Mental health

Ugly Truth 005: Being Sick Makes Everything Harder

“Every sickness has an alien quality, a feeling of invasion and loss of control that is evident in the language we use about it.”
Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My NervesGood Morning Readers, As we continue this ugly truth series regarding mental health, consider your own secret truths. Has something been vexing you? Are you in a conflict that no one knows about? The purpose of this series is to shed light on all the things we want to say, but often don’t for fear of harsh judgment or loss. Perhaps I can provide a voice where there is none. Perhaps I can help a young man or woman in another part of the world feel less alone. I have been writing this series as things arise with very little prior planning. Last night I came down with some kind of nasty virus. When the tears stopped, it got me thinking about the relationship between body and mind. Being sick is no fun for anyone, but the ugly truth is physical ailments often compound the struggles of those of us with mental illness. As if symptom management is not overwhelming enough in a fast paced and unforgiving society, we are then faced with an attack on the body as well. In general, I am a fairly sensitive person so it doesn’t take much to knock me down. I don’t get sick often, but when I do it is legitimately severe. In the same way, I feel the exceptional strength my father instilled in me from an early age. Still, physical sickness often reduces me to tears due to the noise and discomfort of it all. Likewise, my lack of sleep is often worsened making me even more susceptible to fatigue induced tears. The truth is, I am a mother, a girlfriend, and a caregiver who lives with mental illness and chronic pain. I spend all of my time caring for others because that’s the nature of my heart. However, when I fall ill my capacity falls short and I am unable to indulge the need of a day in bed. The truth is I cried through making waffles for my son this morning. The truth is my boyfriend offered to help, but there is nothing to be done. The truth is I drank Theraflu instead of my morning coffee. The truth is, life goes on whether we like it or not regardless of our health or energy levels. In a pull-up-your-boot-straps culture, one has little time or sympathy for sickness. This is a mistake. Adapt or die is a common and reoccurring theme in my life. The truth is, I write all the time about self-care, but the American way seldom encourages self preservation unless we are still somehow in service to others. This is stigmatizing. If nothing else, today I offer you validation. What have you had to sacrifice lately? **If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at!** For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide! In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

15 thoughts on “Ugly Truth 005: Being Sick Makes Everything Harder”

  1. I’ve had to adapt. Although I’ve had the wonderful support of my husband, I have chronic pain and must cope on my own with the intense migraine pain and frustration of living in isolation. This is what leads to depression.

    “Bootstraps”, I love that you brought that statement up, and that’s why we have mental illness stigma. Most people who comment and judge don’t know what the hell they are talking about, don’t know you and definitely don’t know the illness.

    Love your writing and series of articles. Deb 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello again, Deb! Thank you so much for your heartfelt reply. You are so brave and also correct! I do try to remain sensitive to the fact that people can not always understand what they haven’t experienced, but judgment or harshness is never acceptable. My heart goes out to you, I have migraines also – among the other things we’ve already discussed. You’ll always have a friend who gets it here. Thank you so much for reading. ♡ Jaymie


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