I am an Iceberg

I am an Iceberg

I am an iceberg.  Much of what makes me who I am lies deep below the surface of what most people are able to see.  I have struggled for many years with people telling me to suck it up and make do.  So that is how I lived to live my life.  I learned to hide much of who I am below the surface where no one can see it.  I may say I’m fine when you ask how I am doing, but that’s a lie, I just don’t want to admit how shitty I feel, and how this day isn’t much different from many others, or how I can see when I tell you the truth you either have nothing to say, or come up with some halfhearted reply that doesn’t really mean much.  So I learned, how to keep that part below the surface, how to carry on and do the bare minimum so no one asks if I’m okay.  But I still feel like an iceberg,  floating in the ocean, alone, isolated, only able to show a very small part of myself.  Then when I do meet others, I still keep that part of me, that true part, hidden.  

Chronic illness can do this to a person.  You get sick of people  not believing you not okay, doctor telling you to rest and take to ibuprofen, specialist not having a clue what is wrong.  It gets old not being able to say to someone “yeah I feel good” and really mean it rather than handing them an empty shell which contains no truth.  There are days and weeks, when all I can do is take care of my dogs.  They become the sole reason for my existence because I know that if I disappeared they would suffer most because no one can love or care for them like me.  The people would go on, they would heal, they would survive.  But my dogs would not understand.  So for them I get up and keep going.  For them I rise above the surface of the water and show my whole true self.  They don’t care if I say each day, “not today guys, mom just can’t”, and cry a little because I feel like I am letting them down.  They lay by my side and lick my face and remind me they love me no matter what.   

It can be difficult to describe what it’s like to suffer with a chronic illness, to have someone ask why you can’t do something and to either answer, because I just can’t, or not want to answer at all because of the repetition.  No one wants to hear about the bad, the shitty or sad days, they want to hear about the good and happy ones.  But that is just not our reality.  More times then not the bad days outweigh the good, and finding something to be happy and positive about is constant struggle.  There are so many days I just want to give up and let my iceberg sink and just be done with all this.  I want to recede into myself and protect everyone from the negativity that is my daily life. Because if I can make a positive contribution, then why bother trying.

Because what do you do when your life was planned and goals were set, only to find out his disease has shattered the bridge you need to get to them.  I keep hoping that time will show me what I am meant to do, that if I hold on a little longer a spark will ignite again and new passion will blaze to light.  But the waiting is getting harder and harder with each day that goes by.  And with each day the wish to sleep through the day and night, grows stronger.  

If I packed up my dogs and my most needed items, and just drove away would they all be better without me?  It’s not the first time the thought has occurred to me.  I’m sure if you’re reading this it hasn’t been the first time for you either.  And like an iceberg there are days I float more above the surface, where I do a little better, and things seem a little brighter.  But there are also days when almost none of me can be seen.

If you have a friend or loved one suffering with a chronic illness, I beg you to talk to them, and tell them it’s okay to be in pain and suffer, and you love them no matter what.  Tell them they can be honest about how they feel no matter how many times they repeat the same things.  Hug them every chance you get and remind them they are needed.  Chronic illness is more then a physical disease, it becomes a mental one and can eventually lead to suicide if not treated. 



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