I know I usually stick to the humorous side of things, but today my post will be different. I will still attempt to throw in some humor along the way however, so as to not disappoint.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Endometriosis, Multiple Chemical sensitivities, Asthma, Degenerative Disc disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, A.D.D, Clinical Depression and Anxiety ~Yes, I have ALL that. My life is generally spent in a recliner or my bed with occasional breaks in between where I feel at around 50-60% better. It’s been a very long struggle needless to say. Between employers, co workers, family members, friends and significant others, the struggle is endless. I understand you can’t SEE that we’re sick (I guess I shouldn’t have bothered with all that make up to hide the deep black circles beneath my eyes) but that doesn’t give you the right to treat someone like they’re just a lazy sod looking for attention. I assure you, whenever I have dry heaves (which is often) I try to do it discreetly, like in a washroom. I do NOT stand in your face with my mouth agape producing unnerving gagging sounds directly in your personal space. It hurts. A lot. Forgive me for commenting on the pain that feels similarly like a big metal hot poke that some asshole just drove in to your legs or lower back or neck or stomach. Or when I spasm hard enough to throw my tea across the room, and no, I was not throwing a Diva fit just there. I know we all get tired after a long day or a trying ordeal. When someone with Fibro or CFS are tired… It’s MURDEROUSLY tired. Like, rather than finish the dishes, I’m going to pass out on my face here on the floor for a while and I don’t care if I break a plate doing so.. We get, what a friend of mine with CFS said once, BONE SHATTERING tired. I could kill a small child or kick an ugly puppy tired. And trust me, I LOVE dogs and that’s why I said “ugly” cause I mean, come on, I’m not heartless.
The best though has to be employers. Hands down. I once told my employer that I was going through Cervical Cancer at the time, and he covered his ears and yelled, “I don’t wanna hear it”. Or getting hauled in to “the office” to sign a ridiculous form that basically states, ” I, the undersigned, will NEVER get sick and disrespect the company like that again, I promise.” Then when you do get sick, the “form” is magically produced as if to say, “you said you wouldn’t do that again, soo” Working with people with overinflated egos, on their own form of “power tripping” because hey, let’s face it. The call center supervisors are NOT to be messed with. They have their own matching team jackets and wear cigarettes behind their ears. They are usually beyond intelligent, which is how they landed this “all knowing” “all important” position in the first place. They often prefer to be addressed as “Yogi” “Your Highness” or “All Seeing Eye”. It’s easy to pick them out in the center as they all wear crowns and hold staffs.. I’ve had employers praise me to the highest with my attitude, enthusiasm, knowledge, the fact that people usually like me etc. But I always get fired, for the same thing.. So to all my past employers, with the exception of one red headed lass I still chum around with, this is collectively to all of you. Please go fuck yourself. Fuck yourself hard, and fuck yourself good and know this; while you are toiling away at your meaningless, mindless and effortless jobs, I am home doing what I love, writing and painting, with a wonderfully supportive partner and a cuter than all get out dog. I am happy. You are not and Karma.. lol.. is a dirty bitch.
Relationships have also been a huge challenge. Everyone from my immediate family to friends and significant others. I once overheard my ex complain to his friend, “Just go to work already, she’s always home..” That felt like a dagger through the heart. People have no idea how difficult it is to balance a “normal” life when you have chronic pain and fatigue. I often wake up feeling like I haven’t slept in a week, stumbling around cursing and swearing just to make it to the bathroom sometimes. Making myself a cup of tea is often a challenge. How you think I am capable of walking, standing out in the cold, waiting for buses and pushing myself through an 8 hour day of pure pain and stress. How dare you? I’m often not even able to eat until late at night because of the stress I have in my stomach. So forgive me if I can’t eat a huge breakfast and then go shopping right after. Forgive me if I can’t keep plans and have to cancel constantly. My body doesn’t not care if we were supposed to go to a concert and although I WANT to, my body protests. It’s sheer hell. As far as staying home, it’s not a choice I made lightly but I had to take stock of what really matters in my life. A quality of life is more important to me than having excess money to buy shit I don’t need. I am more than happy shopping at thrift shops and making the necessary sacrifices to stay home and take care of my health. As much of a physical illness I have, it’s also very much emotional. Feelings of inferiority and worthlessness and uselessness and are regular emotions of mine, however, being home makes me appreciate the other wonderful things I have in my life. Mainly my wife, dog and art. I am lucky to now have a partner that cares enough for me to help me stay home and she never ceases in her love and encouragement. I am very blessed in this respect. Friends however, are another story.. They just haven’t really shown a lot of compassion or caring and have demonstrated annoyance when I’ve had to cancel plans. But know, no one, is more annoyed than I.
It was important for me to write this as I am currently just coming out of a 5 day stretch of continuous pain and sickness, during which, my motivations and humor drop dramatically. I try to keep my sense of humor throughout but it’s others that always seem to manage to throw a wrench in my attitude and make me feel small or worthless. To you lot I also wish you a giant “Fuck You” Just because you can’t “SEE” someone’s pain, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Try showing some compassion to others less fortunate. I used to teach fitness classes and train, I could paint for hours, walk for hours, get up early for work.. Now, I can’t do any of that. And although I may ‘inconvenience” people from time to time, no one, and I mean NO ONE feels worse about it than I do. All we really want from others is a little respect, understanding and a little compassion. It goes a long way. So if you know someone who suffers from any of the above, reach out to them. Offer them a drive somewhere, listen to them when they need to vent and lastly, be grateful, it’s not you..
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,