Paging Dr. Crane: Your Patient is Now Sulking in Room One

carie shermanBy Carie Sherman

I admit it. Some days I feel sorry for myself.

My most recent funk started at a family dinner. I went from being engaged and interested to being a spaced out, slightly crabby, vacuous lump.

Thankfully, Dr. