It’s hard to know, when you live with chronic depression and chronic pain, when you’re experiencing a “bad day” or what may be the beginning of a downward spiral. It’s hard to know, when you feel all the symptoms of depression at once, if perhaps you might stay stuck there? It’s daunting and sad. In moments, it can be utterly horrifying.
Night before last I was on Twitter, (imagine that) and someone asked how I was… I responded that it was a tough day, but tomorrow would be better. I fully believed that at the time. If I had known how truly awful the next day would be, I am certain I would have kept my mouth shut.
Yesterday, that next day, was brutal in all the ways that living with fibromyalgia can be. Poor sleep the night before left me feeling bruised and battered. Stress has been relentless recently and that combined with the poor sleep… I was done for. I desperately wanted to get up and enjoy my day, but headaches, back pain and a burning and aching in my hands, arms and other body parts kept pulling me back, heavy upon me. My children would come in to my room sporadically, asking and somewhat demanding, “Mommy, when are you going to get out of bed?”
It’s been a while since I have had to spend a whole day in bed, and they have become a bit more accustomed to me being more “with it” and engaged. It’s heartbreaking to hear your children pining for you and to be unable to give them what they want and need. I continued throughout the day telling them and myself, “maybe in a little while…”
I was stricken with a deep sadness as I lie in bed. I was overwhelmed with a grief for the inability to enjoy the sunshine I saw out my window (how it sparkled as it reflected off the leaves in the trees out back!). I grieved another day missed with my children… a day of adventure and play that we all need in our life. I grieved for my husband who had more responsibilities on his plate than he had bargained for. I felt hopeless. I felt as if things would not improve… but after a lot of sleep and a lot of rest, I was finally able to get out of bed for a bit in the evening. I fixed some dinner for the family. I helped the kids to bed. I showered myself!
I had a time of relief, a moment that I could not foresee, but always comes, eventually.
I believe that this is the hardest part of dealing with depression and chronic pain as well. In the worst moments, we are blind to the possibility of relief. This blindness removes our sense of hope, it blocks out the light and leaves us feeling desperate and alone. When we are unable to see the possibilities of better days ahead we are at risk for the worst kinds of thoughts and emotions.
We have to safeguard ourselves and train our minds to remember that no matter what we are experiencing, nothing is permanent. Even if we face days of pain ahead, not each day is the same, and there will be moments of relief. Relief is possible. Relief is real. A new day is really that, it’s new, and within each hour and each day there lies within it possibility.