There are nights, like last night, where the world closes in on me and I cannot find peace. I rarely ever let my illness and conditions get the best of me. But it does happen. I started to spiral down a deep and gloomy place. At 3 am all the Christmas lights were off so I sat alone in the dark. I felt my heart breaking as I thought that this could be my last Christmas. I had been feeling this sadness as a shadow that had been creeping behind me the last couple of weeks. I realized that even if I live on, my Christmases would be limited in number, just because of my age. The specter of dialysis loomed in the corner along with other fears of the complications that could arise. Fear had won. I unleashed a torrent of tears.
Why am I sharing these depressing thoughts with you all? Because I know others have felt this, especially newly diagnosed patients who are still coming to grips with a chronic illness. It is normal. I am sharing this because I am human, as are you. And we need connection. I am sharing this because there are times even now, when things get to me. I usually feel guilty and weak when that happens, so I hold it all in. Until I have a night like last night were the daemons win.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness does not mean a death sentence. But it is a life changer. And when we lose something like our old lifestyle, we need to grieve. There are stages to grief, which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We bounce from stage to stage for a while and then settle hopefully into acceptance. But that does not mean you won’t revisit anger or depression from time to time. And that is ok too. I always say you need to have “ups” to know when you are down and you need “downs” to know how good “up” really is. Just do not get stuck in either.
As the sun rose and the light grew brighter, so did my mood. Now with the lights on the tree twinkling their happy song, my mood has reverted to its more hopeful and cheerful state. The snow is coming down and a nap is in my near future. My hubby and I have plans for a quiet movie night with our furkids on our laps. All is well.
I want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. I am so grateful for this forum and the wonderful people who participate. The support is amazing. The friendships are a gift. It is an oasis in a scary and troubled world. I am glad you are all here with me in this journey.