When the Kettle of Care Boils Over.

I am currently crying as I type this post.
Prior to being ill, I was incredibly impatient and always stressed out over the tiniest of things.
Chronic Illness forces, not teaches, you to be patient.
You really do not have a choice. You have to take everything as it comes.

My symptoms have changed my personality and love for life, but not my care for others.
I have a tendency of putting others before myself, (to the best of my ability now that I am ill), and when they don’t do the same in return or are inconsiderate, I find myself slowly boiling like a kettle. I cannot stop caring for others. It is in my nature to put others before myself, time and time again, until one person or event pushes me to my absolute limit, and I boil over.
My explosion usually ends in tears and rage.

I saw a side of myself on the night of my birthday, which I was shocked by.
It was a horrible build up to the day illness-wise.
I was with someone close to me, and had not eaten or had anything to drink all day due to the nausea. I was exhausted, and so disappointed in myself for not being able to dress up, and go out to celebrate.
I took a bath and looked in the mirror, telling myself repeatedly, “You disgust me”.
The next moments are a blur because when I came out from the bathroom, something small was said which caused me to snap.

I screamed, I cried, I hit the chest of my friend over and over again with clenched fists until they ached. My actions cannot be excused, but for what it is worth, I am tiny, and he is very much larger than me. He said it felt like a child was hitting him. I lost all colour in my face. I fell to the floor. I started shaking. My chest closed up, and I said through wheezed breaths,

“I want to die, now”.

And I picked myself up and ran to the balcony.

What happened next can only be summed up as, a struggle.
I am thankful that I had him there that night, to pull me back.

I have seen him a few times since then, but nothing had been said, until the other night he was staring at me as I laid in bed, and he started crying.
He told me how the image of me that night – pale, weak and full of rage – haunts him.

And now, knowing that I selfishly used him as my punching bag, haunts me.

The past few months have been quiet.
No more “how are you feeling” messages, or visits.
There have been a few phone calls to talk about other people’s issues. I don’t know if I should be thankful for the temporary distraction, or feel jealous because the only issue I am facing, that nobody wants to listen to, is me being unable to manage my symptoms.

My body has been riddled by nausea, dizzy spells, weakness and an inability to digest anything I put into my stomach.

Day by day passes, and loose commentary flies around about me exaggerating my symptoms.
I notice that nobody cares like they used to. They are harsher towards me.
I sit in silence and absorb.
You are fat, you are too skinny.
You are unattractive, you are lazy.
You are selfish.
You are avoiding work.
You can’t do anything right.
You haven’t tried hard enough.
You are unappreciative.

Night by night, I reflect, and I feel the boiling water rising.

After a night of 2am stomach cramps, nausea that would not subside, snappy little comments from family and friends, I have hit that point of no return, again.
But this time, there was no screaming or rage, only tears and numbness.

I don’t care anymore.
I am alone.
I am weak.
I am worthless.
I am a failure.

My symptoms have taken out everything enjoyable about life.
I don’t think that the Depression ever disappears. Sometimes it hides for a little while, whilst your mind is preoccupied by the illusion of happiness. I have noticed that my brain latches onto the tiniest amount of positive energy that it can find, anything to keep me here another second. Sometimes it lasts a few days, sometimes a few months… but as soon as that glowing ray vanishes, I fall back into my pit, and deeper than before.

I don’t want to be here just as much as you don’t want me here.
And when I disappear, I don’t want the fake apologies, or the sudden interest in my illness and what I had to battle each day. I don’t want people to pretend like they gave a fuck about me.
I am trying to find some great reason to stay here, but I can’t.
My brain is completely clouded by negative thoughts, and I am so, so angry.
I am angry with the people I have heard from, and the people I haven’t heard from.
I am angry with my family, at strangers, Doctors and Specialists, but mostly, I am angry with myself. I used to be stronger than this.

