I have been a fighter for my entire life. What and who I have fought has changed throughout my lifetime, but my nonetheless I continue to fight.
Not everyone understands why I fight.
**The aim of this site is to tell my experiences with honesty. Therefore, some blog posts may trigger an adverse reaction. If a post is beginning to upset you, I advise that you please stop reading it immediately and talk to your support team.
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Some people will never know the demons I have battled and I am happy that they will never be able to comprehend the torment that I have survived.Tweet
I spent my childhood, teen years, and twenties fighting to protect myself from my abuser. When I reached my thirties, I had finally broken the chains that had held me back for my entire life.
I thought that would be the end of my fight, that from that point on life would become easier. But I was wrong. In fact, not only did the battle that I thought was overtake on a whole new life, but I also found myself at war with multiple chronic illnesses.
I will never be grateful to my abuser. I will never thank him for the horrendous things he has done to me or my family. I will never consider myself lucky to have been through what I have, but I will admit that the fight I wish I had never fought is what taught me how to fight for my life after my chronic illnesses hijacked my body.
Battle for my mind
I have been battling to keep my sanity intact pretty much my entire life. My abuser was someone who I loved and who was supposed to love and protect me. Instead, he took advantage of me and did everything in his power to instill in my head that I would never be worthy of his or anyone else’s love.
My body was is no different. It betrayed me. My chronic illnesses which include but are not limited to fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, costochondritis, and adhesions, have all at one time or another caused me to question my sanity. They have made feel worthless as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and more.
Just like my abuser made sure that he was seen as the good guy in the public eye, my illnesses were invisible to my friends and family. Tweet
They both made me look like a fool when I tried explaining how they tormented me.
When you include the doctors who questioned my sanity when there really was something physically wrong with me, it’s a miracle that I didn’t give up.
Unlike my abuser, my war with my chronic illnesses will never end.
They won’t move across the country.
They won’t die and leave me alone.
No, this is a war that will last until my dying day.Tweet
The only way to win this war is to continue fighting. I came dangerously close to ending my life in 2012. The pain became too much for me to handle. I felt like a burden on my husband and children. I thought they would be better off without me.
Thankfully, instead of taking my life I reached out for help.
What people do not realize is that just because I am past that moment and period of my life, it doesn’t mean that I have forgotten how I felt.
The only difference is that I now have the tools to combat them.
There are times when my illnesses overpower me and leave me with wounds that no one can see, but that I will feel for the rest of my life.
No matter what they come at me with, I will continue to fight!!!Tweet
Battle for my body
My mind wasn’t the only thing my abuser hurt and like him, my chronic illnesses have been hellbent on controlling my body as well.
I fight every day to find better ways to live with my chronic illnesses.Tweet
I hunt for pain-relieving options that won’t give my diseases more power. Not just for myself, but to hopefully help others find relief sooner than I did.
Battling my chronic illnesses isn’t always what people assume it to be. Many think that winning the battle is to push past what their illnesses and body are capable of doing and forcing it to do what they want. I get it, I once did the very same thing. But do you know where that got me? It landed me in the hospital for four days where not one doctor could figure out why my body was mimicking stroke symptoms, yet not one test was able to verify if I had had one.
What I had to learn was how to battle my chronic illnesses and not my body. And that my friends, is a totally different battle.
Instead of harming myself, I had to figure out how to fight for myself. Tweet
Items that I had once considered to be things that I had to be completely broken to use, became weapons that helped me regain and hang on to my independence.
There was a time when I felt that using a wheelchair when my illnesses refused to allow my body to spend the day on my feet was equal to giving up or into my diseases. But I was wrong! Using a wheelchair or other mobility aid when necessary is how I protect my body when it is under attack. Instead of adding to its pain and injury, I am helping it get through a moment so that it will be able to function “normally” sooner than if I had ignored its needs.
I don’t have to be on my feet every day in order to fight my chronic illnesses. I can fight from my wheelchair, rollator, and bed.
Learning how to fight
There is going to be some kind of battle each and every day.
Knowing how to fight them without harming ourselves is a lesson that never ends, but does get easier over time.Tweet
I have learned that fighting an inflamed spine that makes my head feel like it has been filled with sand requires rest and treatment.
Pushing myself to function in the “real” world when this occurs isn’t a form of fighting, it is instead a form of self-harm.Tweet
Fighting a painful chronic illness without causing harm to our bodies requires self-awareness, self-care, accepting that we aren’t always going to get to do what we want to do, modifying what we do in order to cause less harm to our bodies, and respect for what our bodies need at any given moment.
Doing all of that won’t eliminate your chronic pain, but it may reduce it. Most importantly, it will NOT add to the pain that you are already fighting.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness
If you are struggling in your battle, please seek help.
If you are in suicidal crisis or experiencing emotional distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here to chat online with them.