I was reading this morning- I read his blog every day. This morning he was talking about depression and dealing with it. While reading his blog, I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that I think I have a really weird hang-up about depression.
I can't deny that I get down; I have the "why me?" moments, the "what in the world is going to happen to me next?" moments and the overwhelming fear that goes with living with a chronic illness and chronic pain. My weird hang-up is that when I get into that mode- and then realize that I am in that mode- it makes me angry. Angry is actually kind of mild. I become furious. Furious at the disease for existing and choosing my body to invade, and furious at myself for failing to stay positive. The anger is a good thing in a way. I don't like being down in the dumps and the anger is completely different. I am not saying that being that furious is a good thing- but the anger burns itself out a lot faster than if I were to allow myself to spiral down into the pit of despair- which is always a possibility if I don't recognize the signs.
I try so hard to be positive. I try to be genuinely grateful for all of the things in my life that I have been blessed with. I can't help but think about my physical illness every single day of my life. I know that. There are pill to take, shots to inject, and there is the fact that I have to arrange my life around them and the side effects that they bring and my ever-changing physical limitations. That means that it is never far from my mind.
I read a lot of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Pain messageboards. So many of these people are so very miserable in their lives. It makes me very sad for them. They don't talk- even in the off topic parts of the boards- about anything that doesn't relate to their conditions. After a while I can't even read the boards. That is what keeps me out of support groups as well. I can absolutely give support when it is needed or desired. I am happy to do so. The problem is that I feel that when you are in a negative place- everything else negative in your life magnifies and it can just take over. I don't want to be like that.
What I don't want is for this to consume my life. My life is far more than just my disease. I am a proud mother, a loving wife, a good daughter. I am a loyal friend, a hard-working employee and hopefully within a year or so I will go back to being a student. I am honest, I am smart and I am inquistive. I am creative, I am well rounded (in more ways than one-smile) and I am passionate. I feel that when I get down I am letting the RA become more important than the other aspects of who I am and that is what fuels the anger. I know-it's weird- but that is me. It's who I am and I know that. In some ways it encourages others to diminish what I deal with- but I would rather that than to lose the many important other parts of my life.
SO that's that. Now I know where I am with the topic of depression and what makes me tick. I am off to take a shower so I can take the hubbs to urgent care when he gets out of work because he looks like he walked into a swarm of mosquitos and it is spreading so he is miserably itchy and uncomfortable. Here's hoping they give him a steroid injection that will take care of his itchies and let him get some rest. Have a pain-free day!