I have to vent about this. I’m sorry if this offends anyone that has asked me this before, but even if you aren’t being rude, it does hurt to constantly be asked this question, when I do everything I can just to get some joy out of the everyday life of being in pain 24/7.
First of all, I have literally struggled through out my ENTIRE life with going to school and working. When I was 13 years old my symptoms started. Ever since then, which has been 10 years now, has been a struggle with everything. Not only did I go to school and work, I was on a dance team, tutored others, volunteered at a place for Alzheimer’s patients, and so much more. I have always been a very busy person and loading too much on my plate.
When things got really bad when I was 17, I still continued to do school and work while hiding my pain and symptoms quite well (since I had been doing it most of my life). No one noticed how bad I was hurting ever, and when they did find out, they were in shock. I continued going for my degree in college, went away for college, had to COME BACK HOME because I was so sick (which was very embarrassing, especially since I had no true diagnosis). I came back home and went to a local college near my house. I tried to keep going for my nursing degree but then quickly found out that all I had worked to hide and to cover up, was clearly not so easy to hide anymore. I would have trouble driving to school, let alone sitting through a 4 hour class. I tried desperately to hold onto going to school but I just couldn’t. This was heartbreaking for me because I had never really “given up” on anything before in my life and to me, that’s what it was even though I know I had no choice. Thankfully, I only had one more credit I needed to get my AA as my health kept spiraling downhill. I completed that one online, but it was a lot of work. And to be honest, my mom did most of the work for me so that I could pass that last class. I accomplished my AA about a year ago and I am very proud of myself. I aimed myself higher to achieve my masters or something along those lines, but to me that AA I have is like my Master degree because it took so much out of me and I barely was able to finish school just to get that far.
From there, I stopped going to school and working because my energy levels have completely deteriorated and so has my focus and health in general. I have way to much confusion and I am way to out of it and way to sick with all my symptoms and pain to go to school, work or even take online classes! I tried taking online classes a few months ago and it turned out miserably because I just got so stressed and overwhelmed from my health and schoolwork that it just was making me more sick with anxiety.
If you do not know this, I am still undiagnosed in a lot of aspects in my health problems, so dealing with the unknown and trying to do school was just not going to work for me. I know a lot of people who are sick still go to school, but that is them, not me. Everyone who is sick, it affects differently. Just because you can focus doesn’t mean that I can. And judging from my background history of being motivated I would say that I have tried my hardest to get where I am now, and I used to feel bad about not going to school but now I know that maybe there is something more that God wants me to do with my life.
Just because you don’t go to school doesn’t make you lazy and doesn’t make you a failure. YOU know how much you can handle, and don’t let others make you feel bad about it.
People then will say things like, “Well, I saw you went out yesterday, how come you can’t do online classes if you can go out?” What they don’t actually realize is how much I struggled just to get out of my bed and how much I struggled when I was out (did you notice me in my wheelchair, or when I constantly had to be rushed to the bathroom to get sick? Or when I was fading in and out of consciousness just sitting?). Also, we can’t just constantly sit in bed, do you know how much depression we would have? It’s already easy to get depressed (I know I get depressed often already). We have to get out of the house in order to keep SOME sanity in our lives. Do you know how hard I try to have some excitement in my life of sickness and suffering? Don’t question my “social life” or why I do certain things when you don’t know how it is to be in my shoes and what God is giving me to handle 24/7.
Another thing, do you know how hard it is to watch everyone on all these social networks going out to theme parks, concerts, trips, vacations, school and work? It’s more difficult than you know to see everyone else in life moving forward in life, doing the NORMAL things and we can’t. It tears me apart, literally breaks my heart. My friend and I were talking about how much time we are out of bed each day, do you know how many hours I spend out of bed daily? It’s pretty pathetic and it’s sad, but I push myself to even be out of bed that long. I spend on average probably about 2-3 hours out of the 24 hours of my day out of my bed. That consists of minutes here and there getting up to go to the bathroom and sometimes going out just to get some fresh air. I struggle just to leave my bed. Don’t judge what you don’t live.
I used to be that normal girl who could do anything and then I got symptoms out of my control that turned into something way more serious than I ever would of imagined. So please before you ask why I can’t go to school or go to work when I go out sometimes (literally 1 day out of the week if I’m lucky), please realize that I go through a lot on a daily basis and I am already pushing my limits just to breathe on a daily basis.