Sliding backwards

Sometimes I feel like Sisyphus. I keep trying so hard to get better, and I keep having setbacks. And yet, I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

I’m one of the lucky ones because I’ve seen improvement overall.

So I’m frustrated and grateful, scared and excited, angry and glad, whipping back and forth between different emotions as my physical health changes. I’m so glad I was able to go to a family party yesterday and still feel ok afterwards, but I’m frustrated that I don’t feel up to going out to dinner with friends tonight. I’m glad that I’ll probably feel up to going to a doctor appointment tomorrow, but frustrated that I probably won’t feel up to doing laundry afterwards. I see a bright future, but I wonder if I’ll ever reach it. It’s like the carrot being dangled in front of me. Family, friends, my naturopath… they all say that one day I’ll grab that carrot, but no one says that it will still be crunchy and delicious. Maybe by then it will have gone bad. Instead of working and socializing and living a so-called normal life, I’ll only be able to work a bit and then be too sick to socialize. Maybe I’ll never really be able to date again. Maybe my dream of being able to actually give a solid RSVP to an event is nothing but that: a dream.

Two weeks ago I was feeling pretty good. I had been seeing a lot of improvement since starting a CPAP machine. I was on a new medication. Things were looking up! I was feeling better than I had in ages and I thought it would continue. The pattern was clear: 3-4 days of feeling great, 1-2 days of feeling crappy, and another day of feeling so-so. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a great sign that things would continue to improve. And then that pattern ended. I don’t know why. Technically, nothing changed. I thought I was in transition towards a better stage of health but maybe that wasn’t it, afterall.

I am trying to focus on the positive. I feel so much better than I did two years ago. I feel better than I did even 6 months ago. And I guess that’s the difference between me and Sisyphus: so far, I haven’t had to start over in this most recent journey. I slide backwards, but not completely. That means that the next time I improve, I’m starting from a higher point. It’s not perfect, but I’m grateful for it.

So right now, as the dark clouds are rolling in and my seasonal affective disorder is kicking up, as my body aches and the fatigue is ever-present, as I wonder if I’ll ever reach that carrot of a future, I’m trying very hard to see the last few years for what they’ve been, and be glad that, at least right now, I seem to be done with them.


10 Responses to Sliding backwards

  1. There are no words to express how much I love your “Degree of Crappiness” graph.
    I am sorry you are having ups and downs (so am I, ugh), but glad you have seen overall improvement.

    • chronicrants says:

      I was bored at work a few years back, and I created a rating system for my health stuff. Then I gave each year a rating and turned it into a line graph. It was really interesting. This one is similar, but with less detail. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

  2. Julie Ryan says:

    Ditto on that graph – best thing I’ve seen all day.
    I think we all have ups and downs, but like you I can say that overall I’m doing better, much better, than I was 2 years ago, and OMG so much better than 3 years ago. We have to have the down days occasionally to remind us of how far we’ve come. Congrats on the improvement.

  3. Jess says:

    I feel this. I’m sorry you haven’t reached that carrot yet…my fingers are crossed that you will soon.

  4. This reminds me so much of myself. I am so happy that you are in a better place than where you used to be. I know what its like to have that wide range of emotions for feeling grateful for how much better you are but still not sure if you’re going to make it to the top of that mountain. I feel like this often. Especially now, because i was so grateful for having a 6 month break from daily pain (15/days out of the month instead of all month), but now I am back to daily pain. I thought the med was actually helping me and now I slipped. I am on a new medication now that hopefully will help me climb higher and not slip further. I hope that you keep getting better! 🙂 Keep climbing up!

    • chronicrants says:

      That’s so great that you had 6 months of less pain! At least now you know it’s possible, so you have something great to aim for. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the new med helps! Let me know how it goes!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the graph 🙂

      • Thanks chronicrants! Your comment really made me see the positive side of things. Its something i should think about more often, since I often feel like I will always have pain be present every single day, but I forget the times where it wasn’t this bad!

      • chronicrants says:

        Write yourself a little note right now about how bad you feel. Then the next time you feel better, try writing out how good it feels, what you’re able to do, etc. Then if you have another bad period, you can look back and see your previous improvement as a reminder and inspiration for what’s possible. There’s no guarantee either way, but if you did it before then it sure seems like you should be able to do it again, right? Good luck!

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