I know I have been off-line for awhile now. Sometimes it is difficult to blog. Between the brain fog, the pain, the exhaustion, and often just the lack of words. Sometimes I worry that my post will not be worth reading. Other times, I want to write about my struggles, but I might be too tired, or in so much pain that I cannot even sit at my computer. I don’t tell you this for sympathy, but so you will understand that it’s okay. You are not alone.
I have been attending a support group and, even though it is not Hashimoto’s related group, I am still slowly learning that it is okay to take care of myself. Those of us who suffer from chronic illness understand the constant inner battle of, am I doing enough to enjoy life and I am so sick I need rest.
It is difficult to explain to other people that when I make plans weeks in advance, I honestly intend with every fiber of my being to be dependable. However, those of us with chronic illness understand that when the day arrives, we might just not be able to fathom that social event, wedding, party, concert, etc. Sometimes we need to cancel our plans for our sanity or health, but our guilt sets in and we can’t bear to cancel once again on that friend we have rescheduled with twice already. Excuses become our crutch. Sometimes we just avoid commitment all together.
As we cancel plans during our sickest times, we lose those invitations. Friends no longer call or invite because they don’t want to be disappointed yet again. When we are finally in a healthier state, we look around and find ourselves to be alone. Surrounded by people who don’t understand our illness and because it is invisible, often doubt there really is anything wrong. We go out and try to reconnect, but the unknown about our health and when it will nosedive again, (because we all know this WILL happen), makes us fear the possibility of letting our friends or family down. We know it is not a matter of if, but when we will be unable to properly function again. Even our families can’t understand our behaviors.
We don’t have to fight alone. I am as honest as I can be about my invisible illness. Those who choose to believe it is just an “excuse” are welcome to their opinion. If they had to live one day in this failing body of mine, I would venture to guess that they would see things very differently.
To those with Hashimoto’s, keep reaching out when you are able. Be honest with those close to you. Help them understand you are not trying to hurt anyone. Take care of yourself. If someone leaves because of your illness, remember there are others who will choose to stay.
To the friends and families of someone with Hashimoto’s, be kind and love us. We really are doing our best. When we fail as a wife/husband, mother/father, daughter/son, aunt/uncle, sister/brother, and friend, know that we are not “ourselves.” We are not trying to cause pain to those we love, but simply manage our own pain.