Together We are Not Alone

Loneliness.  Anger.  Fear.  Laughter.

“Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.”
– Dag Hammarskjold

Trying to nap on my parents’ love seat Christmas 2011 with Ava just a week after my first surgery

I find myself wrapped in my own darkness these days.  Regardless of the number of close friends and family that provide comfort, I cannot help but feel alone – forced into a self-inflicted isolation.  In this solitary state I boil over with a mixture of emotions from pure desperation to crippling resentment.  I fear life, I fear death, but most of all I fear that this is my new “normal” – though, admittedly, anxiety has always resided inside me even before these complications.  I catch myself resenting seemingly healthy individuals on the street.  The key is I catch it and remind myself that the diseases I fight are (mostly) invisible to others.  Judge not lest ye be judged.

Strangely enough I find laughter every day, even as I step into the shadows.  This has not always been true.  It certainly wasn’t true six months ago.  But overall I have (mostly) regained my sense of humor.  If I don’t find a way to laugh, I spiral back into despair.  I still experience days, such as yesterday, when I can do nothing more than crawl into a corner and sob into my pillow, mascara streaking across my face.   There are days I pick myself up, only to drop right back down.  My husband tries to console me, but my condition is not exactly relatable to what most individuals my age have experienced.

Yet the sun rises each morning, and I am given the opportunity to trudge forward and make progress.  I learned a long time ago that I am in control of range of motion improvements.  Even my pain level is under my control to a degree.  I do not always make the right decisions.  Sometimes I choose the passive road, though I soon pay for that momentary lapse in judgement.  But each rising sun resets how I perceive my disabilities.  Every day is starkly different.

The Challenges of Rarity

The most important thing I seem to always forget is I am not alone – we are not alone.  It is the single thought that can pull me from darkness when all else seems to fail.  Maybe there are two of us near my home, perhaps there are two hundred.  What I do know is we must find ways to connect with each other:  raise awareness and form support groups.

“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.  People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.”
– Maya Angelou

About Journey to Optimism

I have a perfect dental record and a heart of gold. I volunteer my free time at every opportunity because I believe we can all make a small difference, and through the accumulation of numerous small differences, together, we can make a large difference in this world. I enjoy politics and public policy but not divisiveness, and I absolutely love writing.
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6 Responses to Together We are Not Alone

  1. Anni Hunnicutt says:

    I too live with this crippling disease. Count your blessings my dear. My was going to be husband moves out tomorrow. I was always alone with him, but now I even have to get my own ice packs or even fix the sheet myself. Despair is what I feel right now. I can’t even really describe the depth of the despair. I see no tunnel, no light, just darkness and pain. I just try not to feel hate. I try to feel like some how, some way, some day, something good will come from evil has coated me from this experience. Good luck to you.

    • myrsdlife says:

      I would just like to comment to Anni.. I have been dealing with rsd for 15 years and had to have my right arm amputated because of it. now its in my right leg. Anyway my first wife left me because she could not deal and said she wanted a normal life. Then I met my wife now of 11years and she is amazing. I have had 4 spinal surgeries this last year and she has been there every step of the way. Things may be hopeless one day then totally change the next. Keep the faith that something better is coming. Thanks for letting me comment Scott Servetas

  2. chiquitar says:

    Sometimes just the connection with someone else who is going through something similar is the first step to holding yourself up again. I have CRPS also, and most days now I’m happy. I hope you come check out my blog, connect, leave some comments or questions maybe. I’d like to help everyone I can move past the suffering of pain and into the joyful living with it. It’s possible, we just have to find it, and then keep finding it every day.

  3. chiquitar says:

    Even knowing we will learn a wonderful lesson doesn’t make the learning of it any more fun. Just take your days, your trips to the fridge even, one step at a time. You’re doing the right thing reaching out to others with CRPS. No one else may completely understand what it’s like, but you aren’t alone.

    • This disease is certainly not something I would ever wish upon anyone else, but it sure changed the way I looked at life and made me re-examine what is most important. You’re right – the lessons are not necessarily fun to learn, but I’ve found that it’s much easier to be happy by embracing those lessons and passing them along to others, who might first feel pity for me. Discovering you’re not alone is the first step to finding joy.

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