As someone who lives with a chronic illness, I am constantly battling the ever-present challenges of both the disease and life, in general, the best that I can.
Like many out there, I often feel as though I have little place within a society that is so resistant to those with disabilities, and that oftentimes would rather sweep the issue under the rug, and pretend it's all just in our heads.
In my personal situation, I am also faced with the additional challenges that come from being low income.
How do I pay for my health care?
How do I make the multiple appointments with specialists/doctors, when I cannot afford to take time away from work, either due to the added financial strain from wages lost or simply due to the constant worry that it might cost me my job?
How do I afford the gamut of never-ending tests, prescriptions, and treatments those specialists are adamant that I need, in order to function on a somewhat normal level?
Add to the mix, that I am also a chronic insomniac of over 30 years now, and it's easy to understand why most days simply leave me feeling a mixture of exhaustion, frustration, and a sense of defeat, more than anything else.
Like a lot of others, I have been left in the unfortunate situation of having to often put treating my illness on the back burner, in order to navigate the rest of life's daily challenges.
For me, and many others within the community, I am left feeling as though I have become part of the ever-increasing "throwaway society" that has sprung up across the nation....those of us that have an invisible illness of varying nature, that the rest of society has no real place for, and whom society would rather just pretend don't exist.
I feel expendable
Living with this illness leaves me feeling as though the rest of the world sees me as expendable or as a throwaway individual. An eyesore that is best being simply cast aside, rather than be dealt with in any truly effective manner.
It has left me feeling as if there is not, and will never be a place where I can belong, let alone coexist with the rest of society in an effective manner.
As such, I have had to learn to adapt as best I can with virtually no outside help....seen as just another buffer, and overall another freak that nobody wants to acknowledge or interact with.
For me, the only thing that seems to work is extreme isolation from the rest of the world.
Avoiding a social life
I no longer make much attempt to cultivate friendships, so as to avoid the disappointment and ultimately intolerance that inevitably seems to follow those engagements. I no longer put much effort towards those activities that I once enjoyed before, in order to avoid the emotional duress that comes from being unable to perform those activities with the same success as I had once before.
Presently, I live the majority of my days on autopilot...I go through the motions that are a necessity, such as work and paying bills, etc. Beyond those things, I do my best to isolate and have as little to do with the rest of the world as possible.
I no longer take part in community events, group outings, or social media platforms. I don't have company over to visit, and rarely accept invitations to visit others. I work whatever menial job (or jobs) I can take, and physically perform...and have all but given up on the things that I was previously passionate about.
Finding someone who understands
There are some nights, when I lie awake for hours on the verge of tears, wishing I could find someone else that truly understands what "living" like this is like -- if it can even be called that anymore. The truth is it's more like merely existing, but in the end, I wouldn't wish this on anyone else.
In short, the combination of being poor, along with attempting to manage the day-to-day with this illness has left me feeling permanently disconnected from the world and life in general.
I often wonder if I am the only one who feels this way. My only hope is that those around me aren't too negatively affected by the changes that have occurred now from me having this disease.
Have you entered our awareness month giveaway yet?