I Wanna Get Better

This strange thing keeps happening. This clear salty liquid keeps filling up in my eyes and overflowing down my face. I’ll feel a little overwhelmed and then a sense of loss, like I’m mourning someone. The liquid is an endless spring. I imagine I’ll run out, but I don’t. I have to drink more just to supplement all that salt I’m losing! It’s pretty annoying. I’d like it to stop.

The truth is I become a fragile emotional feather when I’m sick without relief. Gradually, after day and night and day of unrelenting sickness, it just gets to you. It starts to feel like dying more than living. I know that’s a heavy statement, and I use the verb feel very specifically. I am very much alive. Although it does beg the question. At what point do we say someone is “dying?” When their suffering outweighs their relief? That’s another question another day. I am for whatever reason, very alive, although I feel very dead. But dead people don’t cry so I think I can rule that out.

The real reason it’s been so hard recently is that being sick is absolutely and utterly exhausting. It’s overwhelming. And you know what I fantasize about? Being one of the people in my life right now that gets to offer help and suggest improvements and do random kind things. I dream of just being an average person in the functioning world. If you are that person, in anyones life, treasure it. It’s truly a privilege to be able to give to others. I might not have understood that had I never gotten sick. I want to give instead of take take take all the time. I’m tired of relying on help from others and constantly showing gratitude or kissing ass because I’m often helpless, unreliable, or burdensome. I’m tired of being high maintenance. I’m tired of all the pills I take, that work about half the time. Sometimes my stomach turns at the thought of them. I’m tired of being a bad friend in terms of what I am able to offer. I’m tired of what I am made to consider my “social life.” I’m tired of calling in sick to doctor appointments. Of seeing one or two hours of sunlight on bad days. I’m tired of my nightmares and high anxiety dreams every night. You’d think such a weighed down life would find respite in the dreamworld, but nope!! I’m tired of being 29 and relying on my parents as much as I do. Tired of feeling like I have things to offer the world but am too sick and small to carry them out. I couldn’t even hold a part-time job right now. And I’d actually love to. I’m tired of the answer being that there is no answer–there is no cure. I’m tired of being tired. And I know that those I rely on get tired of it too. The effects of all this go beyond me.

I don’t believe in whining and complaining and lamenting about life. Going on that way doesn’t really move us forward. But at the same time, there is pain here, underneath the pain, and if I don’t let it out I fear it will grow and take over my already sick insides. So I have to release it. I thought maybe if I write about it, these episodes of fluid filling up my eyes and clouding my vision and streaming down my face will cease. In other words, I want to stop crying at dog food commercials.

I am someone who loves solitude, thrives off of it even. But lately it feels more like loneliness, which is the third cousin twice removed from solitude. It’s a bad feeling. The difference between the two is that one is chosen and the other feels like the forced, only option. It’s hard to swallow when you’re constantly canceling on plans. And what you’re doing instead of being with friends, is being sick and alone at home. That’s not a fun thing to go through all the time. It wears on you.

I also laugh and cry at myself because I still want to see new places and try new things, meet new people and kiss cute boys. It’s like my heart doesn’t know I’m sick. It never gives up on the idea of new adventures. And then I wonder who would want to date me that has read this blog? I sort of leave my bleeding heart in the words here, and it’s a lot. It probably looks heavy. It can be, like anyones life. I feel vulnerable sometimes knowing that people have read such personal things about me without actually knowing me at all, but it’s part of the project. I told myself I’d always be honest, including when it got ugly. And I feel like it’d be dishonorable to discontinue that just for the sake of vanity. Still though, I worry and wonder if I’m cutting myself off from potential personal relationships by laying it all out there for the world to chew up. I worry where my life will go and how in Gods name I will move forward from here when some days I can’t leave the bed. But our boy Tolle is right: all we have is the present moment. All anyone can do is here and now. And if the present moment has me weak and in bed, (like it does right now) I can’t judge it or myself. This is where I am. I am doing what I’m capable of. Some days are going to look like this:

Not tired of this yet.
Not tired of this part.

I see where I’ve gone wrong. I’ve been judging the circumstances of my life which are beyond my control. I’ve been equating my broken body with who I am and my past as the teller of what my whole life will look like. Neither are true. But my circular thoughts would say otherwise, and sometimes we have to observe ourselves beyond our thoughts and feelings–as they are often flat-out wrong. At the same time, this life is just painful and hard sometimes, and I guess it’s OK to type that out loud. Just like I will type out loud when things change and life is better. Everything is temporary.

I also know that goals never hurt anybody. And I plan to make some more specific ones and at least feel  like I am playing a part in my health and happiness. There are small things that I can do and/or avoid that can help. Well, that’s what my mom says, and she is usually right. She’s also planning to give up TV for Lent which sounds great to me. I have a few projects in mind in lieu of the crap we would’ve been watching. Creativity never hurt either. In fact, it’s often where we find relief we didn’t even know we needed.

