Friday, June 27, 2008

Illness and Self-Esteem

Before all of this, I had pretty low self-esteem. I was too short, not skinny enough, etc. etc. I think chronic illness brings body image into greater focus, but it also makes you shed that.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m never going to have the body I want, in more ways than one. But there are definitely days when I hate my body for not cooperating with me. Knowing that I will never have that doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

Some people are born with bodies they feel don’t belong to them. Others of us are diagnosed with them.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel like damaged goods. Because I do. Quite often actually. The struggles with everyday tasks are embarrassing, even when I am alone. My mind does dizzying dances trying to imagine what the future will be like. And it’s hard when things aren’t getting better to imagine a future full of possibility. A future that isn’t spent falling asleep on the couch at 7 o’clock at night.

Sometimes I feel like life is happening all around me. I’m standing on the sidelines cheering others on, while my own life stands relatively still. I mean, my life is still moving, but dreams have put on hold, certain things in my life aren’t accelerating at my desired speed.

As of late, I’ve been suffering from an episode of being passive-aggressive. I have to blame it on my lowered dose of prednisone, because this is what happened when I first started when I wasn’t on a high enough dose. I think I can also blame it on my increase in pain. Literally, I’m walking around with clenched teeth. Lately it’s enough to bring me to tears.

I’ve been ready to pick a fight with anyone – You want to make me angry, I’m ready – so it’s probably a good thing that I’ve spent most of the past week alone. I can’t imagine who would want to be with me. I don’t even really want to be with me right now.

So this brings me back to the self-esteem discussion. You know, I’m a twenty-something. I’m sincerely hoping that I won’t be alone forever. But a lot of the time, it’s pretty hard to imagine why someone else would want to be with me.

I mean, let’s face it, where self-esteem is concerned, chronic illness can be a pretty big buzz kill…

1 comment:

  1. I could have written that entry. I suffer from neuralgia and every aspect of my life has been eroded because of it. When you have been worn down by the pain, you then get a bunch of side effects from the medication. :(