I am 35 and have dealt with health issues my entire life. I was born with an immune deficiency disorder, and in my teen years was when it switched to autoimmune issues and the gazillion tests began. I have also dealt with mental health issues, mainly depression and anxiety, most of my life.
Throughout the years of seeing doctors for my numerous symptoms and finding nothing from all the tests i got done, I practiced self care. I’ve on and off improved my nutrition (have had many setbacks there lol). I have regularly worked out for years. I also have a strong faith in Jesus and have quiet time with him every morning through prayer, devotions and the Bible, and journaling. I have also been involved in recovery since 2017 for my mental health.
Over the past couple of years, my symptoms seemed to be rapidly getting worse. Back in my twenties I mentioned fibro to a doctor, and she said, “let’s not look for something that’s not there.” Other doctors in more recent years mentioned it being a possibility. Finally, after seeing a new rheumatologist in the place we moved to in Tennessee, he gave me the official diagnosis back in December 2021.
At first, I was greatly relieved just to have an answer! At the same time, I felt discouraged because i had basically already been doing the things that are recommended with no real relief.
I’ve now come to a point of feeling hopeless for the return of quality of life. It is so affected now. I have 2 kids, ages 7 and 9, and a husband (who is very supportive!). I didn’t work for nearly 8 years after having my first one. I went back to work on 2020 after my husband lost his job. Working retail, which is most of what I’ve done. I found i couldn’t do full time hours anymore.
Last year, i finally got a job in my field of passion. Mental health. I have a strong calling to help others with similar things I’ve been through. It’s a residential treatment center for teens, the age i was in the prime of my depression. It was hard and a lot to adjust to, but i finally have a job i love.
However, even only working 18-24 hours a week with only 6-8 hour shifts (where i actually get to make my own schedule!), i find myself utterly exhausted and unable to do much else. It’s gotten hard to clean, to go out places in the community, and do extra things. It’s even gotten hard to go to my recovery group! To go to church.
What’s worse is this mental battle i go through with myself. I’ve downplayed my symptoms all my life saying it was normal. Now that I’m acknowledging my pain, i find myself thinking that i only brought this on myself because of how poorly i handle stress and trauma. And that I’m only getting worse for psychological reasons. I’m STILL downplaying it.
At one point, i worked 2 jobs full time. I jogged 2-4 miles almost every day. I did intense strength training. Now i can’t move up and do what i want to do because i can’t work full time. I can’t finish school and become a therapist because i can’t handle the load with everything else. The only working out i can do now without flaring up is walking and yoga. And i am lacking in my community because it’s gotten so hard to go out on top of my mental health issues.
I am just feeling alone and frustrated in this. I needed a place to vent where people understand and know this battle, including the mental battle. I have a good head on my shoulders and have a lot of recovery tools, but i am suffering right now.
Thank you for reading this far