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I Wish You Could See Me - Living with invisible illness

Updated on January 4, 2013

What is wrong with you?

To look at me you would never think there is anything wrong with me, besides some extra pounds. Even at my annual exam I checked out pretty well. Heart, lungs, ears, nose, throat all look good. All my parts are intact and working. So then what is wrong with me? Why do I struggle to make it from one day to the next. Why do I find it impossible to hold a job, take care of myself, and have a relationship? Why is it that a normal day feels like I have earned a one day pass to heaven?

High blood pressure, acid reflux, gastritis, migraines, astigmatism, food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities, vitamin deficiency, vertigo, anemia, HPV, ADD, hypersensitivity, PMDD, cyclothymia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, lyme disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia...

All of these have crossed the lips of one doctor or another in the past five years. I am not even sure anymore which I have or don't. Or which is causing which symptoms. What I do know is that most of them are chronic and all of them are debilitating in one way or another. And they are invisible to the casual observer.

You can't see my high blood pressure.That's fine by me. I am embarrassed to even have it at such a young age. No one would deny that I have it. It can be objectively measured. Knowing the consequences it can have, no one would deny me treatment for it.

You can't see my acid reflux or gastritis. Unless of course you want to tag along on my next endoscopy where you will see the damaged pre-cancerous cells brought on by 10 years of undiagnosed and untreated GERD. A strict regimen of carefully timed pills keep the acid down and have allowed my body to begin healing. This is measurable. This is fact. And I doubt you would argue me on that.

So what of these other so-called illnesses? The ones that exist in my mind. The ones that truly are invisible. There is no truly objective measurement, or test, or scan, or scope that can show them to you.

Great ADD Resource

How do I prove to you that I have ADD? I can only describe the symptoms. If I am doing a good job of managing it, even they are undetectable to an outside observer. On a bad day, they are nearly comical.

I have entered and exited every room in my house five times looking for something I was holding ten minutes ago. I have exploded a pot of hard boiled eggs because I got distracted and forgot I was cooking. I am currently re-washing a smelly load of laundry because for three days every time I remembered to switch the clothes to the dryer I promptly forgot. I spent a whole day retracing my steps because when I changed locations I forgot why I was going to the next place, but remembered when I went back to where I had the idea.

Sure, people do these things all the time. But this is nearly constant for me. And it is exhausting. All the extra walking. Being late because I can't find the shoes that I just wore yesterday. Keeping up with all of my little tricks and habits that I maintain to keep my life in order. My brain is even tired from fighting to think about one thing at a time lest a new thought come in and push out the other one while I still need it. It can take every bit of discipline to complete one task from start to finish without getting distracted by ten others. And that is why it takes me twice as long to leave the house, or buy my groceries, or write a hub, or do just about anything.

Yes, I know it is annoying. I hate it just as much as you do. More even, because I fight with it every day. I am trying. And there is not much else I can do about it. So cut me some slack already! Or instead of yelling at me to hurry up and make it worse, remind me to focus. That might actually get you somewhere.

Why don't I take one of those pills that are so popular? I have tried. Adderall. Strattera. Concerta. Focalin. Dexadrine. Nothing works. Or they make me feel so horrible that I'd rather manage the ADD than the side effects. Why am I forced to suffer the symptoms? I have a feeling it has to do with one of my other "fake" illnesses.

Bipolar disorder. I am not so sure how definitive the diagnosis is. I have not been able to bring myself to ask point blank. It could be cyclothymia, or "bipolar light". There is no magical test. It can take years to diagnose. This is the one I wish you could see the most. The daily torment of moods and feelings that seem to pick themselves without my control. Happy some days, or some hours, depressed the next. To a normal person these are just moods, and moods change. People tell me to calm down, cheer up, or ask what's wrong with me, or tell me to snap out of it. Telling someone with bipolar disorder to cheer up is like telling someone to just stop being diabetic. You can't think it away. You can only manage it.

