chronic fatigue, chronic illness, chronic pain, Chronic pain and depression, Chronic pain and mental illness, mental illness

Nothing but the Dark…

Suffering from a painful deteriorating illness and expressing the darkness with words of a wonderful writer.

 

aChronicPainLife...

I used to love the feeling you get when waking up from your worst nightmare – that moment  when you realise you’ve left the extreem anxiety and hopelessness behind and your eyes have come to a halt – when you can curl up all snug amongst the quilts and go back to sleep, knowing that when you wake everything will be okay.

Well, I’ve resounded myself to the fact this is a feeling I will never have again! The reality I’m in has become worse than any nightmare I’ve ever had and all hope is gone for making a recovery.  I’m tired of of it all. Each day is becoming more and more of a struggle and I’m not sure I have the strength to live a full life like this – one where darkness is my home and the view from the other side gets more appealing by the…

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chronic fatigue, chronic illness, chronic pain, Chronic pain and depression, Chronic pain and mental illness, depression, fibromyagia, holiday anxiety, Holiday depression, holiday stress, leaving an abusive relationship, mental illness, mental illness and physical pain, narcissistic abuse

turkey 22

It is important to take some time for yourself. The hustle and bustle can make you focus on others and forget about yourself.
Can you think of something to do for yourself that will make your day a little easier or a little better?
You might take a short walk, watch some funny YouTube videos, make a phone call to someone you love to talk to…or….what can you do to take care of yourself today?

…If you are struggling with an invisible illness like chronic pain, depression, chronic illness, PTSD from domestic abuse, or anything that makes you feel isolated from other people, you need support. 

If you are feeling alone, the holidays can be very hard. Many people get more depressed during the holidays. Since this is the beginning of the holiday season, let us begin it together. 

Stay in touch here today and don’t feel alone. 

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Chronic Pain Affects the Holidays

If you suffer from chronic pain, then you know how if affects your social life. Interacting with people is difficult because you cannot do all the same things they can do. You have trouble keeping up with the flow and people do not understand how you feel. 

Having chronic pain can affect the holidays and your ability to participate. Along with chronic pain, also comes chronic fatigue. You can get very tired and need to rest. This can also cause frustration in dealing with family and friends who may not understand that you need to rest. 

You have the right to take care of yourself and you need to keep your boundaries about what you can and cannot do. It is easy to get depressed when you are struggling through the holidays. 

Some people end up self isolating for a variety of reasons. It can become tiresome to keep trying to explain to people about your condition. Some people find that they cannot get people to believe them. Invisible pain is invisible…and thus non-existent to people who cannot empathize. 

You may have become alienated from family and friends who became tired of adapting for you. This can be a very painful experience and the holidays can be very triggering and depressing of you have lost people you once spent time with. 

Then there are some people who hide their pain and try to keep up. You might do this because you do not want to burden people. You might just not talk about your pain because you know the people will not be sympathetic or they will not believe you. 

If you are feeling alone,  or are struggling with chronic pain today, feel free to connect with  us about how you are feeling. You can leave a message in the comments below or you can write a post and leave a link for people to read. 

 

 

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Holidays for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families

If you were brought up in a chaotic, dysfunctional, emotionally abusive or negligent childhood then you were taught not to focus on your own needs. As an adult you are at a disadvantage in taking care of yourself.

You might notice that other people draw boundaries and get what they want easier than you do. This is because they were taught that their needs matter and that you have to take care of yourself or no one else will.

Those of us with “People Pleaser Syndrome” were taught ..” if you cater to someone else then eventually that person will take care of you.”

You are supposed to keep sacrificing for others until they appreciate you for what you have sacrificed for them. Unfortunately people most often do not change from “being catered to” to “taking care of you.”

The problem is that the people around you get trained … “spoiled”…that you do not mind being the one they take advantage of. You are the one whobwill come through no matter how inconvenient or painful it is for you.

If you have C-PTSD from abuse as a child (including emotional / psychological) abuse then you are likely to have depression and anxiety disorders.

Many people that were not nurtured and guided to be independent adults now have C-PTSD and do not even know what is wrong with them. As much as you may want to forget your childhood ever existed, it is that early proframming that is still ruling your subconscious thinking, from behind the scenes.

You are not even aware why you make the choices you make. In fact many of your behaviors do not feel like choices at all. You are programmed to respond to people in ways that make you unhappy and even upset with yourself.

The holidays can be miserable for adult children that come from families that programmed them to ignore their true inner voices. But you inner voice is trying to tell you what you really need.

