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My head has been spinning the last twenty-four hours. My pain is extreme right now. My lower back is out, my left arm is very sensitive and numb!! I'm so anxious, my heart keeps trying to communicate with my mind to just relax and the flare-up won't last forever. But I am in panic mode. Last night, by 6 PM, my day was done. Always pushing myself too far, I was setting up Lilly's favorite board game, Dog Monopoly. Sorting the money my body was exhausted. I'd been hit by a bus. It's frustrating when I wait all day for my family to be together and spend time with one another. It's frustrating that I couldn't manage to play a game with my family. It shows my body isn't healed completely.
This is an example up above in my first paragraph about how bad my pain and anxiety were just a few months ago. My anxiety had accelerated, I wanted to give up, to hide under a rock. Thinking I would never be at peace with myself, my depression and anxiety increased. How am I going to live a full life with this chronic pain always getting in my way? I've always wanted to figure it out on my own but I know that is not an option, alone anymore.
According to WebMD, "depression is a sadness and becomes a problem that affects your whole life. Sadness is a normal reaction to loss, failure, life's struggles or an injured self-esteem." Depression was affecting my whole life. I felt like I was letting my little family down. Failing my daughter and husband each day not being able to meet certain tasks. I was feeling guilty and worthless. Studies show a link between chronic pain and depression, "people are three times more likely to suffer from depression." - WebMD
The pain never goes away. It's always with me. I can go months without feeling hopeless or sad about my chronic pain. I can keep myself motivated but then all of the sudden, I become grumpy, irritatable, and upset. I go into panic mode. Anxiety is now at my door and I have to stay calm or my pain level will rise.
It just all hurts. Opening a juice container when both my hands are stiff and aching from the nerve damage. Every little thing I do hurts. Taking a bath hurts. Picking up my child hurts. Snuggling with my husband hurts. Chronic pain and nerve damage just sucks, period. People ask me all the time how I am feeling, if I am making any improvements—they are super sweet for asking and wondering. I usually say yes, I am feeling better or I have fewer flare-up days. Which depending on the day, week or even month could be true. I am not lying. But I am realizing my chronic pain and flare-ups are so unpredictable. Yes, I have been learning new ways to cope and deal with my chronic pain. Just add that to your busy schedule and thought process day in and day out. Most days the pain is always with me no matter what I am doing, where I am or who I am with. The terrible pain each day makes my depression worse because I'm having to think about it non-stop. Both my hands right now feel like they are going to fall off. I wouldn't wish nerve damage or chronic pain on anyone. Not even my worse enemy.
The stress of living with the chronic pain and always feeling fatigued turned me into a person I did not want to be. I did not feel like myself. I was isolating myself from family and friends because I did not like to be seen as weak.
Reach out to anyone who shows signs of depression. Give them a hug and just listen to their story without judgment. We all need help and guidance. Finding comfort in loved ones or finding a community who is going through familiar situations as you will help to make one not feel alone.