I had a really hard day today. One of the hardest days I’ve had in a long time.
Diverticulitis is kicking my ass.
It’s not the stomach pain anymore. That’s totally gone.
It’s the side effects of the antibiotics I’ve been taking.
They’ve been brutal for me.
And no need to start bombarding me with all the horrendous side effects and personal horror stories surrounding diverticulitis and antibiotics.
I know what the side effects are because I’m experiencing a lot of them.
I’ve read all the warnings. I’ve done all the research. I’m in all the Facebook groups.
And yes, there are diverticulitis Facebook groups.
There really is a Facebook group for everything.😂
Anyway, I spent a lot of time crying today.
A LOT OF TIME CRYING.
Crying out of frustration and exhaustion and discomfort.
And self-created shame and guilt.
Because I’ve been beating myself up for how my body and brain are responding to all of this.
You should be able to handle this.
You are such a wimp.
It’s not like you’re getting chemo.
What is wrong with you?
So here’s my reminder to myself. A reminder I needed many, many times today.
Nothing is wrong with me.
I mean besides having diverticulitis, nausea, insomnia and a raging yeast infection.
If I am struggling I am struggling.
I don’t need to qualify my struggle.
I don’t need to have it worse than someone else to be suffering. Or to justify my suffering.
And I don’t need to justify anything to anyone either.
I don’t need to prove to anybody that I really have a reason to be upset.
I don’t need them to understand it.
And that’s a good thing.
Because you can’t understand it if you’ve never had it.
You can’t comprehend it unless you’ve lived it.
When my cousin was diagnosed with the same thing 11 years ago, I was like Oh Man that’s a bummer.
And then I went about living my life without giving it much thought after that.
Who knows. Maybe this is the Universe’s way of telling me to be more empathetic and understanding.
My cousin was the first person I texted when all this happened last week because I knew she understood what I was going through.
But even still, our mutual experiences with this digestive disease are not the same.
Because we aren’t the same.
Our bodies and our pasts and our medical histories and our relationships and our financial situations and our personal lives and our sleep habits and our eating habits and our exercise habits and our jobs and our commutes and our routines are not the same.
I spent a lot of time comparing myself to other people today and then beating myself up for not being as strong as them because what I’m going through right now isn’t as difficult as what they are going through.
This did nothing to help me and only got me more and more upset to the point where I was crying so hard I was almost hyperventilating.
Then a good friend of mine said to me, stop comparing yourself to others.
She was right.
I don’t have to qualify my discomfort so it can be approved by other people.
If I am struggling, I can just be struggling.
Even if someone else would not be struggling to the same degree I am under the same circumstances.
And I know from an outside perspective this might seem silly. Because I know in my body and in my heart that I am not a wuss.
I’ve done some hard shit. I’ve made it through some really crappy seasons of my life. I can tolerate a lot of pain.
I’m not a wuss.
So if I am struggling today, I can just be struggling.
And if you are struggling and beating yourself up for it also, well…
I just wanted to remind you that you can just be struggling, too.