Chronic illness is hard.
Not just the constant battle of pain, nor the exhaustion and physical toll the illness takes.
It affects my body, but also my soul and mind. It is the constant grief cycle that I seem to be stuck in that sucks my spiritual and mental energy until I feel like I am nothing but my illness. I am more than just tired. I feel defeated.
I am defeated by the grief cycle. Every time I feel that I have come to a place of acceptance, I find myself swung right back into the path of anger, frustration, sadness, and anxiety.
I am defeated by the incomprehensible nature of my illness. Just when I think I understand my illness, I find a new symptom hits.
I am defeated by the smallest aspects of life. I am overwhelmed by the smallest tasks, just trying to keep the house clean, or trying to stay in touch with friends. Last night I nearly had a panic attack at the thought of catching up with people on zoom.
I am defeated by what I wish I could do. I remember days of working, running my own business, travelling to speaking engagements, and writing articles, and I look at my life now and it seems so empty and yet so much more difficult.
I am defeated by who I want to be. I want to have the energy to go for 5k walks with my dog. I want to not look at the chores in my house and feel exhausted.
I am defeated by my own fears. What if I get worse? What if my husband gets sick of having a sick wife? What if I don’t ever have a good day again? What if i have to close down my online church because I no longer have the strength to run it?
I am defeated by my anger. I hate this! I don’t want to live like this! I don’t want to feel so angry and sad and frustrated! I am a happy, optimistic person, not this scared, angry person.
I am defeated by the comparison game. There are people worse off than me, so surely I shouldn’t complain. Even though what is happening to me is my worst, not someone else’s, and that is legitimate. Even thought I tell people off for playing the comparison game. Even thought I know I am wrong in my thinking.
Today my soul aches. Today I feel defeated.
And yet I am not defeated. I am not so broken that I cannot keep putting one step in front of the other. God is not far from me in this and I cry out knowing that I am heard, that God cries with and for me. I am NOT defeated.
But today, I feel it, and those feelings are legitimate.
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