My ups are not so bad, only hypomanic. I call her "Shiny Happy Dana". She wants to play and do everything and show you everything and tell you everything like a kid with a toy. She wants all of your attention like a puppy. I happen to like her. I just wish she was a little more goal directed. It would be nice to get something done with all that energy. I have heard that she is annoying. My best friend says she's scary.

Better that kind of scary than "Mean Mommy Dana". She does not want to play. She is grumpy and wants to be left alone. She hates everything and everyone. And if you don't stay out of her way you risk running into "The Bitch". She is merciless. She wants to punch someone hard enough to break their jaw. She can feel her hand making a fist. And she has no idea why. She is scary. She has no soul. At least that's what my mother told me.

I know it's not normal to want to punch innocent people. That doesn't keep me from wanting to. It just keeps me from actually doing it. Yes, everyone has bad moods. But not like these. And not without cause. Imagine your worst mood. Times it by ten. Now give someone else the switch to turn it on and off. Still want me to just smile and cheer up?

And then there are the mixed moods. When I am happy and sad and brave and scared and optimistic and hopeless. I want to laugh and cry and sing and scream and whisper and yell and dance and kick and hit and rip and tear and sway. Those are the most uncomfortable. The ones I want to stop the most. The ones that drove me to hurt myself. Those might be the ones you will never understand. Just trust me. It's hell.


Me on a good day... and at work!
Me on a good day... and at work! | Source

That's all I ask. Trust me. Believe me. When I say I am having a bad day, it is epic. When I'm tired I don't mean I need a cup of coffee. I mean that I am tired to the core. Someone has replaced my blood with lead. Has sucked the energy and joy and life out of my very being. Wash the dishes? You might as well ask me to drown a puppy. When I say I didn't eat it means that I spent the morning forcing myself to swallow even a bite of what one week ago was my favorite breakfast. When I tell you eight hours of sleep a night isn't enough, I need 9 or 10, I am not making it up.

I can still hear the disbelief in my boyfriend's voice. "That can't be right. It's not normal. It's not possible!" Well it is. And I love you when you wake me up early to take me to breakfast. But please please let me sleep! Some days I take a bath because I can't even think about standing long enough to take a shower. Or because I ache from ankle to forehead and the thought of taking another pill just makes me fell worse.

Some days I want to drive into oncoming traffic. Just because. I feel guilty for being alive when I see young people die. They have so much to live for. I would trade places with them for anything. Because I feel like I'm done. I am jealous of suicide victims because they are finally free. They can rest. But I force myself to take care of myself. Because if I don't it will only get worse. I stick it out. I know it will pass. Things will get better. Eventually. Even though in that moment of depression I don't care because the happiness won't last or because I will just screw things up, there is still that tiny rational part of me that hangs on.

You ask me what's wrong as if you actually care. I have no answer. The answer is everything and nothing. Sometimes I just cry. And what do you say to me? Cheer up. Smile. Get some exercise. Eat healthier. Get fresh air. All wonderful advice. And some of it helps. But I would rather you keep the cliches to yourself.

The only thing that really works for me has been medication. Until it stops and I have to search for the next one. So why take any at all? Because, at least right now, I can no more give up my meds than a diabetic can give up insulin. I hear it has been done. I would like to think I can live a med free life. But to date my attempts have met with disaster. So I keep on looking for the right ones. And I deal with the side effects. There are plenty. And they are just as real as ones from real medicine. For one thing, I have gained 60 pounds. I know you think its because I eat too much and I don't exercise enough. Do you realize that I fight every day just to not gain a pound? So excuse me if I have a hard time losing a few. Would you be so hard on me if I lost my hair? Would that be my fault too?

None of this is my fault. At least that is what I try to tell myself. These illnesses are not me. I am intelligent, capable, kind, generous, hard working and so many other good things. And that is the me that I fight every day to be. On my good days I am that person. And I think that if I could just feel like this every day I could do so many things. So when I seem lazy, or unmotivated, or flaky, or irrational, or grumpy don't judge me so harshly. I don't want to be any of those things.

