Looking Forward

I’m really struggling with a lack of something, anything to look forward to right now.  In the past, I almost always had something to motivate me; some sort of reward for my hard work and perseverance.  I miss planning vacations, travel (my favorite thing in the world), weekend get-a-ways, spur of the moment road trips, camping, and canoe trips. I miss living. When I think about the past and remember doing all of those things that I enjoyed so much, that pesky lump in my throat starts to creep back in, my depression is triggered, and I often find myself fighting back tears.

My thoughts can get pretty dark when I think about the future.  When I think about the past, I can’t help but wonder what happened.  I mean, I know what happened, but I don’t understand WHY.  Maybe I’m still going through a grieving process for the life that I lost (my former self).  At this point, the only thing I can think of to look forward to is an end to the pain.  Will there be anything left afterwards?  Are there other chronic pain sufferers out there who fight this internal battle? How do you handle it?  Have you discovered coping mechanisms to make it easier?

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8 Comments

  1. You are not alone, I have all the same thoughts and feelings that you do. Sometimes it’s the effort others put into my well being that gets me through a day. No one expects you to handle an imperfect situation perfectly. Just try the best you can, break down when you need to, and lean on those when you can’t find the strength anymore. Keep going, xx

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  2. Oh my goodness I totally know what you are talking about. And with nothing on the horizon it’s so easy to drift. I’ve been floating in and out of those dark thoughts. Especially ‘will there be anything left afterwards?’ The pain has eaten away at so much of me, my life, my joys and friendships that I really wonder what life will actually look like after.
    I don’t know much about you so I cannot assume anything but I cling to my faith. I’ve questioned it, doubted it and at the end of the day sometimes it is all I have left. Hold fast to anything you can that brings you joy. Sunrises/sunsets, your spouse, pet. Anything!!
    Don’t lose hope!

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    • Thank you ~ You are right. We have to hold fast to the things we do have left. Spending time with my hubby, parents, and pets brings me great joy, even if those times are more simple now, like watching a movie, or having dinner on the couch at home. Chronic illness and pain have definitely tested my faith, especially with regard to watching my husband suffer, which is often more difficult for me than my own suffering. I don’t understand why God would allow us BOTH to be sick. I know that I won’t ever have all of the answers. Maybe it was so we could relate better to each other. Relationships can be tough when one partner is chronically ill and the other doesn’t fully understand. The fact that we are both ill presents a whole different spectrum of challenges. It still seems unimaginable how drastically life can change in the blink of an eye. There are some positive things about it all though, like truly appreciating the little things in life. I took SO much for granted before and now I treasure things I never would have thought twice about before. I’m still learning to adapt, adjust and live within certain limitations. Hopefully somewhere along the way will come acceptance and some sort of peace.

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  3. For me, I go in and out of times where emotionally I really struggle to get through it, especially when I have flare ups that really limit my functioning. It is so hard to be young and look perfect from the outside. I have had times – although I don’t actually wish for this – I have wondered if it would be easier to be an amputee where there was an external validation of struggle.

    Two things have been helpful to remember. One, it is a grieving process. I have lost the person I once was. As time has passed, I have realized how much I have grown from the person I was prior to all of this, but there is an innocence that has been taken from me.

    Secondly, set a goal to do something positive that your former self would never have tried. There are positives to the person you have become, you just have to find them. For me, one of the most infuriating parts of this journey has been the physical limitations. The nerve damage the endo left behind made it painful for me to even walk anymore. I got seriously angry and decided I was going to become a runner. I know that sounds ridiculous. Prior to all of this, I pretty well considered anything I thought I could actually die while doing I would avoid, so running clearly was off the list.

    Ii didn’t care if the pain meant I did not sleep for nights. I was done letting it limit my abilities. It was seriously horrible at first, but taking back control over my life was very freeing. I had a choice. I could continue to let the pain dictate my abilities or I could choose to say, “Yup, this is going to hurt a lot” and do it anyways.

    Push through! Find the things you can still do, new things that the new you is good at and/or write out the good things that have come from this struggle. And, hold on during the dark days. Let the grief do it’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for those very wise words of experience and encouragement. Finding things that I can do now that I never would have done before is something that never even crossed my mind (other than blogging) and sounds like a really great tool to take back some sort of control over my life.

      Even though I have struggled with Endometriosis for two decades now, the gravity of dealing with its current rapidly progressing state, in addition to my newer health issues, along with my husband’s chronic pain/depression, and the very real possibility that we will never overcome infertility and may never be able to adopt, has all started to hit me at once and it is so very overwhelming at times. There are really no words that do it justice, but I believe you can relate and have been in similar places.

      I feel like I’m drowning on a daily basis and I’m finally starting to realize that I am dealing with a tremendous amount of grief. Thankfully I have found some solace in writing and using this blog as a form of therapy, in place of the real thing that I could never afford. 😉 Thank you for the great advice. I appreciate it and will definitely try to put it to good use. I can use all of the help and encouragement I can get and it really makes a difference when it comes from someone who really, truly understands the invisible physical and emotional pain that surrounds chronic illness and infertility. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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