Also, listen to this song. It’s called I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers and I know the title is almost annoyingly appropriate but it’s a really fun and happy jam. And you can’t have enough of those.

Health and Happiness and Sickness and Sadness :)

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37 thoughts on “I Wanna Get Better

  1. I really appreciated your heartfelt vulnerability!! I have dealt with chronic pain/illness, along with other loved ones….it is really, really hard. Your post did a great job of creatively and deeply expressing your feelings.

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  2. I know how you feel. Some days you just feel like you are dead already. There is just nothingness and blankness, and a heavy pain in your heart.
    Keep going through these days – like you said, you are not your broken body – you are much more, and even though your life is different, you still have a lot to give.
    xx Claire

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  3. I suffer from M.E and Fibromyalgia, have done for the past.. well probably 10 years now. I was diagnosed at 14 but have suffered since I was just 12. I understand your pain (physically and emotionally). At one time I spent 2 years bedridden. It’s a hard thing to battle with.

    The one phrase I used to hate hearing the most from the very unsympathetic family I had around me was “life goes on”. But now I find my self considerably better than I ever have been, it makes more sense than anything else. Life does not and will not end with your illness.. There will be plenty of good times ahead, and it makes them all the more special and significant. You’ve not lost anything, when your health improves, it only makes you appreciate life all the more.

    Keep you chin up, eat the right food, take the right vitamins and you’ll be out of bed before you know it.

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  4. i get this feeling. too well. and i wish you could just wake up healthy tomorrow (and actually, i think one day, you will because you are just too internally lovely not to), but i did want to say that you are a giver, you do make people feel better. you write about your life and that helps other people. loads of them. remember that.

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  5. Hi, I just wanted first to tell you how brave you are, and also to thank you. I have MS and have been struggling with the decision to put my story out there, After reading your blog, it gave me that last bit (the most important bit) of courage I needed to start a blog.I hate when people say they know how I feel so I won’t say that to you but stay strong and know that you are an inspiration.

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  6. I Totally hear ya I have lupus, fibro and other things too numerous to mention. Honey, I am 50 years old and I still dream dreams, want romance and love, want to feel like a productive member of society. Keep hangin on!

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  7. First of all, I wanna say sorry for my english… maybe you’ll can’t understand everything I gonna write… anyway…
    Reading your text, I can’t stop thinking about and I need to recomend you: read Story of a soul (http://www.storyofasoul.com/). It’s about a young girl who finds a way to be happy and have a meaning life despite the sickness and sadness. She finds a “short way to God”. You’ll see your mother is realy right. :)

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  8. Oh that bit about your heart not knowing you’re sick. I have type 1 diabetes and although its fairly managed I know how frustrating being sick can be when you are sick. Its not a nice place. I hope with all my heart that you feel better soon, and hopefully (everything crossed) with the leaps and bounds they are making in medicine they might be able to alleviate it soon xx

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  9. I know the feelings you describe well. I’ve got Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower back, and while I’m able to manage it fairly well, sometimes it’ll flare up and literally lay me out on the floor for no reason. In those moments, when I’m getting up-close and personal with the frayed fibers of my carpet, it’s all I can do to not burst in to defeated sobs. And sometimes I do despite my efforts. But! We get up when we’re able to and we keep going.

    I’ve had to rely on my parents a lot lately too, and even though the details of why may be different, know there are millions of us 20-somethings who are in that same NYC-ferry-sized boat. We get it; you give what you can, like the rest of us, and we’re all grateful for it.

    I’ve had it in my head for a few days now, so make like Dory and “just keep swimming.” :)

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  10. You do give. You give of your time & of yourself to every person who reads this blog. You share your journey, & make others who go through the same things feel less alone.

    That’s a powerful gift.

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  11. Love u Cuz, you have always been one of those people in my life that brings a smile to my face when their name is mentioned. You are inspiration to everyone you meet, in your strength, endless love of others and lifetime pursuit of finding the silver lining-it’s there and don’t ever stop looking for it:) Sending you happy thoughts and lots of love, Linds

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  12. This is exactly how I have been feeling. I am SO TIRED of complaining about how I feel, but it is so hard when all I feel is terrible. I feel like I am in mourning for who I used to be. I cry when I try to brush my daughter’s hair, I cry when I have to call in sick to work (all too often), I cry when my son asks me to play basketball and I can’t do it. I’m sorry that you are going through this, but I am glad that *someone* understands.

