I think that’s where I feel, on a scale of 0 to 100. Maybe 45.

I should clarify and say that means overall. If my average “I feel OK” is 50, then I feel somewhere around 40-45 in terms of how I feel overall. Definitely still worse than average. But not completely tanked.

I cancelled physical therapy this week, explaining to my therapist how hard a time I was having and how miserable I felt. Given the precious few number of PT appointment insurance doles out, it seems better to save them for when I can really get some use out of them.  My PT said she understood, and that it sounded like it’d be better to keep trying next week, when I feel better.

If I feel better.

I’ve done some digging on people going off the kind of medication I was on, and it turns out that there’s all kinds of miserable side effects that may last for weeks. Some people write that they’re worried that the side effects of going off are their new normal. Unless they go back on the medication again, that is.

That really scares me. Sometimes, I feel like the human race is just playing around with chemicals, having no actual idea of how they impact people, and what the long-term results of them are. Here, take a pill, you’ll feel better in the short term. In the long-term, your body may become addicted to it; we don’t know that for certain and we refuse to acknowledge how much genetics and environment each play a role in the side effects and long-term effects. Including permanent side effects.

Buuuuuut, since many of us have an insecurity complex about not being in control, and me giving you a pill gives both of us the illusion that we have a higher level of control over our well-being than we actually do, you should just take this and hopefully it’ll help, thus confirming our grasping, desperate belief that we have control.

Sigh. What a mess.

My sharpness of mind has faded somewhat. I think I’m still much better than I was on the medication (I’d have put myself at a range of 20-30 then). But the improvement – much like the overall health improvements I’m feeling from going off of the medication – is temporary and fades as the day goes on. It is my hope that as time passes, more of that sharpness will come back, and my endurance for getting through the day will improve. Right now, I make it ’til mid afternoon before I start to fade. And I don’t mean that three o’clock “I need a snack” feeling. I’m talking a slow, heavy exhaustion that makes getting through the last few hours of the day hard. When I get home, I spent an hour or two resting, then get up to cook dinner, eat, and maybe do something easy and fun, like play cards or a game with Jon.

This is actually a vast improvement over the past few months. Since late last year, I would be completely exhausted by early afternoon. I would work assuming that I won’t get much done the last three hours of the day and save all the easy stuff for then (plus leave early as much as possible). After I got home, I’d be too wiped out to do anything more than reheat something easy and lay on the couch. And then I’d go to bed.

But now…I actually have the energy to cook something slightly more complicated than dumping pasta into boiling water and heating some frozen veggies in the microwave. And I have the energy to play a game with Jon. Or work on a project of my own. Or even have sex. 🙂

It’s still hard. It’s still a large contrast to Pre-Chronic Illness Liz. I used to be able to work a full day, then either go out after work, or go home at work on any number of projects for hours. Not every, single day. There were days I went home, put on some music, and draped myself across the bedroom divan (bought specifically for me to drape myself across when I was in a certain kind of mood), drinking wine and zoning out. But most days, I did things. Got shit done. Had awesome home improvement projects that I loved working on. Organized cool things to do with my friends and/or Jon. Went thrift shopping for hours in search of one particular perfect item of clothing, and didn’t give up until I found it.

I’m nowhere near there. But I can’t deny that I seem to be a few small steps closer to there than I was months ago. I can rest for an hour or two now, and have the energy to do more with my day.

If only I felt better about that. I feel…numb. Not excited. Not hopeful. I still can’t bring myself to go to the gym. I’m not working on my physical therapy exercises enough to more forward. I’m stuck. Treading water. Feeling empty on the inside.

I guess I’ll have something to talk about in therapy next week.


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polyamorist, cat-lover, hopeless optimist when I'm not being a firm realist.

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