I want a good job, a clean house, a social life. I am trying. But I am new at this. And I am exhausted. But I am not giving up. So believe me when I say I am not well; when I say I am trying. Try to understand. Cut me some slack. Don't be so quick to judge. To criticize. My illness might be invisible, and it might be in my head, but it is real.


Those of you who are living with an invisible struggle, I hope you take some comfort in knowing that there are others out there that are going through similar things. And we understand. Those of you who are lucky enough to be healthy and happy, don't be so quick to judge other's actions or life choices. There might be something going on that you can't see. I hope this hub has helped you to understand.

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    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Did you mention an underactive thyroid? I have this problem (under control). I guesss it can't be that easy, but this can cause a lot of probs, and they now think your TSH should be well under 3, not 5 as previously (thyroid stimulating homone).

      So sorry for you to have that lot to put up with and how brave to share.

      Bob

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Bob. My mother and grandmother both had underactive thyroid. Boy is that a mess until you get it straightened out. I get my levels checked twice a year. I am glad to hear yours is under control. And I totally understand this does not mean you get ot just forget about it. I wonder if it was a good idea to publish that. I guess time will tell.... Stay Well!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      made a few edits. just in case anyone else actually reads this thing!

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      Fibromyalgia and chronic fatique -- many women suffer with this and are just considered lazy. Yet, the pain is intense and unbearable at times. Those with fibromyalgia understand every word of what you say since it is one of the most misunderstood and unbelieved illness out there. Fortunately, mine has eased over the past few years, but I feel for others who suffer without support.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Connie - Thank you for commenting. My father's current wife has fibromyalgia so I am familiar with it. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. My therapist has suggested I might have chronic fatigue. I still need to call my primary doctor to get his opinion. I have been unemployed for six months and I start a full time temporary office job Monday. I am terrified that I wont be able to keep up with it. But the bills gotta get paid right? Maybe one day I will figure out how to pay them working from home.... Wishing you continued wellness. See you around the hubs.

    • Sphinxs Sanctum profile image

      Sphinxs Sanctum 5 years ago from Southern United States

      Dear Dana Teresa - I loved reading this hub as I know this pain intimately! While I was reading this, I had to keep reminding myself that the words weren't my own. We sound nearly alike in our day-to-day experiences, just different conditions.

      I'm new here having posted my first hub only a week ago but it is about Invisible Illnesses and it's called, "Invisible Oppressor." If you get some time, you may want to have a look.

      I voted UP & Awesome! So sorry you're having such trouble and worry. I wish I could tell you it gets better, but so far, that's not my experience.

      Take Care.

      Sphinx's Sanctum

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Sphinx's Sanctum - thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. i am sorry to hear that you have had experiences like these. it means a lot to me that i was able to express my peronal experience in a way that really conveys what it is like. i am hoping that the "healthy" people that read this might gain some understanding of what people like us go through.

      i had an appointment with my new primary physician just the other day. my exam is perfect, my bloodowrk is perfect, but i feel so horrible i can barely make it through the day (exhaustion. yet another new problem). he was so kind and sympathetic. he offered a note to write me out of work so my boss knew it was "real" because i look fine. finally someone gets it!

      i will definitely check out your hub.

      WELCOME TO HUBPAGES! this is a great place to be. hope you enjoy it.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear, sweet and brave Dana. For the first time in my life I actually "came out" sharing my battle with cyclothymia. Even after having been diagnosed I had no idea what it meant. My "coming out" was in the form of a hub written a few months ago - "Cyclothymia - Out of the darkness and into the light." I'm going to link this hub to mine.

      Doing this will bring you more traffic which will one day bring you your first pay-out from HP.

      The strongest line you have written and the one that affects me the most is "a normal day feels like I have earned a one day pass to heaven"

      I painfully and fully understand this.

