I sometimes Blog on the WomenHeart Blog site, called Inspire. The other night, I logged on, and one of the titles was No Need To Respond!! Of course being a curious one, I logged on and WOW, I was both shocked and saddened, at just how angry this woman was about her heart disease.
Even though she didn’t want anyone to respond, I felt that the content of her blog was a “cry for help,” so I responded anyway. I told her that I wasn’t going to give her all of the common cliches, or talk down to her, but I was going to tell her that from what she had blogged, that I felt it was a cry for help, and I wasn’t about to let that go by. I told her that I agreed with her…that heart disease DID SUCK, and then I offered my support. Others responded, some with the cliches she had said she didn’t want, others responding similarly to what I had said.
It gave me pause in regard to just what women living with heart disease “truly” feel…what they “actually” go through. So many women tell me that they can’t talk to their own families, even more often their spouses, including their best friends. I know what they are feeling, because I too have, and still do, experience the same thing. It’s as if no one brings it up, then it’s not real. But that “big elephant” in the room remains, whether anyone talks about it or not, leaving the woman with heart disease to fend for herself when it comes to the “circus of feelings” that she is left to deal with.
I have felt, and still do at times, anger, frustration, depression, feeling of being less than a woman, anxiety, panic, and just about every emotion one would feel who has a chronic disease. There is an unspoken distance, since I have been diagnosed, even thought it’s been years ago, with both my family and friends.
I mean no disrespect to anyone by stating this, it’s just fact, but if I had cancer, and lost my hair, there would be no way of ignoring THAT!!! With heart disease, especially if you don’t look sick, which most women with heart disease don’t, there is nothing to see, therefore it does not exist.
So, we just go on pretending, for the sake of others, not our own, that we are “just fine.” Then we cry ourselves to sleep. During the days, however, the other emotions rear their ugly heads, with anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, and more. It’s during these times that it would beneficial for our family and friends to just get out of the way. But the truth is we don’t want them to “get out of the way.” We want them to hug us, to let us talk about our heart disease and the feelings that go hand-in-hand with having heart disease…to just listen.
Initially, after being diagnosed with heart disease I began seeing a psychologist in order to deal with the emotions of all the changes I was having to make to my lifestyle, not to mention the fear of dying. Since moving to the Nashville area, I have not seen a psychologist, but will be doing so in the near future, as just recently I have been told I will never work again, and there is NO cure for the heart disease(s) I have. OUCH! It hurts when that door gets shut in your face!
And then, the old saying appears, that when one door closes, another is supposed to open, but with heart disease, we keep banging on that closed door, wanting to get back in and retrieve the life we used to live. The sad truth ladies, is that the closed door, for us living with heart disease, will never open again.
We can either continue feeling angry, frustrated, depressed, anxious, fearful, or we can put on our “big girl panties” and do whatever it takes to help us get through all of those “big elephant in the room” feelings, whether that’s through a Support Group or psychological help. Life is too short, especially for us, so let’s let go of those ugly feelings, and get on with living life…every day above ground is a GOOD day ♡