a few days back when my brother was back in Singapore, he asked me a question which i felt was long overdue. we were accompanying mum for her post-cataract surgery review and it was dragging for the 3rd hour. i was getting tired and quiet. when my brother asked his question, mum just listened without asking anything.
“Steph, why are you always so tired ah? When you are working, you’re tired. Now that you’re not working, why are still so tired?”
“I want to know why too!”, with that i shrugged.
when i was 15 or 16, getting up before 8 on a Sunday (after waking up at 6 from Monday to Friday) became really difficult with fatigue and morning stiffness. i had to literally be dragged to Catechism class every weekend. dadmum didn’t understand why. one Sunday, mum made a remark while we were on our way to church. “why are you so lazy???“. OUCH. it hurt so much that it was etched into my mind. it was a time when my JIA was worsening and i was learning to live all over again alone with joint involvements aplenty and increased intensity in pain. i was silent then and no one knew of my struggle. my experience with my parents kept me from doing so.
now, back to where i was. my brother was rather stubborn in that he badgered me till i gave him an answer. honestly, i was reluctant to say anything. i was scared that they might think i’m using RA and fibromyalgia as an excuse, like it has always been. in the end, i managed to just say:
“well, the reason for me being tired is the same reason why i take my medication for.”
yup. it was kinda like a “go figure” to him, but it shut him up.
till this day, i still cannot open up about my chronic illnesses. i feel like it’s my own battle, and no one should be let in. time to time i try, albeit feebly, but they were always a one time thing. if i’m unfortunate, things get turned against me. so yeah, i’m pretty much disappointed with everyone. i made it such that no one could connect the dots. sometimes i lead my doctors on like that too.
it’s just too painful, but it’s really mine to bear.