      You join the ranks of the brilliant and talented (except for me :-) I'm referring to Einstein, Beethoven, Mozart, and the Oscar-winning actor Patti Duke to mention a few.

      I am beyond greatful to have found you on HP and you are on your way to a bright and successful career. Marvelous writer!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not sure how I missed this hub; I'm sorry about that because this is a powerful piece of writing.

      You have done well opening up. It isn't easy to write comedy pieces and then switch gears and write from the heart like this, but you have done it oh so well. Great job my friend! Keep up the good fight!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Dana, you are so very brave. Illnesses, especially those that evade diagnosis are so very frustrating. We are who we are and we carry with us those conditions that lay the groundwork for our daily lives, but they do not have to be us. I hope that you find continued hope and strength in yourself and in those around you. I find that writing helps. Take care--

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      vocalcoach - i don't know what to say. your comment made me cry - in a good way. I am honored by the company you placed me in with your comparison. Don't sell yourself short. You are brilliant and talented as well! I have read your hubs and your comments, only a brilliantly talented person with a good heart can do what you do!

      I linked your hub on cyclothymia to mine. It is a wonderful piece and I am so gald you have the courage and strength to write it.

      That line about having a normal day. the day that I had a normal day and it seemed strange was the day I knew I really needed help. Sick as I can be, I still think I am just not trying hard enough. I think it is going ot be a long journey.

      Thank you for sharing my hub. My traffic has always been low, so I appreciate the boost. Not becuase I will make money, but because it will get my story out. I really hope it helps someone. The resources that have helped me the most have come from "real" people. I would love to repay that.

      Thanks for your well wishes. You said "for a ... career". That means so much to me. Because it tells me that you think I can have one! :)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. I wish you all the very best in health, happiness, and a bright future.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Bill - i wont hold it against you. i wrote this and it has just been sitting. i figured it would stay that way. now that i was forced to revisit it, i amde a few edits. it has paragraphs now ;)

      Switchg from comedy to tragedy is so easy for me i barely notice it. that has been my life. and me. i don't know how to write from anywhere but my heart. its about time its good for something!

      I am glad you did finally find this. I was under the impression that is was going to come off as me whining. I trust your judgement when you say it is otherwise. I hope that you would be honest enough to tell me if its not good. you better! :)

      thank you for the encouragement. you have been a great mentor as i develope my writing, and myself

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Audrey - boy do I know frustrating! and you are right, we are not our illnesses. on good days i know that. on bad days i try to convince myself of it. thank you for the encouragement. it gives me strength.

      and yes, you are right. writing helps. finding hubpages and finally writing has helped so much in my life. i am thankful to those who read my ramblings. so i will continue on writing, and try my best to at least make it good reading! :)

      It is always nice to see you. Thank you for sharing my hub. I am honored. Take care.

    • profile image

      cluelss1 4 years ago

      I have been dealing with cronic pain and headaches or magrines whatever the drs what call the stupid headaces for two years. i understand what you going trough, and i hope you get it all figured out. because its horrable to live in pain and feel like your not good enough to live. even knowing something is wrong, but not being able to find out what is even worse. I have so seen so many drs and none of them seem to care or even want to help me. this new dr is the first one to bring up that i might have fibromyalgia. all i know some days i would like to crawl up in ball and just die because the pain is so bad, and working is so out of the questions. your right people don't get it, and they will never get it until they go through it.

      I really enjoyed reading your hub i'm just glad i'm not the only one who is going through it. i hope you have a lot more better days.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      cluelss1 - i know exactly how you feel. my health has gone downhill even further (more bad days than good). Fibromyalgia has been mentioned. I am determined to figure it out and to feel better. HANG IN THERE! I know several other people who are going through, and have been through, what we deal with. It can take a while to finally get things sorted out. It can happen. I have seen it happen.

      I wish you strength and hope and health.

      you should read this poem: https://hubpages.com/literature/Never-Give-Up-The-...

