So unfortunately, the side effect, for me, of slowing down is that I have more time to think not to mention feel. There's nothing to fill the silence inside my mind. When I'm able to stay a little busier - be online, connect with people, write on my blog, do small jobs on the forum I work on, read books ... it gives me less time to really feel what I'm going through. Less time to focus on how difficult, uncertain, scary and intense it is to be so ill, dependant, and isolated. Less time to remember all the things I've lost, and the things I may never have... To feel guilty about the burden I place on everyone around me... And most of all to remember that with each passing year I am missing the chance of finding a special someone to share my life with, who will love me as me, and with whom I can bear a child. At 35, with an pre-existing infertility issue, the chances of me ever having a child of my own are probably now completely lost. When I can't keep my mind busy, those long hidden things tend to come flooding back in .... So needless to say, I'm really struggling right now.
There's been so much grief in my life, and often that's all I can see ahead of me, too. I don't see that as depression, or even a sign that I'm giving up hope ... it's just that the reality of my situation is that there's not even a little bit of certainty in my life or my future - and there's an overwhelming likelihood that this state of loss and grief will continue indefinitely, until I've missed every major milestone in a 'normal' person's life, and lost most of the good things that I did have.
I don't plan on giving up the fight, but I feel that every year that goes by with me still so severely ill is another battle lost ... and takes me another step closer to losing the war. And maybe that's another reason for the strength of my feeling right now - it's my 35th birthday next month - another year gone by without me being able to leave my bed and live my life.
I try so hard to hang onto the good things, and not to give up hope - but it's the hardest battle I can imagine! Honestly, this life I'm living could barely be called a life, and it's really, really hard to keep fighting when everything seems to be against me, and when I'm just so darn tired of it all. I don't even have to simply fight my body, my illness ... I also have to fight just to be recognised as genuinely ill. To get the medical treatment I need. The acceptance, support and love I need. Nothing comes easily when you have M.E. I'm sicker & more disabled than the majority of people with (for example) MS, Cancer, Aids ... yet am treated like there's nothing really wrong with me physically. I just can't begin to describe how completely soul destroying that can be.
My conclusion? Hope is a choice not a feeling!!
My life ... I suppose all of our lives, are a complex twist of pain, joy, hope & grief all muddled into one. Some of us have more pain and loss than others - but the principle remains the same however much we hurt - we have to choose whether to go on and live through it, try to forge out some semblance of happiness - or give up and fall into our pain and stop seeing the joy. For most people, there's probably a close to even balance of good and bad. Sometimes, for some of us, our lives overbalance into the negatives and we then have to work even harder to see the positives - and to find enough of a reason to go on.
Some days I'm really struggling to find that reason. Much of the reason I do keep fighting is for the people I love - because I don't want to hurt them by giving up - but that isn't enough to make me happy, only enough to help me survive. I feel like I'm living in a state of emotional darkness. That's not to say that the light doesn't occasionally manage to flicker through. There are moments of love, of beauty, of memory - but those moments are all shadowed to some extent. I honestly can't remember the last time I felt pure, unfiltered happiness - and that in itself is a massive point of grief.
I feel like I should try to end this post on a positive note ... but honestly, I just don't think I have it in me right now. Life is tough sometimes, and this is one of those times.
I'd love to hear your reply and I know it'll be valued by other readers too! I always try to respond, please just be aware that it can take me some time to find the energy to do so as I've been particularly ill recently and struggling to get online. Thanks for reading! :)