I've been thinking about it for a few days because it's been weighing heavily on my heart. Here I am, blogging away, getting all this support from you, and I have a difficult time turning around and reading what you---my fellow bloggers---have written. Oh, sometimes I'll rediscover Google Reader and go on a blog reading binge. But most of the time I don't keep up. And it's the same reason that healthy people have a difficult time talking to us: It hurts too much to know.
I want to be there for you, to help cheer you on, to lift your spirits up... I want to hear about how you're succeeding, because I want you to be successful in your life. I have trouble hearing about the struggle, pain, and heartache. I want to recognize and deal with that. I want to help. However, I want to keep my mind focused on the positive, and that's difficult to do when I'm reading stories about the negative.
And that's what's so difficult about talking to people with chronic illnesses! If we look at the illness, that's a lot of struggle, a lot of disappointment, a lot of heart-break, a lot to despair over... And for so many people where there's only treatment, never a cure... And for so many other people for whom the illness is just a fight to have it not kill you... I really don't want to hear about how an illness is overwhelming and swallowing up your life.
See, the problem is, I've been through that. When you tell the story of your pain, I feel your pain, I remember my pain. It all comes back in a horrible flood of traumatic memories. I can't handle that on a regular basis. It's too much. I have to be in a mood that feels like every problem is solvable, and I am mighty, before I have the strength to read other blogs. Otherwise, I could find myself awash in memories that then trigger me and leave me shuddering...
I want to hear about everything you're grateful for despite what's going on. I want to hear about how it's difficult, but that you're learning coping (or you're fighting to learn how to cope). I want to hear about how you're successful in dealing with your disease. I want to hear about the humor you've picked up along the way... I want to know about you---your hopes, your dreams, your inspirations. I want to know how your beating back the darkness.
I know about the darkness. I've traveled enough of its depths already. I don't want to know more. That's why I don't read other patient's blogs. It hurts.