I woke up in screaming pain today after an outing with my friend yesterday. Did we go clubbing, dancing, or maybe to the mall? No, we went to get tea. Meaning we sat together and drank tea. What is strenuous about that? I don’t know, but then I never really know when another flare is coming. This makes me furious! I was very prepared in giving myself ample down time to rest before and after I met my friend. Did that matter one bit? No.
Chronic illness in a nutshell is preparing for the unpreparable. The un-inevitable that is constantly changing. I felt so happy yesterday, so joyful and free. It is hard to wake up on a day after that feeling anything but happy. No one ever talks about this side of the flares. There are oodles of tips and suggestions out there about what to do and how to take care of yourself during a flare. Not so many about the reality. The anger, despair, isolation, depression, and intense frustration.
As chronic illness warriors, we prepare. We prepare to prevent days like this, yet they always come without fail. As someone who deals with both chronic and mental health conditions, I know what it feels like to experience the day after. In my opinion, the mental part is almost worse than the physical. There is no pill you can take to soothe the symptoms. You are stuck with the negative thoughts swirling around your head like a tornado prepared to strike.
I say that we never give ourselves a chance to feel it. To be upset and angry at our situation. We bottle up our feelings until they become truths. What if we chose to scream at the frustration and the unfairness of it all? Why don’t we cry about the fact that no matter what we do, we will always flare? If you never allow yourself to feel those feelings, than how will you learn and grow? It is not a weakness to feel those intense sensations.
Chronic illnesss is never easy, nor is it fun. We all have a choice to take care of ourselves and ignore those thoughts that say we are less than. The thoughts that swoosh in saying, “I can never…” You know what I say to that? Scream back. Scream, vent, cry, and do what you want to do on your flare days. For example, I’m currently blasting music to tune out the world. I like to play internet games on these days and don’t usually respond to texts. I choose to feel a bit fed up, but I channel it into my writing. I’m venting with the hope of helping others, because it is also helping me.
These negative thoughts are going to hit you when you are down and unprepared to fight. I have spent too many years letting them beat me black and blue, just to further damage my self worth. I am standing up to myself and saying that I am worthy. I am more than enough! My flare day doesn’t define me, because I am choosing to not let it. I’m screaming back at those thoughts even as I write this. I am choosing to feel how I want to and I would hope that you would do the same.
Thanks for staying with me through this long post. I know it is longer than the usual length of my posts, but the topic was too important to not talk about. Comment about your thoughts and experiences about thought bullying during flare days. Please subscribe for more great upcoming content. I will see you all in the next post!