Saturday, February 3, 2018

Hope Amidst the Pain

I've had a roller coaster week and a half. I had several really good chronic fatigue-free days... followed by three exhausting chronic fatigue-filled days. I'm currently on day 3 of the return of the dreaded CF and the first day I've felt physical aches from it in about a week and a half. I have a theory of why the fatigue returned and I'm going to see if I can change a couple of things to alleviate the symptoms.

When my chronic fatigue returned, I honestly felt really sad. I had nearly a week of feeling like my old, pre-chronic fatigue self... of feeling like I had put the fatigue behind me... of making plans of what I could do now that my energy had returned. I was grateful. I had hope. I felt it dashed away when I woke up with a terrible exhaustion.

I shared these words with friends on a (private) social media account the first day I woke up with an energy I hadn't felt for several months: "I felt like myself today -- the pre-chronic fatigue me. I only got 5 hours of sleep but I didn't feel fatigued. My body didn't ache. I got to drive around a bit to run quick errands and even helped clean the house. I'm so grateful for today that I'm on the verge of joyful tears. Even if tomorrow I have a fatigue relapse, I've had a couple of good days and I'm so grateful to God for them..."

I reminded myself of these words when I noticed that my bodily aches had returned. I missed Candlemas Mass and getting my candles (which I went out to buy late Thursday afternoon) because the fatigue had overwhelmed me completely yesterday. I could barely get out of bed and even prayed my morning prayers after noon because I just couldn't wake up any earlier. It was the first time in years I've missed it. Thinking about a possible relapse brought me down yesterday and again today... but God reminded me that there's hope in this pain.

Just like I had a couple of good days (which came on suddenly), there is hope that it will happen again. My body aches disappeared for a couple of days. I had energy. I felt like my normal, bubbly (no, really, people actually use that word when I'm not drained, lol) self. Who says it won't happen again... and for longer? Who says that God didn't just give me a taste of what I can look forward to just when I was feeling as my lowest and (I'll be honest) most useless?

I'm optimistic that everything I'm going through will only make me a stronger person. I've already learned to let go of my independent mentality and accept help. This has been hard for me because my parents brought me up to never accept help; to do everything myself. This has been a wonderful lesson in humility and has made some of my friendships stronger as my friends try to make sure I stay afloat during some of my worst physically and mentally draining days.

It's so easy for us to dwell on the crud that we're going through, to think that God isn't there with us when we're suffering. This is, of course, a lie. He's always there, even when we feel abandoned. It's something that my chronic fatigue makes harder on my usually optimistic self. The fatigue doesn't just drain me physically but emotionally and mentally as well. While I can usually see the beauty and the goodness in the pain and suffering, it's harder when the brain fog clouds my mind. Thankfully, I've seen that glimmer of hope and I will carry that with me as I prepare for Lent.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts. Perhaps I'll bookmark it to remind myself on some of the harder days that may come up again. It wouldn't hurt. :)

I hope y'all are having a lovely start to the weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

No comments: