Stress often self induced

Recently I put up a post about sinking into depression and seeking medical help for it. I have always believed and stressed life should be lived to the fullest. If you are in that depressed state of mind it is impossible to live that life.
Depression, that state of mind sneaks up on you or at least it did on me. Once I realized where I was I sought help, what ever it takes to really live life is what I am going to do. Enduring life is not an option for me nor should it be for anyone.
There is a stigma attached to mental illness. There should not be. The brain is but another body organ no less susceptible to illness than any other organ.
I know that, yet still felt maybe a slight bit of embarrassment in admitting or openly stating I was suffering from it. I think that comes more from the fact that to a degree I “pride” myself in being “Mr. Positive Thinker”. Over the years I have faced some serious medical challenges. Yes, some of them have put me down on my butt. But given a little time I have seemingly been able to get my head back together find some sort of positive spin, accept the situation and move on with living life be as it may. I got to the point I was feeling sorry for myself.
Now I live with the knowledge that, I am defying all the odds/statistics and that I may well not see tomorrow. That can be hard to live with. I treasure my life. I have a good life but I know I am going to loose it much sooner than later. I allow myself some grieving time each day. Then I give my head a shake saying OK, enough of that. I love my life and am going to spend the rest of the day living and enjoying it the best I can. I had become pretty good at doing that some days it is more difficult to give my head that shake depending on how I am feeling physically that day.
My ever decreasing physical limitations I struggle with. Vi has always been here to pick up the slack for me. She never complains just does what needs to be done. She is more understanding and accepting of my limitations than I am.
Vi over the past 1 1/2 years has had her own severe medical issues. She reached the point where she could only walk 10 or 15 steps before severe pain in her legs forced her to sit down. Ok, now it is my turn to step up and take over doing what she couldn’t. I was physically unable to, that hit me hard. My moral plummeted the more I watched her struggle carrying on in spite of her pain. Oh, she vetoed the idea of a house keeper. If I tried to do something she would be just telling me to sit down saying “the pain in my leg is not the same as your chest/heart pain plus the doctors have told me to walk as much as I can”. Now I tried to rationalize that. I would be sitting there knowing my heart rate at rest was in the 130’s, my heart could be beating so hard it felt like it could fly right out of my chest. I know any activity will send the heart rate higher. I can rationalize all that in my head. Yet I could not rid myself of the feelings of inadequacy or the guilt of just sitting her struggle. The more I beat myself up the lower the spirits sank
Others that were not as aware of my condition as is Vi, were maybe not quite so understanding. This really compounded my feelings of guilt. They just did not understand.
That is all in the past.

5 Responses to Stress often self induced

  1. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – I’m glad you’re saying ‘that’s all in the past’ and you’re being able to live each day as best you can, without stressing yourself any further. Vi understands, you understand and frankly until people find themselves in situations – none of us know what is possible or what is not – then we (might) realise how strong that person is and how well they are managing an extremely difficult situation.

    My thoughts to you both … living as best you can and enjoying being alive is the essential … anything else takes life away – and as you say you don’t want that … enjoy the Spring springing forth and keep cheerful and upbeat .. not easy -but you are amazing .. all the very best – Hilary

  2. Martha says:

    Thinking of you both.

  3. C says:

    There will always be people who think they know everything about your situation and try to give unwanted advice. Sometimes it’s best to smile, nod and disregard them as silly know-it-alls. 🙂

  4. M T McGuire says:

    thanks for posting that. Here in Europe, after the Germanwings crash, we’re all taking a long hard look at mental illness and the issues surrounding it. You are right, there still is a stigma and it’s often very hard to fess up to it even when you know there’s something wrong. Delighted to read the words ‘that is all in the past’.

    Lots of love


  5. rangewriter says:

    Bill, I can completely understand how depressing it must be to want to do so much but to be really restricted from even trying. And then to feel guilt about your enforced disability only adds to the misery. I wonder how you have pulled yourself out of the doldrums. This sounds like a situation where mere medicine would be either inappropriate or might have bad side effects. How DO you pull yourself up and keep going? I admire your spirit so much.

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