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Dana, Thank you for sharing your personal journey. I'm sure it wasn't easy to do so. We got your back. You know where you could find solace when you need it. :)

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Dana, I want to say I think you're brave but i bet you're always being told that? I can't imagine what it must be like to constantly feel ill in some way and you must be frustrated with your treatment so far, given that your docs don't really seem sure how to help.

      Well done on writing this - a personal perspective gives it far more gravity than just researching this stuff on the internet and writing it in the 3rd person. I wish you good health in the future (and sooner rather than later).

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Julie - thanks for stopping by. yes. lots of people say i am brave. i suppose i am. and at times i am scared as hell. it is a horrible feeling to feel your health slipping away.... i have gotten some good advice lately. very optimistic that it will help.

      regarding the first person apporoach. i agree with you. third person accounts on these thingd can be educational. but nothing brings it home better, and nothing has helped me more, than reading first person accounts. so i thought i would offer my own.

      thanks for the well wishes :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Dana, I was going to mention low thyroid but I see you got that covered, it does sound like me when my thyroid goes low though. But the one person in the world it does sound like is my brother, everything you said I ticked the box. he has been diagnosed with depression for years, but I always say that the doctors use this as an excuse to cover anything else he may have. He has got to the stage now where he hates seeing the Doc because they say, its depression! I said he could break a leg and they would blame it on that! yes I totally understand, and I feel for you because I know what its like by proxy if you like, my brother could have written this, its so similar. I wish I could help or suggest something, but I am stumped too, I hope it gets better, or at least you find out exactly whats going on, take care nell

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Oh boy can I relate to what your brother is going through! My shrink is zoned into the add and bipolar depression, but he is committed to ruling out anything biological. it is very hard to weed out what is what. all i know is something is not right.... i have recently re-committed to just trying to make the absolute healthiest decisions hoping that will work. it certainly can't hurt!

      Thank you so much for you comment. I wish the best for your brother. and for you! these things can be just as hard on the family members too!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Dana, I can absolutely relate to this 100%. I know what its like to forget what you've done or said, or even lose things you've had a minute before. And I know how pronounced it can be, something that can be very difficult to empathize with unless you have the condition yourself. Thanks for another courageous sharing!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      midget38 - thank you again for sharing in your comment. that takes a lot of courage. you are right about it being difficult for people to empathize with people that have conditions that they do not have experience with. I think that is why it is so important for people like you and I to share our stories. It might help them to understand, even a little.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes indeed it is!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      A friend's son is bipolar and he is doing well but will always be on medication and the doses will always change. Because an illness is invisible it doesn't make it any less real. Great hub to help people really understand! When my illness was visible due to hair loss including eyebrows and lashes I wished my illness was invisible. Take care!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      healthylife2 - you brought up an interesting point: wanting to hide an illness that is visible. I think whatever it is and however it presents itself, illness is difficult to handle. The most we can hope for is to spread understanding and support.

      Wishing you continued health and happiness.

    • profile image

      Liz Walmoth 4 years ago

      Hi Dana, I can't thank you enough for providing such a clear description of what you are going through. I recognized some of them in my daughter and now I can understand much better what she is experiencing. Have I said some of those cliches? Yes, and now I know why they don't really help. Thank you so much! You are a very talented writer and I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Liz Walmoth 0 I am So glad that you found this helpful in bettering your understnading. And I hope that it helps you have an even better relationship with your daughter. I think the imporant things to remember are: do not belittle or criticize, but to not baby and coddle - understand and support..

      I with you and your daughter contuniead health and happiness. Feel free to contact me if ou (or she) need to talk!

    • profile image

      Liz Walmoth 4 years ago

      Thank you, Dana! You have already helped a great deal :-)

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      You are welcome. Don't forget, I am always here. And thank you for supporting me by really reading my work.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      My heart goes out to you...it ain't fun having to deal with any part of what you've mentioned, much less all of it...

