alone

Lifeline.

I thought yesterday was my boiling point, but apparently, it was just the final bubbles before the real explosion.
I had Acupuncture this morning.
I remained quiet the entire way through.
That’s not usually like me. The poor guy can’t shut me up.
When he left the room, I cried.
I came out feeling incredibly lost.
The burning pain in my chest has been there for days now. First, I thought it was everlasting reflux. It turns out that it’s my heart telling me I am stressed – the everlasting anxiety.

My parents and friends are whinging about having to drive me to and from appointments, but what about me? Does anyone think of the patient? I don’t want to be poked and prodded (literally) and have medication shoved down my throat. I don’t want to be the guinea pig, with no results. It has been nine excruciating months of pain, nausea, hospital visits, appointments in the middle of nowhere, test after test after test, scans and negative results, false hope, body changes, negative feedback and whispers.
So, when I got home, and a family member said something that pushed me over the edge, I literally broke.

A violent rage came over me.
I suddenly felt all of the pain over the past nine months, all rolled into one ball.
It was squashing me.

I haven’t driven Since November 2014.
I picked up my car keys in rage, went to my car and drove away. About ten seconds in, I started shaking violently because I realised what I was doing. I was driving. I am terrified of driving. I had a pre-existing anxiety towards it, but before I got really sick, I was practicing and was actually… okay at it if I had someone in the car with me. But then I got sick, and the thought of being dizzy and nauseous and driving, was all too much.

The anger in me somehow shoved the anxiety aside and I ended up at my favourite park. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I have an unhealthy admiration for trees, and this park has the most beautiful trees, and because of its secret location you are almost always surrounded by silence.
But today, being a Saturday afternoon, there were three sports matches on. Cars filled up every parking spot, parents were screaming at their kids to “catch the ball”, dogs being walked by owners.
I managed to find a carpark and just sit for a moment.
Something itching in me said, “just do it”.
I have nothing to live for.
I am sick with a condition that cannot be managed. My condition is still hazy. If the symptoms alone weren’t enough, Specialists don’t know what to do with me, my family don’t know how to handle me, and I feel incredibly alone day in and day out.
I do not remember the last time I smiled, or laughed, or enjoyed myself.
I have been too sick to think of anything but being sick.

Nobody cares was ringing through my head.
I burst into tears. I stared at every tree and wanted so desperately to drive straight into one.
But instead, I called someone I knew I shouldn’t have called.
He was the only one I wanted to answer.
If he didn’t answer, there was no hope for me.
If he did answer, then maybe he would give me a reason to stay.

The phone rang.

I waited, tears clouding my eyes.

He answered.

I cried harder, knowing I’d stay and fight another day.

Tired.

My stomach is aching.
It hasn’t been this way for months.
I can feel every tiny thing that I consume, struggle to digest in my stomach.
The medication is meant to work.
Why isn’t it working?
How did my stomach just… change?
I think back to my diet over the past few days.
I must’ve slipped up, I must’ve slipped up somewhere.
But I can’t find where I went wrong.
It bubbles and gurgles away; bile rising to the back of my throat.
I sit outside for air, I drink digestive tea, I chew Peppermint Gum, I take anti-nausea medication, anti-stomach cramping medication… anything and everything.
The feeling doesn’t change.

I scroll away at Social Media, feeling further isolated from society.
Birthdays being celebrated under the stars,
Falling in love and going on romantic dates,
Exploring the world,
Working for great companies,
Absorbing knowledge through courses,
Tasting new cultures,
Engagements, weddings, children,
Conversing with friends over coffee…
And meanwhile, I am stuck here… alone.

This illness has stolen everything from me.
I am forced to cancel on people for gatherings because I am too unwell to attend.
I feel an anxiety when my symptoms are at their worst – I feel embarrassed to be in public. I feel embarrassed to feel nauseous, and have to hold onto someone for balance support.
On the other hand, people let me down too.
They aren’t willing to negotiate. They don’t understand that I’m unable to do “normal” things anymore.
If you’re too sick, then don’t come because I can’t put up with it”
“Lets go for dinner at this place… oh, you can’t. Maybe you can come with us when you are better”

Is it selfish of me to ask for these people to squeeze me into their routine, and alter the program a bit?
So, I can’t go out for dinner or ‘out’.
I can’t move from my bed.
But, you can come and sit with me for an hour?
Talk to me?
How silly, Cass.
People won’t alter their lives just because you are sick.

I was forced to stop working and studying, so my days are filled with mindless television and the struggle to walk to the bathroom and back.
I am unable to drive, and most days I am unable to look at my laptop screen or mobile.
I sit here and watch the sky change colour from dawn till dusk, and repeat.
Meanwhile, everyone is off living their lives.
I am forgotten.
My sibling works now, as do my parents. They are rarely home, and IF they are, we usually have appointments to attend. They do so much for me – their entire life has been revolved around me. When they decide to go out with friends, on days like today, I nod my head in agreeance.
I will be fine on my own, I tell them.
I lie.

Inside, I’m crying out that I need them to stay. Stay here so I am not tempted to leave.

No. They need to go. I need them to live their lives, even though mine has stopped.
On the days like this, where the depression swallows me, I picture my lifeless body hanging from the outdoor gazebo.
Why me? I ask. What did I do?
They can’t fix this, nor the Doctors.
Nobody truly understands, no matter how much I explain it to them.
Nobody understands until they go through it.
I rewrite my Goodbye letters over and over.
They are not perfect yet.
I’m tired of feeling, of being hopeful, of listening to advice, of fighting my own body. I’m tired of being told what to do, what to try. I’m tired of missing out. I’m tired of falling behind.
I’m so tired.

Thoughts of an Insomniac.

I can’t fight anymore.
You have to.

It’s too hard.
In hardship comes strength.

This illness is too big for me.
Everything is too big; you are so little.

This isn’t fair.
I know, I know.

Will I ever work fulltime?
Who wants to work fulltime anyway?

Will I ever go back to Childcare?
You can babysit instead.

Will I ever finish my course?
We can try and explain the situation.

What happens when the Government cut me off?
We will fight them.

Am I classified as Disabled now?
It doesn’t change who you are.

Will I be able to eat at a restaurant?
We can bring a takeaway container; no waste.

Will I ever go on a date again?
We will be creative.

I am afraid.
I will hold your hand through this.

Will I ever get married?
Why can’t you?

Will I ever have children?
I think your reproductive organs work.

Will the nausea ever go away?
We will try everything.

Are there others like me, out there?
We will find them.

But I searched…
We try again.

There is no positivity behind this disease.
We will spread awareness.

There are too many bad days.
There are some good.

 I am too small.
You are small, but strong.

 I don’t want a feeding tube.
We won’t get one.

 I want to live painfree.
We will manage this.

 I can’t sleep.
Please put the phone away.

 Will I ever walk alone again?
We will train Brain somehow.

 I am so dizzy.
You can hold onto someone.

 Will I ever see the world?
We will travel one day.

 I can’t do this.
You can.

 I hate myself.
You are still beautiful.

 I want to leave.
You are upset, overwhelmed.

 How will I leave?
We are not doing anything.

 Will they miss me?
We aren’t going anywhere.

 Will they come to my funeral?
We haven’t died.

 Will someone try to change my mind?
You have a family who love you.

 Will they feel guilty for not being here/supporting me?
We don’t need them.

 I feel so alone.
You have a few friends, a family…

 Everyone is moving.
We are resting.

I hate this incurable disease.
I know.

 I hate you, stomach.
I know.

Then let me go, please let me go.
No, we’re not finished here yet.

 I can’t fight anymore.
You have to.