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53 comments

  1. “I don’t think that the Depression ever disappears. Sometimes it hides for a little while, whilst your mind is preoccupied by the illusion of happiness. I have noticed that my brain latches onto the tiniest amount of positive energy that it can find, anything to keep me here another second. Sometimes it lasts a few days, sometimes a few months… but as soon as that glowing ray vanishes, I fall back into my pit, and deeper than before.”
    I couldn’t have written this paragraph better myself. I was sitting here crying when I decided to check e-mail and found your post. I would venture to say that I feel just about the same as you at this moment. I don’t know how to fix it… if I did, I would happily share the solution with you. I care about people also and they are losing patience with my attempts at “being well” just as you said about your relations. I think we scare them because we aren’t getting “fixed” and they can’t fix us either. It seems to make them uncomfortable so they fade away.
    I wish I could reach out and hug you, Cass and we could sit together and have a good, long cry. I feel so very alone right now as I’m sure you do too… even my teenage sons are fed up with me.
    It sounds almost ridiculous to say “stay strong”, “hang in there”, “you are not alone”. I know those words are no more consolation to you than they are to me at times like this… some nights/days are just dark and long. I pray we both see the dawn…. well, and, you really aren’t alone… I feel your pain. I really do HUGS Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Julie. I am so sorry you are going through the same thing. I think the Depression could quite possibly be worse than my stomach symptoms. I am sorry your sons are getting fed up – my family are exactly the same. I don’t know what else to do to fix the situation. I feel as though I have tried hard enough, as I am sure you have too.
      I would really enjoy the hug and chat.
      I really do hope that this feeling passes for the both of us; that we find that little piece of something to latch onto to keep us here.
      We deserve that after the battle we have faced. Keep your head up.
      I am fighting with you xxxx Cass

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’re strong in the same way the Grand Canyon was/is strong. When the Colorado River first started following over it, there were no signs. Then, slowly, the river started to take the shift surface sediment off, but it was still barely noticeable. Suddenly, all the surface was gone, leaving the raw but tough under layers. This appeared to be so strong that it wouldn’t go anywhere. But sure enough, the river just kept flowing, and slowly the tough rock started to wear away. Eventually, the water got deeper and deeper into the bedrock, wearing out deep grooves. Sometimes, pieces of the rocks and soil would fall away in large chunks. This would happen over and over and over, until the canyon got to its current size. At times, it would seem as if it was just too weak to keep going, that it was just going to give way and crumple into a pile of ugly rocks. But, somehow, it didn’t. And now, the giant scar the river wore into the ground is heralded as a magnificent natural wonder, admitted by everyone that sees it.
    Chronic illnesses are the river, you are the ground. You aren’t weak, not at all. You’ve just been worn down by the illness. But you’ll get to a point where you suddenly realize that you aren’t ugly and broken, you are beautiful and strong. Sure, there will always be weak points, but that doesn’t make you weak overall.
    I promise that things eventually get better, it’s just hard to see that until you get there. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I swear, some days you are in my head. I haven’t been able to blog lately because all I feel is anger this week. I know I have too much on my plate, but I chose it and in stuck. Just when I think life is under control and there’s hope one again, I am quickly reminded that is really only an ellusion. I’m in and out of this dark place and I’m not sure how to get out. I’m told this is normal but it’s scary. It’s not like we can tell our doctors either just how bad being sick has made everything in life…. because then we’re depressed and crazy.
    I want to fight this… I want to be an active, trusting, and compliant patient, but it’s like the world is against me some days. It makes me feel weak after all I’ve done is so try to be so strong.
    I feel your pain. I wish I could take it away so at least you’d be happy again. I know this post probably didn’t help, but know these feelings are normal. Unfortunately for those around us, they see the visual pain that we often hide when we’re in public. We “don’t look sick” until we go home and break down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh honey, I am right there with you. I have had more bad days than good.and I am now unsure of how to handle it. You are right about the doctors. If I told him how bad I was feeling, he would medicate me and shove me aside. That’s why I try and handle it all on my own. I write, to get the thoughts out of my mind. I feel like it is the only thing that helps.
      I really am right there with you, fighting. Chin up, we’ll do it together x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This post brought me to tears. Not only because I hate that you feel this way, but because you perfectly described how I feel most days as well. I’m angry at the world and at myself and I spend most days alone wishing for a friend to still care enough to call or come over for a while. It absolutely sucks to know you’d do anything for a friend but they don’t care enough to reciprocate. It’s hard to try and stay positive when there’s this pent up anger and resentment building up inside like a time bomb until it explodes at the wrong moment. There is however some comfort in knowing we’re not alone in this suffering. There’s so many of us struggling alongside you around the world, but I do hope for some positivity in your life for you to hold onto 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That last sentence…you ARE stronger than this. I believe in you. I read your words and it’s looking into a mirror. I often wonder how life would be if the powers that be hadn’t thrown a shit load of disease to plague my body and to top that off a bunch of crazy to riddle my mind and personality. But as a dear friend once said you me. Step back, take a breath and repeat these words “, I am NOT the general manager of the UNIVERSE”.

