I’m going to collapse from the weight of my bones.
Pushing my body so hard the floor groans
I’m going to collapse from the frenzy in my mind
My thoughts hijacking my soul every time
The frustration, the emotion, the pain continue to climb
and finally, I fall
I would cry but I feel so disconnected from it all
No tears come, so I lay on the floor
The light at the end of the tunnel is not there anymore
I call this healing fatigue, call it what you may
But at one time or another everyone has felt this way
When the illness stubbornly won’t break away
After medications and therapies fail to relieve
the pain in our core that others won’t believe
Getting up seems impossible
you are glued to the floor
Your hope rapidly moving towards the door
But then you get up as the moment has passed
I must carry on because that’s what is askedORIGINAL POEM
My heart shatters knowing this type of breakdown is a common occurrence for those with chronic illness. Day after day the pain and frustration compound, and the body needs to rid itself of this suffering. It is natural. Instead of a breakdown, I call it a release. However, there is a lot of shame felt in these moments because we feel as if we should be dealing with our illnesses better. Some of us have had them for decades, shouldn’t we have our emotions in check by now?
Frankly, no. We have established coping strategies, but they don’t make the pain less real. It is still there, every day. Let’s eliminate the shame. We all have a 100% success rate of getting through these moments and carrying on to create joy in our lives. Shame occurs often when we feel alone, as if no one in our situation has ever had a similar breakdown. This could not be further from the truth. Even those without chronic illness feel the weight of the world and need a breakdown every now and then. It is healthy for all of us.
I asked people with illness about their thoughts when they “break.” Here is a video of their answers. You are not alone and releasing your pain is nothing to be ashamed of.