Monday, December 5, 2011

The End Of My Rope

I have met some incredible people since I opened up the inner ramblings of my brain to anyone with an internet connection on this here blog. People that give me strength and courage, and amaze me with their ability to endure and overcome endless adversity. One of them has decided to open up and share her story with us. She was at...

The End Of My Rope

I was at the end of my rope, nothing left to hang on to. I was going through a painful divorce and pain had taken over my life. My days were mainly spent in bed. My children would come home from school and have to sit on the bed with me just to spend time with me. I felt completely useless, like I was a burden to everyone around me, especially my children. No one understood my pain. No one understood what my life was like. I felt so alone. I had struggled with depression most of my adult life. I had PTSD from some bad experiences along with my constant pain and feelings of inadequacy to my husband and children. This was the beginning of my second divorce, this one much more painful than the first. My first marriage was to my high school boyfriend. We were young and naive, it was never meant to be. But this time I had married my best friend, this time was for life. He ended up having an affair. Said he couldn’t deal with my illness, it was too much for him. He knew about it going into the marriage, but said he didn’t realize how hard it would be. That was heartbreaking. It was nothing I could work on, nothing I could fix. My diagnoses were Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Sacroiliitis, Degenerative Disc Disease in my lumbar and cervical spine, ruptured disc at L4-L5 and a pinched nerve at L5. I DID have a lot of pain and my doctors wouldn’t give me anything to help with my pain because of my age. I am in my early thirties. I couldn’t work, couldn’t even grocery shop anymore. So when he left, I felt I had no one to help me. My mother lived 45 minutes away, my sister lived in another state, my brother was in the Marine Corps. My children helped as much as they could, but there were some things they couldn’t do. I already felt guilty because they had to do so much. Children aren’t supposed to have to take care of their parents, not at that age anyway.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 was a particularly bad day. My children were gone to their father’s house. My soon to be ex-husband and I were arguing. I had lost the love of my life. I saw no future for me other than pain. What kind of life could I provide for my children? I was going to have to move. I couldn’t work. My doctors agreed that I couldn’t work but we were yet to convince the Social Security Administration of that fact, so I had no income. My child support certainly couldn’t pay the bills. I felt that everyone would be better off without me as a burden. I had had enough of this life. It was just too hard. I wrote letters to my children, texted a couple friends about how much I loved them, and swallowed 24 Ambien. I immediately knew I had made a mistake, yet in a way still felt it was what I wanted. I let a friend know what I had done and an ambulance arrived shortly.  I don’t remember much after that. 

Even after my overnight stay at the hospital and 3 days in a Crisis Stabilization Unit, I still felt I didn’t want to be here. But in time that feeling faded. If not for the support, love, understanding, and advice of some wonderful ladies that I had met in an online support group, I don’t think I would be here today. I had some obstacles to overcome, which led to huge amounts of stress. I was going to have to move from my home but couldn’t afford rent. My sister and brother in law offered to let me move in with them until I could get on my feet, but that would mean moving myself and my children to another state. That would be a huge decision to make. Not knowing anyone but them, and being a burden (oh how I hate to feel like a burden). But in the end, that’s what I did. I packed up all our things, put them in storage, and moved in with my sister. I signed up for state assistance for insurance, food and housing. Some things didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. Lots of paperwork and waiting periods when changing states. But I only had to stay with my sister for one month before an apartment was ready to move into. We got all our belongings out of storage and now it feels like home. I still have struggles, of course, with money, pain, and even loneliness at times, but I can honestly say that I am happier now than I have ever been. My children adjusted well to the move and love their schools, I love the area, and my sister and I are closer than we have ever been. 

I know there are others who have been in this dark place. I wanted to share my story to let you know that you are not alone. It is okay to feel whatever emotions you feel… sadness, anger, loneliness… But there is hope. Even if all you have is the online friendships of some people you have never met, you are not alone. 

Amanda F.

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Amanda. You have just helped many people find the strength to go on. You have just given someone HOPE that happiness will be a part of their life again. Thank you, sweetheart, from the bottom of my heart. You have come so far in such a short period of time and I am very, very proud of you. <3

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  2. Amanda- You are one amazing person let me tell you. There are days I feel like "I can't take this pain anymore" I've lost relationships over it (family and friends)I get very lonely, depressed,anxiety......Thanks so very much for sharing you're story with all of us. God Bless and always remember you have us friends here online to share your pain and feelings with. We won't back away either . Happy Holidays and be PROUD!

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  3. Thank you for sharing Amanda's story. What an inspiration and a blessing to me.

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  4. Thank you for sharing... I so understand your pain. You are a strong and amazing woman!! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers...

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  5. you are not alone... my story is not far from yours. you can find me via my blog, if you ever need someone to talk to that will understand.

    tere

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  6. Please let Amanda know how much her sharing means to the community of her "sisters". We all hit different highs and lows in this journey of medical pain and invisibility - her story of making it through touches each one of us and reminds us we are not alone. Thank you.

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  7. Amanda you are such a special person to share your story with us.I am so Thankful that you texted your friend and she did the right thing. She is an Angel.I am sooo sorry about the love of your life abandoning you when you thought you needed him the most . You sure showed him and most importantly yourself what a STRONG woman ,daughter,sister and Mommy you are. I am praying for strength like yours.. My name is Angel,I don't how to change it from annonymous. I pray you and your family have the best Christmas ever.

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  8. This blog brought me to tears. Amanda's story is one that shows the light at the end of the tunnel, when so many of us are still staring into the darkness, not knowing how to get out. Hope is such a fragile thing, but we must hold onto it at all costs. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  9. You are not alone. I don't even know you, but I can tell you this: as long as there are others who truly understand (or at least try), as long as there are others who have been through the darkness as well, you will never be alone. Thank you for sharing what can only be described as the very deepest and truest of emotions with total strangers. It takes a lot of courage to do that.

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  10. Melanie Hooker SeeleyDecember 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    I AMin that dark hole now

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  11. Melanie please reach out and seek help. It is a very dark and isolated place. I don't know how to have this illness and not go there, but I do know you CAN come back from there. Please, even if it is 911, call. I am praying for you.

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