I can only write about this now that it is behind me and things are much better. I went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, whether I wanted to post this or not, because I don’t like to bring things here that are not uplifting and inspiring. Reality is, life is not always candy and roses and sometimes we struggle with the seriousness of it. What swayed my final decision was the knowledge that depression and anxiety is real. It happens to the best of us, no matter how optimistic and positive we might be. It is something that needs to be shared to help others instead of leaving it in the shadows. It is something that needs to be addressed to let others know that they are not alone. I hope to accomplish this here.
After spending the last ten month in Germany caring for Mom, and recently returning back to the states, I realized how exhausted and weak I had become. Months of sitting by her bedside, struggling with the humidity and other things had left my body with minimal movement and exercise. It resulted in chronic pain of various levels that became a constant. On top of it, I got to experience the extreme pain of a cold shoulder which still affects me today. It’s awful and if you ever had to deal with it, you know that you can’t reach overhead, behind your back, or sleep on that shoulder. Trying to compensate, my entire neck and back region became stiff and one tight mess which robbed me of sleep. With minimal rest for several month, I eventually started my 22 hour journey back to the states. It was too much and my body started to give out. At one point while traveling I didn’t know if I would make it back without asking for help. I managed, drugged up and with the help of painkillers (Advil). It was a bandaid, to prolong the inevitable and just a days after my arrival, I could feel things happening. My legs were so tight, all the way from my calves up to the thighs, it felt like everything was on fire and inflamed. I couldn’t sit on the ground or kneel, and my knee was still hurting from the nasty fall that I took the week prior to my departure.
My health kept deteriorating, but I started to rest a little better in my own bed. I was in so much pain and everything was a struggle. The pain wasn’t just in one spot like it usually is and my entire body seemed to suffer. There was that unstable left ankle that felt as if I had twisted it at some point and it never got right again. It left me wobbly and unsure of my footing. There was the left wrist, which bone was sticking out in an unusual way caused from carrying too heavy bags visiting Mom and from carrying heavy grocery bags. There was the left knee that hurt from the fall and was very sore. Both shoulders were hurting by now and robbed me of sleep, which in turn rendered me unable to perform basic tasks. Not all yet, there were also my legs that felt on fire and there was a pain in my thighs every time I sat down. I just couldn’t get comfortable any which way. I couldn’t stand and walk, and I couldn’t sit and lay. It was misery spelled with capital letters. And finally there were the hands that were weak and couldn’t even hold a plate. I think several past I couldn’t comb my hair.
It kept building and it ate away at me. I became very worried and scared that this might be my new future. It couldn’t be, or could it? They say life isn’t fair, was this the moment that would convince me that this statement is true? Then there was the silence and worry, due to the iPad not working and not being able to talk to Mom. Although I had left Germany, I knew nothing was resolved. Mom was banking on me to get her out of the nursing home. This would mean to dissolve my own life of 30 years, clear and sell a house while I struggled to hold a plate. An immense burden and responsibility that crushed me underneath. Then there was this job issue and not earning any money. And how could I possibly earn any money feeling like this! I was overwhelmed to say the least.
The night into January 10th, I had to get up four times. It was a restless night that was trying and further ate away at me. January 11th, I was woken unexpectedly early and I was beyond sleep deprived. For once the pain allowed me to rest, but then it was something else that robbed me of it again. It was detrimental to me. Every waking hour was hardship and pain and the day started with tears in my eyes because I didn’t know how to put my socks on. My hands and fingers hurt so much it was nearly impossible. I cringed and eventually managed. I never recovered that day and at times I felt like I was having an out of body experience, seeing myself there, a pile of misery just wasting away. Over and over the tears would start and well up my eyes. I couldn’t listen to music, I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t do anything. I’m not sure I had a desire to live. With the pain worsening and not getting better, I felt helpless and for the first time I wasn’t so sure anymore that I would pull through all that was going on. Everything was hopeless and nothing mattered anymore. I was scared and found myself caught in a vicious cycle. I really think that I had an emotional breakdown. I wasn’t panicked and felt strangely calm. But I felt so empty and spent, like I had given it all and had no strengths left. All hope and faith I had, my two swords of power were dwindling away. It was awful.
Exhausted I went to bed that night, praying and calling out to the universe to help me. I felt like a wounded warrior, raw and vulnerable. I had no answers as I wondered if this was how it was meant to end. I could only hope I was not yet defeated, and I wasn’t.
January 12th, I woke up rested and to a much clearer head that was able to prioritize the overbearing weight of everything. Surprisingly the day past that was so hard for me, seemed so far away. I felt transformed and everything seemed lifted. I made myself a step goal to get moving, and started exercising through the pain. I got past the fear of my heart weakness from the symptoms I was showing and told myself that there is no better time then now. I’m eating healthy and I’m determined. Physically, I am getting better and yesterday I walked 3819 steps. That might not be a big deal, but it was for me. That’s how bad things had gotten.
Depression and anxiety is real and this has been a scary time for me. I can’t remember last when I had to fight this much to earn my place here. Just to manage the basics. It’s been a tough road full of challenges and I know that some are not so lucky as I am. It’s easy to give up and it’s always harder to fight. January 11th will stand out in my memory as one of my toughest days, but also as one that forced a choice and the believe that the darkness doesn’t last forever. Ask for help and let it go. Don’t be afraid to confide in your loved ones and the universe to support you and always know you don’t have to carry it all by yourself. It can be a very dark and lonely place, but hope and faith is real as well.
Wishing you bright days filled with light and minimum darkness. Stay the course, believe and find something to hold on to. Bless you. ♥️