When You’ve Reached the End of Your Rope…

When you’ve done all that you can do, when you tried every treatment under the sun, when you’ve gone to appointment after appointment, when you’ve seen countless doctors, when you fight for your healthcare, when your insurance screws up, when you are down to your last drop of hope, when you feel left out, when your tired, when your sick of being sick, when you’ve spent years of your life focused on getting better,…when is enough, enough?
When my head is dizzy from the endless cycle of being chronically ill, I wonder when all this work will pay off. Personally, my condition is like a roller coaster: full of ups and downs and totally unpredictable. I wonder what is next. I wonder how it got this bad. I wonder where “the best years of my life” went. 

A year ago, I was in less pain. Today, my arthritis seems to be considerably worse. I don’t understand how I’m even allowed to live in insurmountable pain. Why aren’t other treatment options available? To top it off, I’m somehow expected to pretend like everything is ok, dress well, and get picked on. Then, I somehow how to pull it all together and work one day? 

If I can’t, how can I afford basic expenses, let alone my dream of traveling? Young adults like me are at a huge disadvantage financially because we have not been able to work for consistent periods. How can we ever save for a house or a car? How can we even have an emergency fund? I think about all the years I wish I could’ve worked and where my career might be today and it just kills me. My career, until this point, has been my health. 

No one thinks to really check on me. People with chronic pain don’t get flowers, cards, or any thought-out well wishes. Why? I’m guessing because it makes others uncomfortable. Do you want to know what makes me uncomfortable? Thinking that no one cares whether I’m living or simply surviving. In case you are wondering, I’m surviving today. 

Yes, it’s thanksgiving. Everyone is posting cute photos of family, babies, and food. Then many shoppers will gear up for Back Friday to fight over material items. Let me just bring this into perspective: there are millions of people living in chronic pain just like me here in the US. I can almost guarantee the only thing they want for Christmas is for the pain to go away. 

The truth is I really don’t know what I’m thankful for this year. I try to be positive, to not complain, to not bring anyone down, but I’m not going to sugar coat it: I’m hurting. I’m hurting and there is something you can do. It’s simple really. All I really need is more support from my family, friends and the community to feel like I’m not alone in this. I don’t need pity. I need help getting through. I need help tying a knot at the end of my rope so I can hold on. 

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