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Chronic Snarkopolist: My Own Worst Enemy

Post Published: 24 February 2012
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Category: Chronic Autoimmune Conditions, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 4 responses. Leave a comment

Hello my loves!

Some days the sky falls on our heads. And some days we are heroes. When the sky is falling I often wonder if my black cloud is acting as a magnet. “Why are people poking me with sticks?” I wonder. Other times good things have happened to me and I have not deserved the joy or kindness I have received. Life often seems so arbitrary.

Yet, if I stop to trace things, I can often say, “I am having difficult in THIS area, and I am the only person who is consistently here so it must be me.” When I notice things going south, I might reach out to people, “Please tell me how I can do better, or how I can make this easier for us.”

I have been told, “You cannot use illness as an excuse for (fill in this blank.) And yet, I also consider this. I reached out first. I noticed that things were not going well and I asked. Sometimes it is easy to forget as a patient and caretaker that our personalities might shift or be less than easy for other people. Also- sometimes what works for one group may not work for other groups. Still, sometimes I am simply tired, or in pain, or I want to rest. It is too easy to hide. It is too easy to consider myself damaged beyond repair and stop being social. We are all equally damaged in this life, some with illness and some with life circumstance. Giving up is not the answer. But persevering is the most daunting thing I have done.

The joy I get from being around people often counters such fatigue or pain. Yet only with reciprocity or connection. I have yet to figure this out. I am still learning how much I affect people and how much I can expect from them. I am not always sure how I will react during my worst times or even if I am having a great day or just coasting on borrowed energy. I’m still learning how to back away when I energetically hit the wall – because other people cannot live for me or know what I am experiencing. People don’t rescue us, nor do they often care what our hardships are even when they know.

When I am not in a cheerful, high energy, good-humored place I am always tempted to stay in and avoid life. Yet, I have been told repeatedly that vulnerability and honesty is the only way to function. That to truly be known is to put myself in the world and allow people to love me anyway, even on my worst days. And, love them in return.

It has been hard to show up and allow that I am not fully where I want to be in my life. It is harder still when I am surrounded by people who are not connected or intimate but merely in a group and who know me but do not care. The lack of sharing and kindness force a wall in my heart that requires me to put on more masks. It would often better if I had stayed home and rested instead. I don’t know what is better. And frankly I am still learning how to act and react in each circumstance and sometimes with each person. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy because of my lack of understanding (or perhaps lack of compassion for myself).

I have no answers. I want to love and be loved. I want to accept people and know them and cherish them. I am grateful for the moments I have where people have gone out of their way for me and allowed me to be kind to them. Love is what moves me. Love is necessary. Without sharing and healing each other – our hearts, our lives, our experiences – we start to harden inside. I am both afraid of this kind of love and actively working on it.

Perhaps that is why it is such a sticky wicket for me now. Perhaps if I am consistent in my willingness to show up and love and accept love, the rest will work itself out. Time has a funny way of sorting through such issues.

How have you handled groups and people on your worst days? How do you present yourself when you need to be social but you don’t know how you will react to stress or difficulty? The few times I have let people know that I don’t feel well is often taken as excuse. Do you tell people? Do you let people think you are a lose cannon? I would love to know your coping techniques because I am not good at navigating the world when my mood is low or I am less aware of the effect I have on others. I often wonder if I’m only sensitive about it because it is an ongoing theme and people without flares just allow themselves to have rough day and move on. What do you think? Please tell me! I must know.

I will see you in two weeks! Kiss kiss!

-Melissa

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4 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: My Own Worst Enemy”

  1. Jackie Fox says:

    Melissa,
    My only quibble with this fine and vulnerable post is when you said you have not deserved the joy or kindness you sometimes received. You deserve every bit of it and more.

    And sometimes it is perfectly fine to take the day off from being around people, as long as you don’t turn into a full-time hermit. And if your body is demanding rest, I would recommend you listen to it if it’s feasible for your schedule. I know it’s so much easier said than done but if you can, please try not to put so much pressure on yourself.

  2. Lisa says:

    Wow, I hear you Melissa. Not to undermine cancer or cancer patients, but, if we had cancer people would understand and not think we are just making up excuses. We are able to function, but we feel awful doing it and some days, just not able to do it. I am still waiting to hear back from other people replying to this to hear how they handle it, because I too would like to know whether or not to tell people about it. Or, do we continue on letting people think that we are lazy and have no ambition????

    • LuceyLocket says:

      Hello, firstly I would like to tell Melissa that my thoughts are so close to the same. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to your question about what or if you tell people, sometimes I tell people if I feel that it is important that they not think I am lazy or whiny or ridiculous, and I don’t mention it if it doesn’t matter in a real big way if they think that of me. I had a total thyroidectomy 3 years ago, and I still feel miserable.
      Lisa, I have often found myself wishing that I had cancer, or that thyroid disease would let me die. I understand that cancer is horrible, and mean no disrespect for those with it, but I can’t imagine feeling worse than I do and the thought of living the rest of my life feeling like this makes me panic and nauseous. My question is, is it going to get better? I’m losing hope.

  3. Lisa says:

    Hey Lucy,
    Sorry that you are feeling that rough.I do not have that bad of symptoms all the time, just now and again so I apologize. My symptoms don’t seem so bad now. I was able to add Magnesium to my diet through supplements and I feel much better. I have Hashimotos disease, but my thyroid levels are fine and my thyroid is still in tact, but I don’t how much longer it will remain that way.

    Maybe there is some alternative something that you could use to help? May be you have already checked into that, but I thought I would throw it out there. Good luck!

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