I don’t think my depression caused my illness. In fact, I actually think that my illness was, in part, responsible for my depression.
I was whacked up the side of the head with Dr. H.C.’s diagnosis not long after we found out my mom-in-law had Leukemia. Fibromyalgia has no cure, no reliable treatment and no guarantee that it won’t get worse and worse year after year.
Young woman should be dreaming about sexy lovers and careers and babies, not wondering if a life-long sickness would make it impossible to enjoy any of those things.
When I was first diagnosed with Fibro, I spent hours questioning my capabilities as a mom. How much would my fatigue interfere with a child’s life? What would she have to give up to take care of me? I agonized over this question: is it fair to knowingly bring a baby into a family with a sick mom? Is it really fair? Would she have a good life?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all kids with sick parents don’t have good lives. But I’m sure things like soccer and ballet and weekend road trips to see grandpa are difficult or impossible.
So, fear + long, hopeless road + feeling powerless = depression.
When I was depressed, I wouldn’t have labelled it as depression; I would have said that I was sad. But looking back, I know that I was actually depressed.
Everything was coloured by my sad, angry, and eventually bitter point of view. I had emotional heartburn. The fire that shot out if my mouth burned a path through my world.
The fire created a barrier between me and the people in my life. At the time, the barrier made me feel safe, but after thinking about it for a while, I’ve come to realise that isolation is a bit like not existing at all.
At the very beginning of this blog, I wrote “Intelligence, in the real world, is measured by the ability to communicate”. Really, our entire life is about communicating. We don’t exist without a connection to the people around us.
If we had nobody to talk to all day, I think we would lose our voices. If we had nobody to share our love and hate and fear and hope with, those things would also cease to exist. Without a you, there is no me.
That’s why my isolation, even though it was partially self-induced, was the most tragic part of my sick years. I didn’t really exist.
What do you think?