Hello! Here I am, hitting you with another personal post.
Some of you might ask: “Why don’t you take these issues to your friends?”
My point exactly. being chronically ill is a lot of things. It’s different for each person. But one thing goes across the board: it’s lonely. Being chronically ill is lonely.
Why? Well, because you feel like no one understands you. That’s true. No one will ever completely understand your pain, your struggles, your experiences. That’s something only you can carry with you. That sucks.
Being chronically ill makes you guarded. You’re wary of doctors, of visitors that come with smiles & flowers when you’re in the hospital – but not present when you’re at home. You’re wary of friends who’ve said too much, or said nothing at all when you needed them most. You’re wary of your own family. You wonder if you’re an inconvenience to them; whether your being too ill for that one birthday dinner harbored some resentment. Some of this is untrue, & you know it – but there’s some part of your mind that is always fearful of what might be the real truth.
Because you’re guarded, you lash out. Or you draw inwards. You sit on your bed for hours…sometimes because you’re too tired or in too much pain to get up; sometimes because you’re afraid that if you go anywhere you’ll face rejection.
I know that being sick is lonely. & unfortunately, I have this for the rest of my life…so, I’ve learned, for the most part, to embrace my solitude; to even find some joy in it. I enjoy spending time by myself & with myself – but when I forget that I cannot lean on others, that I am sometimes too much for others…I get hurt again. And again.
This has happened several times now. I’m getting better. I know I am! & I can’t always be the perfect judge of a person or a situation. Chronically ill people gravitate towards other chronically ill people; it’s because we share experiences & jokes & sorrows. This is great & also terrible. Sometimes those people are not capable of being there for you. It’s something you need to be aware of. I try to be…but that still doesn’t make it hurt less when I’m “forgotten.”
To those who cry at 3 a.m. over pain – whether it’s physical or emotional – it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad about your loneliness; it’s okay to feel angry about a situation, a relationship, or a friendship that did not work out.
Be gentle with yourself. Try to be gentle with the other person/people. Be gentle to your body (You can yell at your doctor, though). Understand that others are fighting their own battles. It’s not an excuse for their behavior, but it makes you more empathetic; gives you context; lets you let go. & once it’s all over & done with, it feels good to let go. Write it out, talk it out, cry it out, paint it out, stare at your ceiling for hours on end. It’s okay. Those are all ways of coping with rejection, loneliness, & unkindness without hurting yourself. Do them. They might even feel good. Some of the best things I’ve ever created/some of the best concerts I’ve ever performed were in situations of extreme emotional or physical pain/stress. I work well when I’m in pain – it gives me something to distract myself with – so that’s when I am busiest. You might feel differently. It’s still okay to stare at the ceiling, you know. I’ve done that too. It’s okay.
It will feel good to be alone. I love being alone. I love spending time with myself, with my animals, going for walks at all hours of the day or night (if I am able). I love crying and dancing to music in the shower, on my bed, on my floor.
That’s what I’ll be doing tonight. The new Lorde album was made for this, did you know? It’s made for the lonely ones. It’s good to be alone. Love your silence, love your solitude. Forgive the people & things that have hurt you – including your own body.
Remember that you’ll always have yourself. I am me. I am no one else’s. I look like me, I am me, & I will always be me. The same goes for you. I promise. I’m here. You’re here. We’re all here. We are taking up space. & we are doing it all by ourselves, in one world.
(Sorry for all the jumbled thoughts – this is a diary, after all, & I’m trying to put all my thoughts here so you can get in my head for just a brief moment. This was written when I was sad, & lonely, & tired. But I will remind myself that being lonely is okay. There’s comfort, & romance, & beauty in being alone. Remember that as I try to remind myself of that.)
Stay lonely, & be loving.