Every now and then my mind takes me to an inner place that I don’t want to face. These thoughts are fleeting but when it happens, my inner worries are revealed clear as a bell and as very real issues.
You see, I meet most situations with humour or funny dismissing statements. Humour is my primary coping mechanism. Humour keeps my mood up and my mind positive. Here are three examples of my behaviour and today that illustrate this:
The Dr finally got a cannula in my hand after a nurse had collapsed my veins twice, so I made a reference to the Derby day races on today and told him that he had just got a winner in the first race.
I was at the local shopping centre and eyed off these mobility aids and even took a photo thinking I might Facebook something about it later.
I came home and joked about the nurse’s failure to use my veins today, calling the bruising and blood pools on my arms exhibit 1 and exhibit 2, and the Dr’s perfect effort, which is barely visible on my hand, as exhibit 3.
I know that these silly ways of thinking and referring to my illness issues are masking the serious side of illness and the things that I think and feel deep inside. Deep inside I’m worried.
I used to be quite a worrier about all sorts of things. I believe that lately I don’t worry so much about money, bills, holiday plans etc. I have somewhat relaxed about some things probably because I have different things to worry about now. Even though I spend a lot of energy trying to cover these worries I know they are there.
The worries relate to how I feel when my symptoms are bad. Chronic pain and constant severe fatigue messes my head around, it confuses me as to what I have to deal with. When I have bad symptoms my body loses strength and my mind loses confidence in my ability to stay in control of my life. I worry about things like:
– I may be 41 but how old do I look and act, shuffling along so slowly with a limp?
– am I kidding myself trying to ignore the pain I am in?
– what actually is this illness, are there more diagnoses to come and what could they be?
– how are all these medical issues and tests affecting my mental health?
– will I be able to keep working?
– will I be able to keep my house and what happens if I can’t?
– how devastated will I be if I eventually have to use mobility aids?
– who will be there for me if I do get worse?
– will I be able to lead the life I want?
– have I become pathetic shadow of my former self?
So today, I went into the pharmacy to collect my prescription meds. $91 worth today.
And I thought:
Other people my age don’t usually have to spend all this cash on a bag full of heart and pain meds. How sad for me that this is what my life has become.
It was about two seconds of thought, then I immediately moved my mind on to the pretty things in the pharmacy gift section as I walked out the door, then got in my car and drove home.
I know my worries will come out sometimes but they don’t deserve a lot of time and attention, that isn’t helpful to me at all. (Except I just went through it all again to write this post, but it is probably helpful to get it written down anyway).
I do better mentally if I use all my interests, hobbies, work and a fascination in life, to distract me and take up my mental energy and imagination. Plus humour. A humorous perspective on life is helpful too. That is how I cope.