Chronic. If you’ve ever been diagnosed with something “chronic”…ongoing, possibly worsening over time…it changes you. The simple fact of living with something that will not go away UNTIL death- that’s hard to embrace. Puts a different spin on life. Though oddly, in embracing my chronic I’ve embraced my mortality and that demands I live a bit more focused, more grounded in seeking something that will outlast this broken body.
It leaves me dreaming a bit more about heaven- about a time when there won’t be tubes or equipment tethered to me- freedom.
Chronic is just so daily though. And as a result, if you have something chronic, chances are you get tired of telling people that you’re overwhelmed. You might tell people you’re having a “bad day”, an “off season”…but sometimes it has just been a bad long many years. Not all bad. But a stress and a strain that wears you thin and you don’t know how to tell people because it underscores all of life, not just bits and pieces. And you’d like to be able to tell people that everything you complained about last week “got better”….but unlike a cold or a teething kid, chronic doesn’t hold hope of going away.
And then there’s the fear- fear when things get worse, fear when you feel out of control of things in your body that others take for granted.
And guilt…because whatever is affecting you most affects those closest to you. My all too frequent high numbers make it difficult to parent well at times- it adds to irritability, to stress, like a static chaos frequency running constantly in the back of your head. And as much as I own that I have plenty of faults as a wife and parent as it is, sometimes I give in to the overwhelmed feeling and my family absorbs that. And I hate feeling like “Mom’s chronic” is all going to come out in a therapy session when they’re older. (Along with some vague memory of me yelling directions from inside the bathroom. But for the love, can your question wait 3 minutes?)
And God…well…chronic will put Him to the test too. Because there’s an awful lot of verses that sound pretty rosy until God isn’t changing your circumstances. Chronic has brought me to wrestle with God more than anything else and it forces me to confront whether my God IS good, whether He is big enough, whether He loves me. Whether He really has a plan for my good. Maybe we don’t get to the bottom of those questions without some pain and suffering. Somedays I know, even in the rain, that God is beyond good, beyond any love I know…and other days…like today…I just want to give up and ask why He seems to have left me alone. Those days I find myself feeling too drained to trust, and I give God a bit of a defiant “Your move” look.
And I like to be strong; I want to be someone that others can go to for support. Yet I assume we all hit those moments where we just want to hide and hope someone will find us and pull us out. And I’m so grateful for those friends in my life, even if it doesn’t fix it for good.
So where to land- maybe you’re in chronic land too… maybe you have type 1 diabetes like me…or maybe it’s depression or PTSD, Crohn’s, MS, Celiac or so many others. I just want to let you know I’m here, and I’m not always OK and if you ever need to swap some venting, I’m game.