You have just as much of a right to enjoy the holidays as anyone else does. Let your conscious rational brain see when things are not balanced in your relationships.

Before you say yes to anything during the holidays, tell the person you need to think about it. Give yourself time to find out if the things you  are choosing are best for you.

Your first response to people within a few seconds is coming from your programming that other people installed directly into your brain hard drive. But you have the right to override it.

You can refuse to respond to people right away. Just tell them you need to think about it and you will gey back to them. This simple action will tell people that you are a person and that if you choose to what they want it was because you decided to figure it into your schedule.

People may be shocked and resistant to your changing methods but if they always get their way then it is your turn. If you have always done what they want you to on the holidays then you can take one year to do things differently.

Take time to think through what choices best support you. Then do not let people emotionally manipulate you. Other adults such as parents . siblings and in laws do not have the right to demand you to cater to them, especially if they do not care about your feelings and needs.

Taking time to respond will allow you to think about and remeber which people care about you as opposed to which ones manipulate and take you for granite.

The people that manipulate your time are taking your time away from people who you would be happier being with and who deserve your time more.

There is no rule against taking time for yourself or spending it differently than you usually do. Change can be good for the soul and it is also good for your cognitive functionling. When you always go on auto-pilot, your brain loses plasticity.

The plasticity of your brain gets less flexible when you stay in a routine that never alters. It makes it harder for you to rhink of possibilities and options. Making small changes in your behaviors can increase this plasticity and allow you to see more choices.

For every option you see, there is another one that you are not seeing yet, but you might see it if you give yourself time before you commit to things toobfast.

People are not in control over you as much as it feels like. When dealing with manipulative family members you just go outbof your way to please people who neve4 give you the love and acceptance you need anyway.

Allow time for yourself and for people who will appreciate you more. There may be someone you would like to make time for that you have not thought of because they are not the “squeeky wheel.”

Think of what you would actually like to do during the holidays. If things are triggering to your anxiety or depression then you can …

Blow them off…

Keep the time to a minimum and then go do something you want to do…

Change something about your behavior that makes it more bearable such ad not agreeing to everything right away ( remember…I need to think about it)…

Don’t cater to people’s emotions who are minimizing or neglecting you feelings, wishes and rights…

Leave early…

Take control back for some aspect of the events and activities (do not do everthing the way they expect you to)…

Let people know that you have as much right to enjoy ( or at least not be miserable) during the holidays as they do…

Say “no” and let them figure out their next step…

Take notes for yourself about what people say and do so that they do not change the truth around to manipulate your memory. …

Set you own time table as far as what times you are able to come and go…other people do just this

 

 

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Thanksgiving Meet-up on Gentlekindness Blog

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On Thursday  you are invited to connect with all of us here. Thanksgiving is the first of the holiday season and can trigger depression and anxiety in many people. Others are feeling lonely during the holidays.

If you are feeling alone or just want to connect, you can come here on Thanksgiving. I will create posts during the day that you can leave comments and also leave links to your own posts.

If you want to contribute a Guest Post , A Poem, or a Letter , feel free to do so. If you want me to post something for you, you can contact me at michelemimimish@gmail.com

If you have posts that you want to post the links to, you will see posts you can put them in the comments section of.

Artwork, poetry , details of what you are doing or how you are feeling are all welcome. Everyone is encouraged  to leave kind, thoughtful comments on anything that others leave.

 

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Thanksgiving Blog Meet-Up for My Followers

I am thinking of doing something on the holidays,  here on the blog, for people who find the holidays difficult.

There are many people who read my blog who need some extra support to get through the holidays.

I have seen other bloggers do blog parties where people connect through their blog throughout the day. I was thinking of a “holiday connection day” kind of idea…not so much a party but more like a get-together.

I have nevet done this kind of thing before so if you have any ideas let me know in the comments below.

I want people to have somewhere to connect with me and with each other, in order to be able to talk to other people who understand how difficult the holidays can be.

 

 

 

 

 

chronic pain, Chronic pain and depression, Chronic pain and mental illness, Degenerative bone disease, life, mental health, mental illness

Chronic Pain, Depression, Isolation and Anxiety Disorder

Today I had a flare up of my chronic pain. Flare up days are not all the same. The pain is not always in the same location or in the same body part.

Most people with chronic pain have several locations where pain occurs.They live with moderate to high levels of pain on a daily basis, even when trying to sleep or trying to get out of bed in the morning.

Living with moderate to severe pain on a daily basis for years and years is truly exhausting. When we say we have to sit or lie down to rest, we really have to. There has to be a break in the level of the pain or we simply cannot go on.

