Reprinted with the kind permission of Leah Tyler and Chronicles of Fibro
I have a bone to pick with people who aren't moody. People who wake up in the same smiling mood every day and proceed to go about their business in precisely the same manner as they did the day before. As if nothing's changed. As if it isn't a new day fraught with new challenges and new opportunities and new situations at hand. How is it possible? How has life insulated them from the ups and downs it hurls at so many others? How do they not react when it does? I surmise the non-moody of this world have either suppressed their actual feelings in order to create stability in their own lives or genuinely don't experience shifts in their outlook, perspective, hormones, chemicals, or the bevy of other things that make me go from zero to sixty in 2.2 seconds.
Sometimes I wake up crying: my eyes wet with tears, my heart bursting with anguish, my body riddled with pain. On those days, my mood is very different than when I wake up dry-eyed. Sometimes I wake up angry: either I'm pissed off at the world and my inability to fit into it or mad at whatever person did something to drive that point home. If I can contain my anger, which means it's not flare-induced, those are usually rather productive days for me. Nothing fuels my fire faster than fury, that's for sure. But when it's a flare stoking those flames, my efforts at productivity usually leave me scatterbrained and running in fifty directions–rendering me exhausted and utterly useless. And in a rather unhappy mood, seeing as I'm reminded of how little control I have over my own life. Now sometimes I wake up happy. It does actually happen. For a few years, I woke up happy most every day. Then I lost my grip on this illness and my happiness went away. Now I'm back to the mixed bag of not knowing what me I'm going to get when I wake up in the morning. It's exhausting.
But back to those non-moody people, which I have clearly established I am not. They have somehow set the standard in society and are really screwing it up for the rest of us. See my moodiness is considered a weakness, a flaw, something I am criticized for. Really, I'm just a human being doing what human beings do–being imperfect. Yet the fact that all I'm doing is feeling my feelings tells me the problem isn't with me. No, I absolutely cannot take out my moodiness on other people. They didn't create my reality and aren't responsible for fixing it. I am.
But I've kinda had it. I'm sick of lying when people ask me how I am. I'm sick of telling everyone I'll be fine in order to make them feel better, even though in that moment the world is coming down around me. I'm sick of the expectation that I'm supposed to be smiling and happy at all times, regardless of the flu-like symptoms ravaging my body, or the three hours of half-sleep I got the night before, or the fact that I'm in so much pain I can't move. I'm sick of not being allowed to be sick!
My illness is not a dirty little secret. It's my reality and sometimes it pisses me off, makes me feel physically awful, and erodes my desire to engage in life. And I react. I know this is an inconvenient truth to the non-moody of the world, but I also know there are plenty o' moodies out there, just like me.
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About the Author: Disabled at the age of twenty-eight by the mysterious illnesses chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, five years later, Leah survived two life-threatening strokes. Clinging to life and determined to change her trajectory, she embarked upon a journey to reclaim her lost health. Never easy but always worth it, Leah writes to share the reality of both embracing and overcoming a life most unexpected.