I’ve been on this journey for nearly 2 years now, and I’ve got to tell ya… A lot has changed in that time. Changes that I would not have imagined at the beginning of this journey. So far it has been a bit chaotic, and I spent the majority of the time in and out of depressions, fighting for my mental health and forgetting about my physical health A war has been waged in my mind and my heart and it was Hell at certain points in this journey. But as always… I have survived. I have persevered. I am now on the other side of that battle, wiser for having endured all that I went through. I won’t go into the gory details here, just know that I walked with a darkness in me for over a year, and I am so relieved to have that behind me for now.
My recent move to Washington state helped usher in this change, and to be honest I fought it for the first couple of months. I hated it here. We were too far from town, and I have never lived this far out in the country. It was culture shock, while dealing with the exacerbation of my autoimmune diseases. I was in physical pain, mental and emotional stress, lost, scared and tired.
I did work a job for a few months, but I quickly realized that my conditions will no longer allow for me to work. It’s just too much stress on my body. I would work a shift or two, then I would be sick for a week. I was calling out of work all of the time, and unable to perform the functions of the job anymore. It hurt to admit that. I felt more depressed than ever, useless, worthless, and defeated. My doctor recommended that I not work anymore, and I came to terms with the reality that it was over for me. My health has to be my top priority and it was time to admit that there are now a lot of things that I just can’t do anymore. This is to be expected with my conditions, but I thought that I had a lot more time before I would be at this point… Disabled. I finally filed for my social security disability and now we wait to see what happens… Fingers crossed that I can get it.
If you told me 2 years ago that I would make it through the instantaneous depression that hit me with diagnosis, I would have called you crazy. The darkness that overcame me with diagnosis was so overwhelming that I basically checked out of my life for well over a year. I was on autopilot for so long that I can hardly remember how I got to this point. This has been the most difficult period of my life to date, and I am so grateful that I made it through with my sanity still somewhat intact. Honestly, the only thing that kept me going was my husband and my children. If it weren’t for them, I’m not sure that I would have survived at all.
If you are going through something similar, know that it does get easier. It was hard and I felt lonely all of the time, and I’m sure some of you feel the same way. It was a terrible experience, but I met some wonderful autoimmune warriors along the way. I am a member of a couple of really awesome Facebook groups that are centered around autoimmune disorders, and they really helped me to get through all that I endured. If this sounds like you, reach out to these types of resources. Learn everything that you can and find an outlet. For me, it’s writing. For others it might be art or music or whatever it is that tickles your fancy.
Stay strong my fellow autoimmune warriors!