      I was recently diagnosed with the fibromyalgia by an endochronoligist (spelling??) anyway, she looked at me and asked if I had ever had the diagnosis. Me: "not formally, although I've suspected it for years"

      I mean, so what...so they'll put me on some other medication and then what? NOthing much changes with a doc confirming it, except perhaps I'll be kinder to myself and rest more when I need to.

      I also suffer from a thryoid prob/ meds; hypertension/meds; acid reflux; meds; weight gain...depression...fatigue....LOL Oh well. What can you do except try to keep moving forward.

      Take care and I hope you feel better soon. :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Denise - I haven't been ignoring your comment. I have read it a dozen times. And the tell myself that I will wait til I have enough energy to reply in a manner that does justice to your amazingly kind brave and supportive words. Now I think it better to just thank u so much for sharing. It means the world to me. ... wishing you all the best. Stay strong. Be healthy. Take care. Hugs.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Dana my dear.. I can so relate to this hub.and my heart breaks for you.. I have some of these.. I fight every day.. I dont like talk about it and I try to ignore them but sometimes they just hit me in the face..

      My prayers are with you my dear.. You are a very special lady.. you know that hub that billy buc wrote? GOD DON'T MAKE JUNK?

      You are very special in God's eyes.. and to me you are a very special and wonderful person..

      May God bless you.. and Keep you in His arms

      sharing this special hub with the world

      Debbie

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Debbie - You are such a truly precious lady. I can tell you understand. Some days are fine, and others you feel as if you have been run over by a train. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am determined to keep growing as a person and getting as healthy as I can.

      You are such a dear friend. Joining hubpages, writing, and meeting beautiful people like you has saved my life.

      Thank you for sharing this, for supporting and understanding me, and for being who you are. ... hugs!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Dana i feel the same way.. I have grown over the past year .. with people like you supporting me.. and always being there when we need each other.. Some days are better than others. some days I cant talk.. I struggle.. sometimes I feel so useless.. and then i read your hub and Laurinzo and billy buc's and I am reassured that people are good and loving.. and wanting to support each other.. Blessings so many blessings to you

      Debbie

    • rambansal profile image

      Ram Bansal 4 years ago from India

      You are young and beautiful and extra-pounds are not much to worry. You need to develop some resilience in your persona and mindset. My advice - just take 10 ml of your favorite wine daily which you may ferment in your home too from a fruit of your choice but with a patience of 3 months minimum, and you are done.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Debbie - It is not an easy road to travel. And I think feeling useless, or at least perceived as such, is just as bad as feeling sick. You will never ever be useless. You men so much to so many... You are a wonderful woman living your life with such grace... God Bless You.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      rambansal - I am not so sure about the home made wine, but I am sure of one thing... Your comment echoes what I have come to realize. I have dropped so many healthy habits that I used to have. It is time to pick those back up again. Thank you for the reminder.

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing :)) I understand, relate, etc. It is good you communicated this to the world!!! You did good!!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      AudraLeigh - Thank you for sharing this! It is such a difficult position to be it. My older brother is always giving me such a hard time about how late I sleep or that I never finished grad school. He just doesn't get it. Yet he has no problem understanding the limiations of his autistic son. I guess the best I can do is just remind muself that not everyone will "get it" but maybe by sharing articles like this, I can help a little.

      That you for the support. Wishing you good health and happiness. hugs!!!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Dana,

      Wow, am I late and I am glad. Getting to know you through your interview and some of your funny, lighter writing makes me know that you were born to write. Reading this makes me realize that you are a strong and determined survivor.

      I greatly respect and admire your honesty and sharing. I try very hard to never give advice. When I experienced the heavy depression from PTSD, I greatly resented caregivers or caring family and friends imposing their "tips". The only thing someone ever told me that helped was to be gentle with myself...because I was always so hard on myself. I still constantly remind myself and those I care about...and so...

