It hit today. I'm talking about the feeling that creeps over me and lingers with tremendous, painful fatigue. Can't say it's much fun. My legs ache, my head aches, my whole body aches, but I think the most painful is the aching in my heart. When this feeling is really strong it is so very, very hard to hold on to hopeful thoughts. It takes everything I have inside of me to push myself forward when I want to shut down, give up, and turn away from the world. Some days I'm forced to shut down. My body simply won't cooperate with my efforts to keep going. Other times I do keep pushing, but it's a "survival mode" where everything is pulled inside of me and I silently (because noise hurts) put one foot in front of the other and step-by-step feel the moments tick by without my heart living in them.
I can't think too far ahead. I'm not talking days, I'm talking about thinking ahead in terms of hours and even minutes. Man, it hurts. There is a pain that is beyond the physical sensation of discomfort. It is a deep pain that pierces my soul and seems to settle in my chest, inside of my heart, and it weighs heavily upon me forcing me to feel the pain as my chest lifts with every breath. Deep breaths seem to channel the pain more intensely up into my head and they tighten the vice that surrounds my thoughts. Where does it come from? Why is it here inside of me?
The daily challenge of Chronic Fatigue is difficult in itself so when days like this come around it is even more wrenching to my spirit.
I don't know how to meet the expectations of others when it is so hard to push myself through the days. When a day like today comes around my soul cries and I feel the sorrow of not being able to be what I feel like I need to be, to do what I feel I'm expected to do. I have those feelings pretty much every day living with this illness, but when my body and mind are locked into the pain it is a struggle to convince myself that I'm okay. I mean, it's hard to feel worthwhile and significant when I'm not doing what I wish I could be doing for other people.
I try to stay quiet about my pain. I don't think most people can relate. I don't think anyone can really understand unless they are living with a comparable illness. It's interesting how people just expect "the usual" out of other people. It is days like this when I want everyone to stop expecting me to not be sick. It takes too much of me to just get through the moments to have to push through obligations. Nevertheless, I push. Some may argue that it is good to push, but they don't understand my illness. It may be good to try to push through the depression, but physically it is pain upon pain to push.
I need the world to be silent, but the world doesn't stop for my pain. Noise is amplified a hundred times over in my head. I've learned to survive. I've learned to pull myself into a place that I'm not even aware of until I'm through the most painful moments. I'll get through today. When my spirit is lifted away from this brutality I will feel the release and give thanks. It's a curious thing how endurable the everyday kind of pain is when I emerge from these episodes of extraordinary pain. I remember being delivered from this kind of pain before, and I will wait for my reprieve.