I’m So Angry….

The problem with being angry is that it eats at you, little by little. The longer you are mad at a situation or person, the more of you erode away.

The problem with being diagnosed with a chronic condition is that you may feel angry. Angry about having the illness, mad about how your life is going to change, furious because it’s happened to you, and you are a nice person darn it.

It’s natural to feel angry, hurt, and upset when you get this kind of diagnosis. I spent time and energy in anger, which was directed squarely at lupus. In case you are wondering, all it did was wear me done.

You see, lupus doesn’t care if you are angry with it. Lupus shrugs its shoulders and carries on being lupus. There are times when my anger seemed to fuel a lupus flare into a raging inferno. A vast flare that took a long time to get under control.

The key to living with a chronic condition is to move past the angry phase, to understand how the illness responds to various emotions and pressures. Once you can do this, you can find a way to manage the disease while you handle life.

Emotional

Someone once said if you threw all your problems into a pile with everyone else’s, you would pick your old problems again because you know they aren’t that bad. They are a little like old friends in some ways.

Whoever said this clearly did not consider lupus. Living with lupus is a challenge on the good days and a massive problem on the bad ones. On top of that, this condition waxes and wanes like the moon, meaning the symptoms come and go, leaving a patient to wonder what each day will bring.

It isn’t unusual to feel unhappy, confused, frustrated, angry, or depressed when managing life with lupus since it can affect every aspect of life ever.

Just like the symptoms can come and go, the negative feelings and emotions can come and go. Most patients will have moments of feeling lost or hopeless. Some patients may develop depression while navigating life with lupus.

Regardless of whether it is clinical depression or just a dark period, you can get help for this. Life with lupus does not mean a life filled with anything but negative emotions and moments.

Violence Restrained And What Happens Next

Beloved went to visit his family, I stayed home because I wasn’t up for the trip and given my new treatment for lupus I  need to be careful around people who are sick.  One of his nieces was just getting over a cold so I didn’t feel it would be wise to risk it.

So while he went off to visit family, I attempted to work on my calm, peace and napping.  According to warden tracking device my attempts at peace and calm actually increase my work on focus.  And attempting to nap turns into activity apparently.  It could be that my warden is a bit confused or I’m confused at what these activities are supposed to be like.  Of course there is also a bit of, umm, what you may call contrarian behavior on my part!  Just a wee touch mind! 😉

While I was in my attempting to nap phase, (I wonder if I always had this idea with napping or did I just get anti-napping at some stage in life?), I received a text message from one of Beloved’s sisters.  The text started with “we had a great visit” and  then “he’s on his way home and we didn’t want to alarm you so…” (Pretty sure it’s stuff like this that doesn’t help in the napping department, or the calm if you get right down to it!)

after a brief period of nothing, a picture of Beloved came onto my screen.  Beloved with a swollen cheek and a black eye.  Beloved who looked as if he had been assaulted.  Because he had been.  By his almost sixteen year old nephew.  A nephew who has violent rages that are set off by just about anything.  Or so it seems to me because I don’t understand autism.  And the nephew has autism.

Now once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, or was it a long long time ago…anyway at one stage in his life Beloved trained in boxing.  He also worked as a bouncer.  Just not in the same phase.  The boxing came first, the bouncing came later on.

The picture I saw looked like a man who never figured out how to move and doge.  Bobbing and weaving seem to have left Beloved’s skill set.  But when he came home, he assured me it wasn’t for lack of bobbing or weaving.  It happened when he and his brother-in-law were trying to restrain the violence.

Apparently at some point the nephew became frustrated and started throwing objects.  At people.  Thankfully the baseball teams aren’t beating a path to his doorway although I pretty sure the Speed his throws things at are impressive.  He just needs to work on accuracy, but no one is lining up to give him this skill.  That could become a deadly mistake.

After running out of items to throw, the boy decided that hitting, kicking and biting people were in order.  It was at this point, before blood was drawn or a successful bite landed in human flesh, Beloved and his brother-in-law moved to operation restraint.  Successful this time.  But at some point someone won’t be able to restrain him and then what?

What happens to the boy?  What happens to any one who gets in his way?  How do we protect him from himself and still protect everyone else without taking him away from opportunities and society?  He isn’t even fully grown yet.  Do the rages get stronger as his strength grows?  What happens if it gets out of hand?  If someone gets hurt, especially if someone who doesn’t neerstand him gets hurt…or worse?

Of Two Minds

I recently read an article which indicated there was a link between smoking and serious mental illness like schizophrenia.  The article indicated that there was a substantial increase in the smoking habits of people diagnosed with schizophrenia against a control group of people without the illness.

So clearly if you increase the amount you smoke you will end up with a mental illness.  Or is it that the mentally ill smoke too much?  Some would say the results of two very different kinds, but that’s a poor attempt at a pun.  Schizophrenia isn’t exactly having multiple personalities, and yet somehow this  idea  was played out in the article.  As though the misinformation was acceptable if it prevented people from smoking.

The fact is some of society seems to be far more comfortable maintaining the myths around mental illness.  In this article it was clear that smoking must be stopped and if we use mental illness as a scare tactic, well that’s okay.  Let’s not worry about how this impacts those with mental illness.

Of course there are cultures where those who have a mental illness are considered to be special in a sense of having gifts.  Gifts at allow these people to open up spiritually in a way that others simply cannot.  And these gifts aren’t a bad thing.  Some cultures support the individual who happens to be going through a rough patch and then when the person is “well again” life goes on as if the person had just recovered from a minor bout of the flu.

Years ago, in Western medicine, someone with mental illness was to be fears, locked away and all sorts of harsh treatments were attempted to cure.  but we are modern people, we are compassionate people so surely we don’t treat the mentally ill this way any more right?

Well if you don’t consider the strong stigma that exists around mental illness then perhaps.  And then again perhaps not when you consider language that we use and the way we consider people who are depressed as being weak.  So you tell me, how far have we come when it comes to mental health?  Especially when you compare how we deal with people who have been diagnosed with cancer versus those who have been diagnosed with a form of mental illness.