    you can do this, you know how I know. Because you picked writing about it over other things. If you ever need someone. I’m here

    Sparkle thoughts and love,
    Shaye

    Like

  6. I see some mistakes in your post, especially in the last part. You’re not alone, you’re not weak, you’re not worthless, and you’re not a failure. And you are so much stronger than you think! One advice: you should stop putting other people before yourself. A psychologist told that to my mom and it’s so true. She was constantly putting others before her. Kids, mom, sister, friends… For example, she wanted to move out from my granny’s house, but granny, aunt, and whole family were against her. Obviously, she was really unhappy. Now we’re finally moving out and buying our own apartment. You are the only person who has to live with yourself 24/7, that’s why you should put yourself first. Stay strong, you have people who care. because if we didn’t, we would just skip your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you honey. It is much appreciated. Ask your mother, though, it is hard to put yourself before others. I have a maternal instinct… Maybe it is just an overly soft heart. But, I will try, as I am sick and I don’t really have any other choice.
      Thank you again xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just like nearly everyone in the comments said, it’s like you’re in my head. It’s so difficult to admit your struggling in the way that you are and I’m so proud of you for being so raw and honest. It truly helps others ❤ I'm always just an email away love ❤ As always, sending immense love and good vibes your way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cass, I read this for the first time last night, and then again just now.

    Posts like these are so helpful – this is the side of illness that shows how vulnerable we are, and how bad it can get.

    I hope that putting it all out there was as helpful to you as it is to others – look at all the comments of support and empathy! You are making a difference, and are giving others strength.

    Big hugs to you… (((((((hugs))))))))

    Like

  9. So get it! You exactly described incidences in my life in the not too distant past. I found out, and this is just me so I’m not trying to say what it is for you, that it was my PTSD getting triggered, building, and exploding. We are so misunderstood. 10 months ago I applied for disability and then went to work in March 16 hrs per week for 10/hr (how did I get here?) but couldn’t do it, in the fourth shift I found myself unable to function well enough. So now I work 12 hrs/wk. That’s $400/mo net. So disability calls me and says, we heard you’re working! I explained the situation and they said oh…just 12/wk. Just $400/mo. I explain we’ve been in bankruptcy for a couple of years. They sound surprised by this! That’s what happens when you have to suddenly leave your career and there’s no disability support. “What do you have?” Me, “No diagnosis for my physical condition(s).” So no support. Two years later, nearly destroying my 20 year marriage I now have a fist full of mental illness diagnoses and may finally, after 14 years of just not feeling good day in and day out, may have found the answer to my physical issues. More on that later. Today I am grateful for my life. I have learned to be patient and take care of myself in a way that I have never seen demonstrated. It is not that I Want to spend 3 hrs/day just keeping myself healthy enough to move forward, it’s that I Must. So hang in there! I found that once I completely accepted my situation, happiness could come. Of course, that took quite a while… Please let me know if you ever just want to talk or touch base. I’m happy to be here for you and share whatever I can to be of service. Warmly, Sarah (Looking Normal.com)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sarah. Thank you so much for connecting. I am so sorry to hear your past story, but it has given me some hope for my future. Everyone keeps telling me that this will pass, but it will only pass if I can control my physical illness. I hope that I can before my mentality gives in.
      I am so very happy that you are on track now, but mostly able to care for and love yourself.
      Thank you for your kindness xx Cass

