So recently in my reminiscing moments(read driving) I wondered how some of my friends know with usually one look how I am feeling. So me being me, I asked them via text of course. Not while driving though. These are people who know me better than almost anyone else. Some of these friends go back to middle school. I love each of them for there own special ways. Some I see multiple times a week, some I see once a week, some even less than that.They all just know.
I got some unexpected answers, like I am good at reading body language. How can I be showing it in my body language if this is an invisible illness. Some told me things I knew, like the more pain I am in the more I grit my teeth. However my favorite answer was…Simply put..Because I am that awesome. This is why we are friends! I laughed so hard. I am sure there were many strange looks given to me in Goodwill that day but I didn’t notice or even care. I had awesome friends. It hasn’t always been that way.
I realized that it doesn’t matter how they know…they just know. That for some people I only have an :”invisible illness” because that’s the way they choose to see it. I don’t have to see it that way. I don’t have to think of it that way, my friends didn’t think it was invisible. Because really its not invisible.
So another day and I am talking with another suffer who also is my friend. Even though we have never met, we seem to just get what the other is saying. I am sitting here needing to keep laundry going, needing to organize the pantry, needing to bring in and put away things that are on the porch. Its all just so awesome that I get to sit here wanting to do this stuff. My brain is telling me to do these things. My body however is saying no way. Stubborn as I am, I do get up and do some. A little at a time, some people call it pacing. Today it is enough that every commercial I get up and do something. Move laundry along, bring a box in, empty a little more of the pantry. This is how it gets done some days.
It took me along time to realize that I am not lazy. I am not procrastinating. It is very hard to push past what my body is saying some days. I am better at it some days. I suck at it other days. Those days when I suck at it. I rely on my family, my friends and also my sarcasm. I have learned there is a difference between listening to your body and that of being lazy or procrastinating. I fully admit there are times that I DO procrastinate. There are days that I tell myself I am procrastinating , that when its suddenly six pm and I have not done what my brain had planned for the day, that it was really I was listening to my body. Even if I wasn’t fully aware of listening. Those days I try not to beat myself up about it. Those days I try to just accept. Sometimes without even knowing it a friend will text me or message me or even post a picture that is just right.
Its all so awesome that we who suffer with chronic illness and chronic pain, get to fight this brain body connection. This brain that wants so desperately to do and get things accomplished and this body that can not handle it. Its so awesome that we get to deal with nonbelievers of our conditions. Its even more awesome that we get to deal with non-believing doctors as well! Isn’t that just awesome. Aren’t we just so lucky!
Its all so awesome that on the days that the pain is manageable and the joints are at the very least moving, that a different symptom shows up. My favorite two to show up during these times is the nerve pain feelings, and suddenly being uncoordinated. These days I walk around holding the left side of my face. The skin tingly soda bubble popping feeling is abated a bit by holding it. Dropping boxes or keys or phone over and over is also fun. Because who doesn’t like trying to open the front door and dropping the keys, multiple times.
So in the end its just so awesome. Its so awesome that through chronic illness I have found better more understanding friends than I had before.I found out who were my true friends. I found awesome friends!