Pushing Through the Pain

Kellie McRae avatar

by Kellie McRae |

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stages of grief, therapist, attitude, trauma


Recently, I had a very ugly flare that caused me a lot of pain. Every time I have a flare, it really sets me back — not just physically, but mentally as well. I have an increasingly harder time recovering after each flare. For so many of us, we led active lives with careers we wanted before lupus and we had fun activities that we enjoyed. Now, we sometimes hardly have enough energy to cross a room.

I recently returned to the United States for a short visit, and it’s taken me almost two weeks to recover. I am typically a very happy person but this trip has left me wondering why I bother trying. I am having to push through not just the physical pain but also the desire to give up. I am having more and more difficulty with getting motivated after each flare.

Once upon a time, I was very active, but now I rarely go anywhere or do anything, and most days I have zero desire to even talk. It takes quite a bit of energy to do any of these things. When pain kicks in, sometimes it is just easier to lie in bed.

As I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself that lupus cannot win. For the first time since getting diagnosed, I am realizing that perhaps speaking with a professional may be a good thing to do to help me push through the emotional pain of what has happened. I thought I was doing a great job of working things out on my own, but with each flare, I find that I just don’t want to deal with this disease anymore, and the feeling is really taking its toll.

I think that for so many of us, we have dealt with healthcare people and family members who promote the attitude that we can just push through. Unfortunately, lupus doesn’t quite work that way. I am learning that depression is quite common among those of us who are battling, and many of us are just doing the best we can to get by. I am also learning that while support groups have their place, a therapist may be a good addition to medical teams.

So many things go into having this battle, and trying to talk to people who have no real clue only creates more frustration and isolation. Many people want to make things about them instead of listening and helping you work through what is happening to you. Trying to preserve their feelings while working through your own is just a high-maintenance undertaking, and I am learning that the true path to sanity may come by paying a professional.

Our loved ones, I’m sure, think they are helping, but when they go on the defensive it just makes dealing that much more difficult. It’s really hard to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under you and want to talk it out only to be dismissed with what others think they would do — even when they are not living this life. Often, people will say, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you.” Really, we just want you to be quiet and actually listen to us.

It’s sad to me that you can’t find someone to do the simple task of simply letting you get your feelings out. I think that having a therapist should be something that is standard when you receive this life-changing diagnosis. I plan on adding one to my medical team. I hope it really helps me.


Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.


Larry M Bevard avatar

Larry M Bevard

I have recently added Cymbalta to all the other medications I take to help with my constant pain. I had help a little, but one of the best benefit is that it is also an anti-depressant. It has helped me and might be something for others to try.

Kellie McRae avatar

Kellie McRae

I'm all about what works for the person since we are all different. I'm glad that it is helping you and as more people find therapists to talk to, many may find comfort in the medication as you have. I wish you all the best! :-)

Christine M avatar

Christine M

Hello my dear;
As always I begin by telling you that your writings and sharing of REAL emotions and incidents is SO helpful.
Before being diagnosed I had a terrible flare. Long story short : this lasted a year, pain, low blood sugar, in a C collar for 6 months, 3 months in bed. At the time my youngest of 4 children was 2 yrs old. My doctor suspected depression. I laughed and said " If I was dealing with all this and felt happy and positive every day wouldn't you think I was crazy? I think feeling depressed is a normal reaction to all this. I don't think this is a "clinical" depression as much as a situational depression. Yes, I need help dealing with it but NOT meds to dull my feelings and emotions." That was more than 20 years ago.
Now my personal battle is that of being tired of dealing with the flares , reduced activity etc.
It is hard to find a person with no judgement, no personal investment in the situation. But, I believe that is exactly what helped me.
Wishing you a person described above to help you through this.

Kellie McRae avatar

Kellie McRae

Thank you so much, I never realized how important the listening skill was until I got sick. I've actually always been a good listener but never really needed anyone to listen to me, now that there are times when I do, I am finding that its more difficult than I thought. I'm glad you found someone and I am on a journey, determined and I know I too will find someone. Thanks for sharing.

Lupie B avatar

Lupie B

I made that choice during my last major flare. I felt I was very literally falling apart. Sending you strength, & hoping you find what you need!

Kellie McRae avatar

Kellie McRae

I wish I could say I couldn't relate. It has been a bit of a struggle lately trying to remain my joyful, upbeat self. I'm glad you got help, I'm on my way :-)


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