Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Dark Side

After 28 days without a crash (28 days!!), I went down hard yesterday.This isn't one of those mysterious crashes; it was very predictable. I did a massive shopping trip to Target and Trader Joe's on Friday. I hadn't been there in a couple of months, and we were out of everything. I was on my feet for two hours, pushing overloaded carts through the stores and hefting big bags into the car and then into the house.

Even though I knew I would almost certainly crash, I was in good spirits when the telltale symptoms began on Friday night. This was expected, and I knew I have been unusually well this past month.

I felt truly horrible on Saturday and spent most of the day in bed. Then, sometime Saturday afternoon, the Dark Side took over. My usual sunny disposition deserted me, and I was overcome by feelings of despair and self-pity. Dark thoughts clouded my head: "Why me?", "I'm sick of my life being so difficult," "I hate living this way."

My kids, whose presence is usually comforting to me, were suddenly irritating to me. I yelled at them, adding Bad Mommy guilt to the cauldron of black emotions. I felt a desperate need to escape - from my life, from my family, from my own body.

Despite the fact that I know this kind of sudden depression is caused by a biochemical shift in brain hormones that often happens when I crash badly, it still has the power to completely overtake me when it hits.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better, emotionally if not physically, with the bright sunshine making last night's dark despair seem like a bad dream. I'm going to try very hard today to just rest and recover because I know that the Dark Side is still lurking, waiting for me to do too much and cross that invisible line again.

"Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
I will try again tomorrow."


Knittah said...

That dark side is so common to the CFS experience, and is definitely physiological as well as emotional. Who wouldn't feel Dark when dealing with this illness?

Anonymous said...

I had the same "dark side" come over me yesterday. I've been in a CFS crash for over a week with very little improvement.

Every night I think - when I wake up tomorrow, I WILL be better.

The next day comes and my body tricks me for a couple of hours and then I'm right back in bed.

Sue Jackson said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through such a bad time right now. Those long crashes are the worst. They seem never-ending when you're in the midst of one. Everyone with CFS knows what it's like - you're not alone. One day soon you will wake up and you WILL feel better - hang in there -


Anonymous said...

Thanks Sue.

Thanks also for commenting on my blog, I'm honored. :)

Anonymous said...

Good to see you blogging again, Sue! I enjoyed reading about your visit with the "non-believer" doc. Hopefully, she'll start to think more about it.

I had an urgent visit also with a non-primary doc and told her about CFS and the Stanford trial. When my labs that she ordered came in the mail, she wrote on it that she would look more into the trial for her other patients!