      Like

      1. I find that connecting with somebody who has been there is so helpful. Our friends and loved ones say they understand, but we are happy that they cannot truly understand! It can get better – keep asking questions and standing up for yourself! I know it can be exhausting… Let me know when I can be of support. Warmly, S

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! Agreed! I love my friends and family and they have gone above and beyond for me, but I think this one year point has hit them harder than it has hit me. I know they are equally frustrated and, unfortunately, they do not entirely understand.

        Thank you. I definitely will xx

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh don’t get me start about Disability payments, Sarah! Haha. I am currently in a battle with them to prove my illness.
      I am so happy you found a place of contentment. I have been told that this feeling will pass, but I truly believe that it won’t until I can manage my physical illness. The symptoms are making me depressed. It is not a life worth living when you are not living. I am stuck behind four walls.
      But back to the point, I know you have struggled but I am pleased to hear that you now have control and ability to love and care for yourself.
      Thank you for reaching out. It means a lot to me xxx

      Like

  10. I wish I had the right words to say to show you how much you’re worth, even if you can’t see it right now. I’m so sorry that things are this awful. People who haven’t experienced it can’t even begin to imagine the reality of what it’s like day in and day out for us, so of course they say we’re overdramatic, exaggerating, not trying hard enough, etc. If they could experience what we experience for even just 15 minutes, I bet they would change their tune pretty quickly. I can totally relate to these kinds of feelings. I also get to a point where it just all boils over, and those times are scary times for sure. I feel lucky in that my husband and family are very understanding with my illness, but even still I just feel so alone at times because they don’t truly get it. For what it’s worth, I care about you. I often wondered how you were doing while you took a break from writing for a while (hope that doesn’t sound creepy haha). Please know that I’m here if you ever need anyone to talk to, whether through here, email, skype, whatever! Sending love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you honey. It is highly appreciated. The rough days are… Well, rough.
      I don’t think many of them would last long if they suffered as much as us. I’d pay to see it, though. Just for five minutes. Just so they can try and understand a little better.
      I will definitely put you in my contacts book for these rough days. I care about you too and you are always in my thoughts! xx

      Like

  11. Big big hugs And love being sent your way. A lot of people i see on here care about you a lot 🙂 i think its hard with family and friends because they dont fully understand the pain and experience you are going through. So the misconception is that you can snap out of it eventually and get over the pain eventually. Depression can rear its ugly head at any time and it sounds like your having one hell of a bad time 😦 i send lots of positive vibes to you. You are always worth it xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sometimes we are our own worse enemies and harshest judges. To post as you do, with the honesty you show, I don’t think that show weakness but a strength. However, I know someone saying those things won’t help any because you don’t feel it.

