The Warrior

by Deborah Portillo 4 months ago in coping

Invisible illness

The Warrior

Today is like any other ordinary morning. The same repeated pattern of hitting the snooze button, the same difficulty climbing out of bed. The same routine followed every day, and every dreadful Monday. As I lay here staring at the beautiful cursive words glued to my wall, I think of him; my beautiful husband. I think of the one man, and boy I have ever truly loved, as I lay here on his side of the bed. His smell is gone. All that's left are his personal belongings. Just like an ordinary bullshit weekday, I must get up and go to work. I must face the long commute, that at times will flow smoothly, while other times, tests my patience of stop and go every two seconds.

Beep... beep... beep... beep... goes the alarm for the final time, informing me there's no more snoozing. It's seven AM, I'll most likely be late again. I'm pretty much always late. My mornings always start the same, just as my nights end the same; restless. I hit the snooze button on my alarm every ten mins after 6:30 AM. I am awakened by "Tennessee Whiskey" sung by Chris Stapleton. I slowly stretch my aching stiff body out of bed as I lay there staring at my wall, or I stretch to the view of the ceiling as I highly express to my kitties, "I don't want to get up. I don’t want to go to work."

You see I have fibromyalgia. I'm always in pain. I always ache. I'm always stiff. My legs feel like they're weighed down by a ton of bricks. At first, I use to describe them as if they were swollen, as if I was pregnant, but the docs would say, "they look normal to me." How is that? When I take my socks off, the itchy impressions of my socks are visible. On my way home, in an hour and a half of traffic, my legs literally have muscle spasms or an itchy tingling in different areas every day. By the time I go to sleep, I'm either having severe pain in the hips and knees, or my legs feel like tiny neurons are firing throughout the legs, forcing me to get up and walk around. Only I'm too tired to get up. But, if I do get up, they feel at ease. Once I lay back down it’s the same reoccurring feeling. Then I can't sleep due to hip discomfort or restless legs. Now, it's as though this aching cycle has traveled to my hands, and now my elbows. If I stress, I ache. If I worry, I ache. If I'm sad, I ache, and all these feelings lead to aggravation, depression, and/or anxiety. Aggravation, because you may look healthy and pain free, but you're not. But, one must work. You must work to financially survive, and you must work to provide financially. With depression, you're sad, tired, and hate feeling the constant aches or pain, which lead to irritability. Anxiety, your nerves are constantly on over drive. You either feel as though you're twitching on the inside, or you feel as though you want to rip your skin off; or better yet, jump out of it. Not to mention you never feel well, you're either fatigued, aching, or emotional. Over all, it SUCKS! You avoid going out because you feel bloated, and nothing feels comfortable other than your good ol' PJ’s or sweats. Bras most of the time fit fine in the morning, but once noon comes around, you feel it slowly tightening and suffocating you. You ache from constantly standing, or your back and hips hurt from constantly sitting. Most of the time I just want to be home. Where I can be restless, irritable, exhausted, depressed, and aching in my own comfort zone. Where stress sits outside the door. Where my illness then attacks me with temperature levels. You see, the cold triggers all over aches, and sometimes they're so severe, I must smoke pot to relax my body. The heat soothes me, but if it gets too hot, I get sluggish, sleepy, and exhausted. This illness literally sucks everything out of you. What you eat can trigger abdominal pains, which result in IBS or diverticulitis. The minute I must pick up something from the ground, such hesitation, the chest literally feels as though I'm being squeezed by a giant grizzly as I straighten back up. Lately, the depression has overcome my emotions. I miss my husband, I miss my children, I'm lonely, then I'm not. This illness, it fools those looking in from the outside. They see me busting my ass for a dime I endure, but they don't see the hurt, the aches, or the struggles I am in. They see me smile, and hear me say, “I'm fine.” But, in truth I’m crying inside, wishing for it to stop. When they ask, " how’s it going?" I reply, "well, I'm here." They think I'm being sarcastic. But no, I'm just being honest, I'm telling them the truth, because overall things could be much worse. Like I said before, it's the same repeated struggles. Every day is the same body aches, every night is the same restless sleep. Think of it this way, the movie "Ground Hog Day." Only we will continue in this loop, until someone figures out what makes this invisible illness tick, and that’s if anyone is even looking into it.

How does it work?
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Deborah Portillo
A beginner writer just trying to clear her mind of all the thoughts and nightmares that come at night. 

See all posts by Deborah Portillo