*knock knock knock*
Me: *waking up bleary-eyed* Who’s there?
Stranger: Insomnia… you have had three hours of sleep – that’s enough. Time to get up.
Ever since I was taken off of the Lyrica that was treating my fibromyalgia because Kaiser doesn’t carry it and try to cope with a healthy lifestyle 🤔😖🙄🤤, my life has become a “funhouse of horrors” minus the fun, which makes it “house of horrors”, “funhouse of horrors” sounds cooler 😎.
I thought life with fibromyalgia and depression couldn’t get worse. Oh boy – did I jinx myself – IT CAN GET WORSE!!!
Every day is like spinning the “wheel of excruciating 😖 symptoms” multiple times a day – it brings to mind a saying – “Life is like a box of chocolates 🍫, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Nowadays, candy companies take all of the Adventure out of the box of chocolates and put a guide on the back. Well with chronic illness, you don’t have a cheat sheet and chocolate probably upsets your stomach 🤬. Surprise nausea, headaches, pain, sensitivity to light (where did that come from) are all on the “wheel of doom”, which is a nickname for the “wheel of excruciating symptoms” and much shorter.
As of late, insomnia and isolation have become my BFFs. I barely got outside to run errands let alone socialize. My wardrobe is different pajamas outfits because even my comfy, fibromyalgia friendly wardrobe is too painful right now. I have a hair appointment 💁🏼♀️ to cut my hair short(Er) and take the bulk out of it because it hurts too much to wash my hair, brush it and throw it into a messy bun – my arms make all sorts of cringeworthy cracking noises 😖.
Food has always been a comfort. but as of late, we are estranged. You know I’m broken when I stop drinking coffee at home and my usual coffee espresso drink at Starbucks tastes off (not the kind of off where the barista makes a mistake). My boyfriend wants to go to Rubios, a fast food place we both like, but lately it makes me gag just thinking about it for NO APPARENT REASON!!! I am always hungry 😋, but either nothing sounds appetizing or I’m too ill to get up and eat.
I feel like my body has declared war on itself, and I was caught totally unprepared. My anxiety is on fleek (that sentence probably doesn’t make sense, but fleek is a fun word and misusing it in a sentence is even funner – yes I know, it’s not a word!). So doctors, Disability “interrogators”, and the poor people from my work trying to find a job for me keep calling, and I just can’t handle it anymore. When are you going to feel better, what’s wrong with you, when are you going back to work, you’re fine to go back to work – quit being lazy, when are you going to do this or that, you need to make an appointment (I can’t do that because I don’t have money because I can’t work because you took me off my medicine to treat the chronic illness that is making me too sick to work which means no paycheck which means no money which means no appointment 🤤), etc.
Then, the few friends I have are trying to save me from my insanity, but really they are trying to save me from my new normal, which means saving is a mute point. I hate having to keep canceling on them, or avoiding them, or finding ways to avoid commitment because I am too damn sick with unpredictable symptoms that are driving me to insanity. So as a mature twenty-something, I turn my phone on “Do Not Disturb” with my boyfriend and parents the only ones to penetrate that barrier and hide in my blanket fort with a funny book. Then, all is right with the world. I don’t feel extroverted enough to even talk on the phone. People have come to the realization that visiting my home 🏡 (on a rare good day 😂), video messages and texts are the only ways to reach me – oh, and maybe smoke signals but I’m normally asleep when people are awake and awake when sane people are asleep. So smoke signal may not work….🤔
My doctor scheduled me for a depression clinic this Friday at 8 in the freakin morning for a 3 hour class so I can get State Disability since I’m not working and to prove I’m not lazy. First – definitely embarrassing and humbling to enroll in a class like that… Buuuut let’s move on to…. Look at that statement again. Who thought in their right mind that that would work for someone with depression. Waking up at a god-forsaken hour (at least to an insomniac) for something unpleasant and for 3 hours of torture ⁉️⁉️⁉️ Well I bailed on that. That’s the time when I fall asleep and mama doesn’t have the time for that! BYE FELICIA 👋🏻.
How do I cope??? When I feel well enough to read (seriously can’t believe I just typed that), I read memoirs to compensate for lack of human interaction and to find connection – to not feel alone – to find inspiration and encouragement. I just finished reading about Chip and Joanna Gaines in their memoirs, “The Magnolia Story” and “Capital Gaines” (blog post to come). Now I am reading “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson, which is a rollicking ride about her crazy life with depression. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying alone on the couch in the living room at 4 am. My boyfriend, trying to sleep 😴 in the other room, must think 🤔 I’m crazy (technically I am), but then he realizes this is just another day ending in “y” with me. Also, he bought me a bookshelf, and I was so happy that it appeared he had bought me the elusive and selling your right kidney to afford tickets to the musical Hamilton, so I can FINALLY be in the “room where it happens” … now I know how Aaron Burr must feel. If you are lost, you must not be a theater nerd 🤓 like me, and I may or may not be silently judging you.. but hey 👋🏻, it’s the simple things in life…
I’m tired of hiding who I really am, warts and all, with chronic illness. Sugar coating my life for the sake of people. What about the sake of me? I don’t want to be that lady in the depression commercial with a happy face on a stick that she covers her face with around people. Jenny Lawson makes an excellent point about people with depression who have made breakthroughs and gone into remission for a time with their illness, but we celebrate in silence and sometimes in shame, while others celebrate in the sunlight. Most people don’t find our accomplishments worth celebrating, or at least we think they don’t, because we don’t look sick. No, we just hide it well because most people cannot handle the intense struggle and pain we go through and don’t want to burden people. So we hide in the shadows, alone, with the cake boasting one lone candle on it, as we blow it out utterly alone. I’m not asking for boo hoos or pity. My chronic illness and depression has forced me to mature, experience life and emotions far deeper than most people ever will, and I’m thankful for that!
Well it is almost pumpkin time for me – normal people are waking up and my abnormal self is tired.
Before I go – here is a parting statement:
I am different 🧐 and PROUD OF IT!!! I am a FIGHTER who fights battles most people’s nightmares cannot accurately portray and I SURVIVE 💪🏻.
I AM A SURVIVOR AND SO ARE YOU 💪🏻💪🏻!!
-The Insomnia Diaries Series: Sponsored by long nights with no sleep and a brain 🧠 that won’t shut up 🤐!
–The Dramatic Ginger (Hey Apple – I need a redhead emoji!!)