Hello my pretties! I hope you all are doing well. I'm finally on Spring Break and I am absolutely loving it!
Anyways, today's post is about chronic illness and how to explain it to those people who just don't get what it's like to be chronically ill. You may or may not be aware but I have quite a few both physical and mental health problems but before I begin I am going to put up a...
DISCLAIMER: I am not faking to have any of these illnesses. And I am not going to bubble wrap any of this for you. I am quite literally going to tell it to you straight. I have also included links as to where you can find more information about the illnesses I have, if you wish.
For physical illness(es) have GP or Gastroparesis which is partial to full paralysis of the stomach), a form of Dysautonomia called POTS or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which is an abnormal increase in heart rate from a supine (lying down) position to an upright position (standing).
As far as metal illness(es) go, I have OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is not to be confused with OCPD or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder which is what society thinks just Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is. Both are completely different. With in the OCD realm are the types of OCD. I have Trichotillomania which is literally "hair pulling disorder". This was very prevalent when I was a child but is in control now. I also have Anxiety (Panic Disorder) and Major Depression. All of these problems like to party together, pardon my French and fuck me up. I have been through hell and back multiple times due to my illnesses. You, people, with perfect health are so lucky. You don't have to go through all the shit people with chronic illnesses do. Yet, you give us shit for not being social or always being to ill to do normal people things. You don't know how both lifelong mental and physical illnesses screw a person up. Because you've never had to experience what we do on a daily basis. So until you have done that...until you have been at rock bottom begging God to just put you out of your misery we need you to cut us some slack and back the hell up.
Even though I'm chronically ill, I still go to school, I still do theater, I try to dance at least once a day, even if all I can do is 60 seconds. And aside from all that, I AM NOT MY ILLNESS. I'm still me.
The way I like to explain what my life is like being chronically ill is in the form of the Spoon Theory. It was created by Christine Miserandino when she was trying to explain to a friend what life with Lupus is like. This infographic is the best way to explain what life with chronic illness is like.
Congratulations, you have Gastroparesis and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. You have been granted 15 spoons of energy to last you through the day. If you run out of spoons, you can borrow tomorrow's spoons but that just means you'll have that many less tomorrow. You want to get out of bed, shower, get dressed, do your makeup and hair? That'll be 5 spoons, please. (1 for getting out of bed/dressed, 2 for makeup and 2 for hair). Oh your friends asked you to hang out at the mall with them? 3 more spoons gone. Awe, crap, you have to study for a test in school. 2 more spoons gone. You are now down to 5 spoons left. Remember, you can borrow tomorrow's spoons but that just means you'll have that many less tomorrow. Use your spoons wisely.
So as you can see being a Spoonie is no easy task. All the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) take up a lot of energy. For those of you in perfect health, count yourself lucky that you can do more than we Spoonies can. And if you're a fellow Spoonie, tell me, how will you use your spoons today?
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