    I have been low, very low but have never had depression. I have seen my dear sister struggling with it all her life. All I can do when she says people don’t get it and she feels like people think she’s putting it on is say that it’s not her fault her injury doesn’t show, if she had a broken leg or busted face then people wouldn’t say those things- it’s not her fault they are ignorant and not empathetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hugs. I hope people share this so loved ones can understand how frustrating and diminishing chronic illness can be. Sometimes people need to be reminded that you didn’t choose this – you’d choose anything BUT this – yet you have to live with it. Big hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m sure people disregard what you are going through because they wouldn’t be able to handle it as well as you so they won’t believe how severe it is, it’s just a sign that you really are strong. I’m sorry you don’t have a real support system in your family and friends. It’s so rediculous the way your family speaks to you. I’m sure you are still beautiful, it’s probably not recent I know but your blog originally cought my attention because you look so damn cute in your picture. Of course then I realized I was so interested in what was going on with you and rooting for you to get better. As always, hoping things make a change for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. One of the hardest things about this illness is learning to say “no” to others more and to start saying “yes” to yourself. It feels selfish, but it isn’t. You are trying to survive a disease… a disease that has changed you, changed how you think, feel, and react physiologically to the world around you. You aren’t yourself, that’s true. But it doesn’t mean that you aren’t still under all of that foreign-ness. This illness is a psychological battle as much as a physical one, and you can’t let yourself fall prey to it’s whispers of encouragement towards self-loathing and giving up. Allow yourself bad days, allow yourself some outbreaks, allow yourself to feel that anger towards the disease… but never yourself.

    You are beautiful and smart and worth it. Keep fighting, you will get through this only one way. Keep fighting. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sounds all too familiar to me. Not a good way to feel at all… I’m really sorry that you are going through all of this and although nobody can fully understand where you are coming from or the exact way that you feel, I can relate to you in so many ways… All I can say is hang in there… Tomorrow just has to be better… For all of us…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have been in that dark place many times. People just can never begin to understand. It’s a constant grieving process…grieving for your old body, lost friends and family, strangers or people you know who judge relentlessly. Hang in there! Your track record for getting through bad days is pretty good! I’m here for you! You know where to find me!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It is 3 am and I am reading all of your posts
    Depression claws are too real
    How could they not when your body fails you and doesn’t allow you to have some normalcy in your life, if you have to deal with pain , nausea, and dizziness ever and ever ?

    I agree with other supporters. You are making a difference, you are using your physical and mental pain as an outlet for your anguish and sadness all the while uniting and inspiring chronically ill people from all corners of the world.

    You are giving a voice to yourself and countless others.

    I know that when we look back and realize the way we were as to our current situation we can’t help but be depressed.
    That is the point when we have to brace ourselves for the present. Take our anti depressants, pain and other medications, make ourselves as comfortable as possible and review our list of options that allow us to calm down our anxiety and ride the storm

    Like

    1. Lovely advice. Thank you. This is the only reason I stay. Not for myself, for the supporters and other sufferers. I want to help in any way that I can.
      Thank you for taking the time to read. But i do hope you sleep soon! Insomnia is awful.
      x

      Like

  19. Cass ….it seems like everybody who follows you have been in the same spot as you are .

    If you had been living in the US .. that night you would have been institutionalized against your will ..
    In deplorable conditions ..

    Thanks God you are not here ..

    I don’t know how old is your friend,how close you are to him ,.. but being a little more seasoned than you I would advise you to have an open, face to face talk with him …about that night

    I might be wrong but it seems like you do need some Closure. A frank dialogue about how why and what to do if something similar should ever Happen..

    I wish he Could read this post and all the comments..

    I will suggest a similar approach with your parents

    Maybe in the presence of a counselor .. to vent out all of your feelings and theirs ..
    Illness changes lives forever .. your and your caretakers … but your parents will never stop loving and rooting for you … they might need Breaks.. they might be exha usted, deeply concerned , wary, worried to death …but they lover you with unconditional love …

    This is my humble opinion .. dialogue .. sincere from the heart .. the Wounded heart… may bring you all closer and more aware of each other’s feelings …

    My heart goes out to you because I know first hand what you are going through … I have a myriad of health Issues .. they keep piling up …

    I am really sorry .. I was as sick as you are by age 22 … undiagnosed for 3 Years .. it was hell … and although I emetered in reMission.. other issues popped up over the years ..

    Kudos to you for fighting so valiantly and seIzing life’s little pleasures

    Liked by 1 person

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