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  13. Firstly, you are a brave woman for sharing your pain so honestly. I truly admire you for holding onto your principle of honesty on here even when it can cost you.
    I totally understand how pain can get to you and make you feel so horribly down that even trying to get up seems like a waste of time and precious, precious energy. I often feel like a bad Mummy, bad friend and a bad person to be around. I find those are the times when I need to give myself some time to craft and create. I find that when I craft, it helps to make me feel happier. I pick small projects and try and do something new. That feeling of accomplishment picks my mood up and helps me feel more energised, even if I need to sleep afterwards.
    Hang in there hun. You are doing great.
    P.S. That song made me jiggle around on my bed and earned me looks of WTH from my cat which made me laugh! Also… I fed the fish… a LOT! Good music and fishies have made my day happier, so thank you!

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  14. Sending lots of hugs your way. It is so hard to know that there is so much out there in the world that we can’t do, but at least there are also lots of things we can do (as hard as they can be to see/remember when you are feeling down). You certainly make a difference by taking the time to write for us, it makes such a difference to know we are not alone in the struggles we go through. We might not be in the same physical location, but we are still in much the same place :)

    Wishing you more good days than bad :)

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  15. I have the same thought about slowly dieing. I try not to think it, but when I’m in a lot of pain for a long time it keeps popping into my head. You explained it so well.
    I appreciate you sharing your pain. Pretty much everything you wrote here I feel too. While I don’t wish this on anyone, I am glad I am not alone. I believe you will kiss more boys and travel the world one day <3

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  16. Thank you for this today. At least I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I have no choice some days but to haul my butt out of bed, no matter how I feel to take care of my kids.
    I so loved the song because that’s the way I feel today (and yesterday and probably tomorrow)
    Please put more songs on that you feel are good. I love to listen to music that excites other peoples souls.

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  17. love you mar…you are my favorite person to do nothing with…cant imagine life without you…stay present…cant wait for our sleepover

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  18. Dude! You are a good friend! Don’t beat yourself up. You drove all the way to NOLA just to come see me and my crying baby for 2 hours, and you got like 5 burps out of him. You offered help and suggested improvements and did a random kind thing for this overtired, lonely, new mother – and it really meant a lot. Don’t underestimate the things you do do when you feel well.. we all appreciate it more than you probably realize.

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  19. I can’t tell you how much this spoke to me. A year ago, I was here. It took all the effort I had left, after illness sucked most of it from me, to continue for one more day. It’s hard, and it’s miserable. Thank you for sharing it, though. That sort of truth is what many of us need to feel less lonely.
    Sending all the healthy and happy thoughts in the world to you.

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  20. As a not so intense Fibromyalgia sufferer, I believe one is entitled to a pity party every so often. It makes the rest of the time seem that much brighter. I was flat on my back with back pain for about 3 weeks about 6 weeks ago, and followed that up with a pity party, and now I feel almost weightless.

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  21. Just want to thank you for sharing. I am one of those fortunate ones who isn’t sick, but started reading your blog when I saw it on a friends fb page. My sister is a bit like you-always seems to be suffering from an illness-but hers aren’t chronic.-luckily? She is epileptic and a colon cancer survivor. Most days after talking to her on the phone-she lives many miles away-I just get depressed because I feel so bad for her-not being able to do a damn thing for her pain and suffering. I love your attitude! Stay strong. Watch the fart laughing video again!
    Thinking of you!

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  22. Mary, I’m so glad that you shared your feelings with us. You inspires me! And, definitely, inspires everyone who read it. Don’t be afraid to show up these things. If your future boyfriend read your blog he’ll loves you. Kisses from Ana.

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  23. I thought for quite a while about what to comment here. I loved reading that (if that’s an appropriate thing to say about such a heart felt post). You put things in a beautiful and heartrending way.
    I know there’s not really anything I can say, so I just wanted to let you know that people in New Zealand are reading your blog and thinking of you. Reading that just made me want to come and hang out with you and your gorgeous dog.
    I haven’t been through anything like what you are going through, but have had cause to pause recently and feel like I could see people all around me living normal lives whereas mine seemed to have gotten stuck somehow. It’s an odd feeling to have and makes you feel isolated and like a viewer of the world. So I can relate to the feeling of wanting to be an average person in a functioning world. I guess what comfort I took from your message is that there are many other “non-average” people out there, we just don’t always see that in people on first impression.
    Keep up the writing. You’re very good at it!

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  24. This post has resonated so much with me right now it’s insane. I just found out that my fiancee/boyfriend of 8 years has been cheating on me. He is tired of being in the caregiver role. I am, like you, sick and mostly bedridden. I just picked up the book “How To Be Sick”, and it has helped me deal a bit better with my feelings. Kind of sounds like some of the stuff you are talking about with solitude and thriving when being alone. Like you, I need to learn to let go of that control that I need to feel in a situation where THERE IS NO CONTROL and that using our precious energy to work on controlling the situation drains us even more. I’m with you on this, Mary. Thanks for posting today, it was meant to be for me to see this.

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