Friends = Your Lifeline

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You may discount just how important your support system is, but they are your best defense against any and everything! My friend and fellow autoimmune sufferer, Chrisse, saw my post earlier this week and emailed me some great tips. Her advice is a godsend!!!

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Trapped

Today is a bad day. For those who know what I mean, let’s just say I woke up without any spoons left. My head ached, my eyes were blurred and pained by the small light streaming through my window. It was a feat simply to look at the extraordinarily large numbers on the face of my cell phone, telling me I slept hours later than intended. It almost seemed worthless to get out of bed at that point. But I’d made a promise.

A good friend of mine has been pushing me to get back to counseling and made me promise I would go today. I know he’s right, but the thought of walking into the counseling center on campus feels like I’m admitting to failure. I’ve worked so hard just to reach normal, yet here I am back at square two and need help now more than ever. Some days are like this.

I tell people constantly that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s the strong thing to do. And yet, it feels so weak. It makes me so frustrated to admit that the stairs I’ve been climbing day in and day out have suddenly grown three stories higher, and I can’t see the top anymore. It all feels so out of reach.

But I made a promise. This is why we have friends. This is why we have support systems, because if it were only up to us, then the day would come when we would give up. I remind myself that there will always be days when alone I would give up, I would let myself stay trapped inside my head and locked inside my faulty body. My joints ache, the pain in my eyes is searing, but the feeling of worthlessness and failure with each of the half-dozen pills I take each morning is what really does me in. Those support systems are what hold us accountable for getting up and getting out of our heads.

It would be easy to stay in bed. It would be easy to keep all this frustration inside. It would be very easy not to post this. It is very easy to slack off on holding ourselves accountable and to wallow in self-pity, cursing the cage of pain and frustration. But that easy route will never free us.

Some days are difficult. Very difficult. That’s why we have friends, family, and other forms of support like you, my dear readers, to hold us accountable when we are too weak to do it ourselves. And so, after an hour of tears and pain, I am up. I have taken my daily medications, and I am getting dressed and venturing out into the world to tack on yet another branch to my support system: a new therapist.
When it’s hard to get up, reach out for a hand to pull you out of bed. When it’s hard to ask for help, find the person you can trust to force help on you even when you can’t ask. When it’s hard to speak up about what’s keeping you trapped in your own head, search for some way to get it out of you. Find the words. Build your support system.

Keep getting up.