My particular distress today was in the herniated disc in my cervical spine. I have gone to doctors, orthopedic specialists, pain management specialists and physical therapy for this herniated disc.

There are also a couple of other discs in the same area that are “bulging” discs, which is supposed to be one step lower or less bad than a ” slipped” or “herniated” disc.

When the discs slide into certain places they press directly onto nerves, sending pain throughout the neck which radiates up into my jaw and then my head. A moderate to severe headache ensues.

Today I felt pain in my jaw. I also have what they call TMJ in that particular place…left side..right at the place where the bone that hold the upper teeth and the bone that holds the lower teeth meet.

The TMJ usually does not bother my much unless I open my mouth too wide and then it makes a loud popping sound and hurts some. But when the herniated disc acts up and pinches the nerves then the pain radiates upwards and inflames that place where the TMJ is.

Chronic pain can cause depression, grief and anxiety in people. It is often very difficult to keep up with other people and they do not understand or do not believe you that the pain could be that bad. They just say . oh we all have aches and pains. I have to deal with mine so you should just deal with yours”

People do not understand about chronic pain conditions. On a good day for us we have pain that is more than other people’s worst day of aches and pains.

On a bad day the pain can become excrutiating and we feel like we are in a battle with our own bodies that we did not start.

It feels like our own body is destroying our quality of life. We become like aliens trying to survive in a world of humans who are not sympathetic to our pain. They cannot empathize because they have no way to relate to it.

People think that we are lazy, disagreeable and being babies with a low tolerance for pain.

Now, here is thing. Most people with chronic pain did not always have it. We have developed conditions inside of the body that really cause pain that is so bad we cannot function the way we used to.

We remember what it is like to have regular ” aches and pains” like regular people have. We know what they are referring to when people say ” we all have aches and pains so just deal with it and keep up with us”.

We remember just having ” regular” aches and pains and that is not what this is.

Chronic pain rules your daily life. It can be so severe that climbing steps, even with my cane causes extreme pain in my knees….not just a little pain. Going up and down steps is torturous to me because of the arthritic degeneration in the bones and disintigration of the cartilage that is supposed to cushion between the bones grinding togethet on the nerves.

People with chronic pain often become isolated. Friends and family tire of you telling them that you cannot go with them to do certain kinds of activities that you once used to be able to do with them. They get tired of the ups and downs;  good and bad days.

They begin to feel that you are using your supposed ” pain disorder” to get your way and to control what activities you do.

Let me tell you this…People with chronic pain wish we could still do those activities. We wish we could walk around the mall, go to carnivals and yard sales and be able to walk around for two hours. But our bodies won’t allow us too.

We are not wanting to never be able to do anything fun. That does not make any sense.

We are not happy to “get out of”  doing work. We really wish that we could still do those things.

We have trouble cleaning our house. We have trouble getting around in the grocery store and more trouble bringing those groceries inside from the car. It takes me a good 45 minutes to carry 2 bags at a time up two flights of steps to my apartment, as I take two or three steps at a time and have to stop in places on the way up.

Who would want to lose their ability to climb stairs, to tolerate driving for very long even as a passenger, to have trouble exercising and to have to say “no”to social invitations?

We hate having our pain disorder. It may be invisible but it is very real to us.

So this is how people with chronic pain often develop mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. We lose friends and have trouble going out to meet new people.

Family members write us off because they do not want to be around someone who complains about pain. They have no way to know what level of pain we have.

Isolation often comes as a result of the difficulty in going out, driving, sitting for too long, standing, and a variety of other physical actions that are required to have a “normal” day, like other people do.

It is frustrating, depressing, anxiety provoking, sad, exhausting, and causes feelings of hopelessness as well as worthlessness. Sometimes we think “what good are we to anyone?”

So please be kind to any loved one that has a chronic pain condition. They need your support and validation that they are still someone that is worth spending time with.

They are worth a little extra effort on your part to come to visit them, rather than insisting they come to visit you. They are worth minor adjustments in your plans.

No one intentionally stops doing all the activities that they once loved to do. No one intentionally cuts their quality of life in half. We don’t want to have to stay in bed all day on really bad days. We really wish we could go out like other people do and participate in the world and its’  activities.

We grieve for our bodies, our lost abilities, our lost social interactions and our lost dreams of doing these we know we will never be able to.

We are just people like everyone else. We are not trying to make anyone’s life more difficult.

Isolation can have a deteriorating effect on cognitive skills and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

My thoughts and prayers are with the readers that suffer from chronic pain conditions. More awareness is needed and more empathy is needed.