      Dana, especially with the recent loss of your brother... You clearly know yourself better than anyone else. Thinking of you with love, Maria

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Maria - Thank you so much for your kind words, and your useful advice.... I do present a very upbeat and positive persona most of the time. Mostly because that is just who I am, my life has forced me to be strong, and sometimes because if I didn't laugh I would cry...

      Your advice is perfect, and as much as I know it, there are still so many times when I feel like a failure for not doing all of the things I feel like people expect me to. It is a constant struggle that I get better at every day....

      I also try not to give advice, though it seems to be in my nature, so I end up doing it! I felt that it was important to write this not only because it helped me express myself, but because it needs to be said. Unfortunaltely many friends and relatives will never "get it". I was filling my brother in on some recent health concerns of mine today and he advised me to lose weight. No kidding! I took the time to explainto him that I am well aware of that and told him my struggles with it. Did it help? I don't think he will ever get it, but at least I tried. Trying is better thn keeping it in and letting the resentment build. I hope this hub gives other people in my situation the courage to speak up about what they need....

      As I get time, I want to write few more hubs like these. Maybe even a blog, but I proceed with caution It is nothing to take lightly when advising on these topics.

      Thank you again for taking the time to learn more about me. I cannot say enough how much your support means. hubpages has quite litterally been a lifesaver for me, mostly because of people like you.... lots of hugs.

    • profile image

      alice 4 years ago

      God love you and send you blessings.....

      Does anyone in your life understand? Anyone to talk with?

      Pray again and again. Pray alot......Pray to get through each hour.

      You are in my prayers.

      God bless you.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Dear Dana, after reading this hub of yours I feel so bad because a couple of hours ago I have left you a silly comment on FB. Please forgive me.

      I know your symptoms, but I had only enough of it during sporadic incidents to have a vague idea what you are suffering day to day. I hope with all my heart that some miracle will soon improve your quality of health.

      I promise I will never again make sketchy comments on your FB-updates. You have a beautiful, cheery personality (soul); you've actually surprised me with this hub. So amazing: Those who suffer the most, or had suffered the most, are the kindest and most supportive people on this planet.

      I should have read this hub months ago!

      Thank you for being my friend in spite of....

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      Oh my dear sweet MARTIE! .... You have nothing to apologize for. You didn't do anything wrong. It is not up tp you to know all of my troubles. I am glad you read this, but if you never did, that would be ok too..... There was nothing wrong with you FB comment, it was pretty spot on, and gave me a chuckle. Silly comments and sketchy comments are always welcome, brutally honest comments too. Never apologize for them.

      I do spurt out quite a bit of things here and there about my health issues. It is one of the ways I cope. I am no good at keeping it in. If I stay too much in my own head I go nuts! HP and FB are theraputic for me. I get to vent. And I get to interact with great people like you.

      I don't have it easy, I never have. But I can't change the past, and the only way I am going to change the present is by not giving up and trying to make healthy choices. Boy do I have a rough time with it. I have a lot og guilt when I think that there are people so much owrse off than me that are doing so much more. I try to turn that guilt into motivation. Sometimes it works, somtimes it doesn't. A dear friend of mine has taought me not to waste energy on things I cannot change, and to put it into things I can. Some of the best advice ever.

      As for my sparkiling personality. Thank you for noticing, and appreciating it. I can't help it. I really do have to be kind and generous and funny and all that - to the point of it being pathological at times! Guess it is better then being all doom and gloom! :)

      Thank you for reading this and commenting. Thank you for being a friend. HUGS!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
      Author

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      alice - thank you so much for your kind words. there are a few people that understand, though there is no one i can turn to 24/7 like when i find myself in a crisis late at night. i am learning to get through the bad times with a lot more strenght. and i try to keep in tough with my friends as much as i can. i do a lot of venting online. i am considering a blog. mybe i should start praying too..... i am optimistic that i will get myself together and be the person i know i can be. support like yours is such a blessing.... :)

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