that going out tonight wasn’t an option. Rather than keep him home through no fault of his own, Manthing decided to go without me.

I feel pretty awful – not just physically, but emotionally. I feel like I’ve been left behind and let down and forgotten about. Not by him, though. I feel like my own body has decided that I’m not allowed to go out, have fun and have a normal social life, and there are very few things harder than trying to battle against yourself. You can’t just hop up and jump into a new body when this one isn’t working properly, and it’s incredibly easy to take that feeling of being abandoned and turn that into self-pity, and eventually into depression.

So what do you do? You’re stuck at home, everyone else is out having a fantastic time, and all you have is pain and Netflix to keep you company. I’m struggling tonight to not fall into the pity party pit- and it can be bloody hard – but here’s some thing that might make it a little easier:

  1. Look after yourself.
    In the immortal words of Donna from Parks and Rec, “Treat ‘yo self” . Do something good for you. If that means eating a block of chocolate while in your pajamas, watching reruns of your favourite show, do it. This is about you making you feel good.

    But you know what? Sometimes you just can’t get past feeling shitty and miserable, and that’s okay. You do NOT have to be Superman or Wonderwoman. I give you complete and total permission to cry about how unfair it is, how much it all fucking sucks and how much you hate your body. Because we all have those moments, and sometimes we need an emotional release from feeling cooped up as much as we do a physical one. Hug that pillow, scream into that blanket or (snerk!) write that blog post! Let the world know you’re unhappy and that you’re over it, and make sure you give yourself a hug afterwards. You are loved.

  1. Talk to someone.
    If you’re stuck at home, there’s nothing more alienating than sitting in a quiet room by yourself. The next best thing thanks to the internet is to talk to people online. Go bug someone on Skype, prod a friend on Facebook or talk to a mate on KIK. If you’re after new friends, go and find a chat room that matches your interest, hit up the roleplaying boards on Gaia Online, or hell, go and check out some of the topics at r/CasualConversation .

    The worst thing you can do is to isolate yourself. At the very least, you’ll be catching up with someone you know. At best, you make a new friend.Sometimes it can be a little hard to talk to people when you’re in a crappy mood, but try and persevere. The best part of being online is that you can be entirely anonymous – if you don’t feel like sharing your present situation, you don’t have to. This may not be helpful for everyone, but I know it’s helped me on a few nights where I’d much rather just say I’m fine, than explaining how crap I feel.

  2. Plan for the future.
    This one is hard, even for me. You have to remember that, just because you can’t go out this time, it doesn’t mean “never”. Even though it feels pretty damn close, you’re disheartened and miserable, there’s always tomorrow. And if tomorrow is still shit, there’s next week. If next week is crap, the week after. Rinse repeat. It’s so very easy to go “I give up”, throw your hands up and become an angry pain sausage and sit in the corner, but that won’t fix the situation. What you’ll eventually find is that your mood right now is shit, and rightly so, but it will pass. You may wake up tomorrow feeling a little better for a sleep, and want to try and catch up with that friend or see that movie. You also may not, but that’s where we try again on the next tomorrow.

    Being a chronic kitty often means we feel left out and DO get left out of social events because we simply can’t keep up with others, or because it’s not an accessible thing, or because we simply fall out of social groups because we don’t have the energy for gossip. It can hurt, but it’s important that we do things within our means, too, and this means planning that lunch date, or going to see that movie or going over a friends, but do it within your capacity. Only you know what you are capable of, and you are awesome.

I don’t know if I feel better by writing this right now, but I know I’ll feel better tomorrow. I’m going to spend tonight playing some video games and watching a series and, if I feel particularly sassy, I’m going to get some ice cream. But most importantly, I’m going to give myself the time I need to feel better and I’m going to look after my body while doing it. As crap as I feel now, I know tomorrow would have been ten times worse than today if I had pushed myself to go out tonight. At least this way I know I’m taking the time to treat my body right, and when Manthing gets home, he’ll have lots of new stories to tell me about 🙂

I would love to know what other people do for ‘self care’ on nights like this. What’s your “go to” pick-me-up? Either leave a comment below or use the new “got a question?” page to leave me an anonymous answer!

❤ Abigail

 

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8 thoughts on “[Journal] Chronic Illness and the feeling of being left behind

  1. This totally resonates with me today…bad fibro flare, PMS migraine, and so I can’t go to a family gathering…I always send my husband without me when this happens, because he needs to have fun and there is no sense in both of us being stuck at home.

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