I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and articles on how it is to live with a chronic, and sometimes invisible, condition. A variety of friends on facebook have linked to those to raise awareness, and to express how their everyday is.
A few years ago, I posted a comment in a discussion about how hard it was to not function, and was quickly told to shut up, because I didn’t know zilch about that, normal as I was. What I obviously didn’t manage to get through, was that I think maybe even chronics have too high standards for “normal”. Maybe they are reaching for a goal that is unreachable for even the healthiest of people. I believe that in itself is draining, and unnecessary so.
What it feels like to be normal is a bit like this.
- You never have enough energy to get through all you want to do.
- Your brain fills up with tasks, and nothing is being done
- You don’t want to get out of bed
- You keep working, but know that if someone talks to you, you will burst out in tears
- You don’t have any excuse for being bone tired or unorganized, just being a lousy person
- People breaking and changing appointments at their own whim are exhausting, and to keep sanity, often easier to keep out of your life
- You forget
- You don’t have the energy to talk to people
- Your hip, back, shoulder, stomach hurts
- You are dizzy
- You get cranky
- You don’t have the patience to sit still through a pointless meeting
- You day dream
- You can’t wait for the coffee break
- You have a headache
In fact, every time I read these lists, I can cross out at least 70 % of them and apply them to myself. Of course many of these things are far less severe and occurs for a shorter period of time for me than for people with actual problems, but I do have these issues to a certain degree almost all the time – ever since I was a kid. And I don’t know a single person who doesn’t. Not all, of course, but you get the gist.