Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Strategies and alternatives for coping with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and other chronic illnesses

Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take

Posted by wendyburnett on June 1, 2010

Chronic illness is a life-changing experience for everyone, and each person’s journey is very different; but there are experiences we all recognize as well. How many of us have lost jobs, friends, spouses, homes, and family members to our disease? No matter what illness we have, we share so much that we can connect on a level that many will never understand unless the journey comes to them. We share symptoms, and losses, and lessons; and we share the understanding that our lives will never be the same because the illness, the journey, has changed us in ways that can never be undone. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow and be healthy again, even if by some miracle we were cured; the experience has changed us in fundamental ways, and the lessons it has taught us can never be unlearned.

My journey began many years ago, and it has changed my life so much that when I look back I barely recognize the woman I was. I was married, and miserable, and convinced that I was too stupid to ever be able to take care of myself without a man to tell me what I thought, what I wanted, and what I felt. I was depressed and suicidal, dissociative, and having flashbacks that I thought were delusions or hallucinations. I was terrified that I was losing my mind, and more terrified to tell anyone what was happening for fear that I really WAS “going crazy.”

I can pinpoint the exact moment that my journey through illness began, too. Not with a time or a date, but with an event; an event so ordinary, so innocuous, that I could never have suspected the effect it would have on my life. Continue reading My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How are You? How Do You Answer the Hardest Question Ever When You Live with Chronic Illness?

Posted by wendyburnett on May 20, 2010



I think we all hate that question when it’s asked by “normals.” Unless it’s someone you know well, you never know whether to tell the truth (I feel like shit, thanks for asking.) or lie (Fine, how are you?)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Bipolar Rage: Am I the Only One?

Posted by wendyburnett on March 15, 2010

I had one of those horrible days today (actually, it seems to be a bit of a pattern lately.) I’m normally pretty calm at home, but shortly after I walk into work I’m furious, and I stay that way until well after I leave.

I work in the deli at a grocery store, which probably isn’t the best kind of job for someone who’s bipolar. It’s extremely stressful when it’s busy, but I don’t have much choice if I want to eat. The real issue for me is that we’re expected to wait on customers; price, rotate, and stock product; mark down anything that’s approaching expiration; pull, scan, and throw away expired product; make deli trays for special orders; cut and package block cheeses; slice meat for the department that makes the custom subs; help customers find things, answer the phone, and keep everything clean. (Oh, you have to drop everything and update the temperature log every 4 hours, too. )

We NEED two people working during the busy times, one to slice and wait on customers, and one to work on everything else; but they never schedule more than one person. It is absolutely impossible for one person to keep up with everything they expect you to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

I Didn’t Sign Up for THIS

Posted by wendyburnett on March 6, 2010

Sometimes I hate my life . . . (honestly, most of the time I hate my life.) It’s been a particularly bad week, and I’m having a LOT of trouble coping with the pain levels. That means I have trouble sleeping, which increases the stress, and that increases the pain levels even more. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s gonna have to break soon, unless you can have pain levels higher than 10/10. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Depression, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Tears Can Be a GOOD Thing . . .

Posted by wendyburnett on February 17, 2010


I haven’t been able to cry in months… It’s just all been too much, too hard. I’ve spent hours in bed on the heating pads (not mine, I can’t afford to buy one) staring at the wall or ceiling, feeling the tears in a knot in my throat; in my dry, aching eyes; unable to release them (yes, Ginny, I’m back to the “ten-second cry.”)

Today, thanks to a very dear friend, my tears are free again. Her new post, “Is This It?” is so accurate, so much my experience lately, that I have nothing to add. For me, lately, the answer to that question has been, “yes, this is it, this is all there is, all there ever will be;” and the only prayer I’ve had is, “Please, please just let it be over soon.” I don’t really care any more HOW that ending comes, whether it’s a job for one of us that actually provides enough income to LIVE instead of barely survive, or whether it’s the end of everything, as long as it ends. (Amazingly enough, I’m not suicidal, just physically and emotionally exhausted, and waiting for the day I CAN’T do it any more, the day that waking up and getting out of bed is just TOO hard and I let down all the people I love and who depend on me.)

Thank you Big Little Wolf, for reminding me, once again, that this ISN’T it, that the pain and exhaustion always ease eventually, and that there is always hope.

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Posted in Chronic Illness, Stress | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

An Award?? Oh My!

Posted by wendyburnett on February 15, 2010

When I got home from work last night and got done with all the “necessities,” (you know the drill – dinner, laundry, dishes, etc.) I decided to check my blog surfer and see what my friends had to say this weekend. Imagine my surprise when I found my name listed in one of the posts! I knew that Jolene, over at Graceful Agony, was getting a “Sugar Doll Award” because I’d read Deanna’s post listing her picks, but I never expected that Jolene would choose me as one of the folks she passed it on to.

I’m honored and amazed that Jolene chose me. I haven’t known her long, but she is quickly becoming a dear friend. I’m totally impressed by her ability to stay positive (I haven’t posted in a week because I’m stuck in one of those totally negative spaces I get in sometimes, and I knew I couldn’t write without that negativity bleeding through,) and her ability to put into words what so many of us feel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Blaming the “Victim” of Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on February 7, 2010

I was reading a post about blaming the victims of rape on Virginia Woods’ blog yesterday, and it made me think. “Victims” of chronic illnesses frequently get blamed for their illness as well, especially if they have something that isn’t very well understood by the medical community, like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Victim blaming isn’t as common within the medical community when it comes to mental health issues like PTSD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but out in the “real world;” family, friends, and acquaintances frequently blame the mentally ill for their symptoms. (Have you ever been told to “just stop thinking about it and it will go away” or “you didn’t have a problem until you started seeing a therapist?” How about, “you don’t have anything to be stressed (or depressed) about,” or “I’m tired (or in pain) too, and it doesn’t stop ME from doing what I need to do.” I have, and I expect that I will again.)

Healthy people seem to have the idea that those of us with chronic invisible illnesses can control or eliminate our symptoms with willpower. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

One of Those Days . . .

Posted by wendyburnett on February 5, 2010


It’s one of those nights again . . . One of the ones where the pain is so bad that sleep is impossible, and the muscle twitching is even worse. It feels like my muscles are trying to squirm out of my skin, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

FibroFLARE

Posted by wendyburnett on January 28, 2010


Flaring is a bitch. Not sometimes, but always. With fibromyalgia, being tired is a fact of life, no matter what you do; but during a flare it’s ten times worse. If you have fibro, you know exactly what I mean, but if you don’t, there’s no way you could possibly imagine what it feels like. The exhaustion is like trying to move through molasses up to your neck, and no matter how much you sleep, you never feel like you’ve slept at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Is it Boredom, or Is it Depression?

Posted by wendyburnett on January 18, 2010


Do you ever find yourself staring into the computer, irritated because none of your friends are available to “talk,” saying “I’m so bored” even though you have a thousand things you could be doing? I have a list as long as my arm of things I WANT to get done, things I enjoy doing as well as those that just NEED to be taken care of, and I can’t pry myself away from the computer.

I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes, flipping from Twitter to Facebook to IRC to my email, then on to the blogs I follow; but before you say I’m addicted to social networking you should know that I frequently go for days without checking any of those (well, except for Facebook. I will admit that I AM addicted to one of the FB games called Farmville, but today even THAT is boring.)

On days that I’m not “bored” I spend most of my time doing the “have to’s” and popping onto the computer, reading, writing, or resting in between. Today, even books don’t tempt me, nor does researching any of the many writing projects I’m working on. This is a very bad sign, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alternative Treatments, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »