Sunday, July 17, 2011

Too sick or not sick enough

I'm in between.

I have this chronic illness we all have. I wake up every morning feeling like a 200 pound lead weight that got dropped from the top of the Sears Tower. The relentless summer heat makes my head try to crush itself. Living normally exhausts me beyond explaination.

Yet I work full time. I go out to dinner with friends a couple of times a week. I'm Warden of my church. I lead a program of a state organization. I've learned to say yes to the things that matter to me, but more importantly, "no" rolls off of my tongue quite easily and I have no guilt about it.  I stay on top of my house and chores as best as my energy allows me.  Sometimes that's not all that great, but it isn't my highest priority in living a good life.

Yet, my friends do things many more nights than I am able to join them because I must guard the strength I do have in order to do the things I can. There ARE things I truly wish to do that I must say no to because I cannot take on too many things or I will collapse for real and end up hospitalized.

I'm in between. Not healthy enough to keep up with my friends.  But well enough that I've gotten some flack recently from a board of people with chronic health issues because of all I am able to do. Chronic illness does not equal disabled but I think the sickest among us forget that. I am still sick.  I am just not as sick as others. I am not as well as others, either.

So I don't fit in to either world. I have to remember that feeling when I want to punch the friend of mine who is endlessly whining about her mosquito and gnat bites itching for days and days. She is suffering. My illness does not negate her uncomfort. Just as someone's disability does not negate my illness.

I know as far as being chronically ill goes, I am blessed. It could be so much worse. But it could also be so much better and I'm tired of feeling left out for being in between.