Failure to Thrive


I often feel like I am drowning in deep water.  As I struggle to tread water, unable to keep my head above the surface–desperate for help, I can see my loved ones watching as I continue to sink further and further, but no one even seems concerned about my current predicament and therefore makes no efforts to help me. They just keep watching me fight, unsuccessfully, for my life. Never once thinking, that all they had to do to help me, was to throw me a life-preserver.

Growing up, teachers and other mentors were constantly saying, if you work hard, you can be anything you want to be. If you put in the effort, you will be successful; you will thrive. No one ever said that even if you work hard and follow all the rules, that there would still be a chance that instead of thriving, you would be struggling to survive.

When I hear about the successes and happiness that those around me have achieved, I am reminded of the lost opportunities and dreams in my own life. Most of the time, I feel like I am on the outside looking in, but instead of a window, I am viewing the joys and successes of friends and family from behind a computer screen.  Social Media, particularly Facebook, has become one big reminder that I am 30 years old, unmarried, have no children, no career, no home or apartment to call my own (because I still live with my parents), no car, few friends, and dying parents (which will eventually lead to: no family, nowhere to live and so on and so on and so on). I feel overwhelming sadness everyday about what my life has become and what I have missed out on and will probably continue to miss out on.

When you are chronically ill, time seems to stand still. Every day is exactly the same; a never-ending cycle of pain–emotional and physical. But what is worse than the pain, is the alienation you feel from those you are suppose to be able to rely on. My “support system” has called me lazy, dramatic, an exaggerator, a liar, and  they have ignored me when I was in need. Often when you are chronically ill, you don’t look sick; thus, leading others to think that you are “faking it.” I realize that most people don’t truly understand a person’s situation until they are in it themselves, but you would think that your closest friends and family–the people who see you suffering on a regular basis, wouldn’t  be so unsympathetic.

There are so many dementions to chronic illness. Along with the pain and social alienation, is financial uncertainty, shame, and guilt. And, all dignity goes out the window when you need someone to bathe you or clean you up after going to the bathroom. Actually, it is so much worse than how I am describing it, but I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with unwanted details.

I know that I am not the only person who suffers. I know that there are people who are hurting more than I am. I also know that there is probably someone in your life (maybe yourself) who feels like they are alone; drowning in their pain and their overwhelming situation–feeling helpless.

“If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if he needs help, or would it be better to just jump in and save him from the deepening waters? The offer, whilst well-meaning and often given, ‘let me know if I can help?’ Is really no help at all.”   ~Ronald A. Rosband

For me, the only thing that keeps me from giving up on living, in my current situation,  is Hope. It only takes a spark, but once spark of hope has been ignited in a person’s soul, it is nearly impossible to extinguish.

When I am pushed to the edge, pill bottles in hand–ready to give up, Hope Whispers, “This is not the end for you!” It is in these quiet moments, when your all alone, that you must reach down deep and find the inner strength needed for you to grasp onto the promise of Hope. My personal inner strength comes from my faith in God; others might get their inner strength to push forward from their children. My motivation to survive and to eventually thrive, comes from knowing that there is a purpose for me, a plan–the knowledge that I have great love to share and give to others in need of hope. But most importantly, when I am feeling like I am drowning in overwhelming odds, I know that my lifeguard walks on water and he will rescue me!

My story isn’t over yet…

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{For anyone who is having thoughts of taking their own life, please seek help immediately! Despair can over take you. I know, because I have experienced it. But with help from trained professionals, you might figure out what you need to do, in order to let go of that kind of sadness, and move forward. But regardless of the problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself is not the answer. Please Call, 1-800-273-TALK , to talk to a counselor at a Lifeline crisis center near you; or, go to your local Hospital’s Emergency Room.}

Your story isn’t over yet either!

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One thought on “Failure to Thrive

  1. What a heartfelt and inspiring post of hope. You can feel your desperation in what you write, yet there is so much encouragement too. Your story is far from over and thankyou so much for sharing it so far! I look forward to the next update! Take care and keep strong 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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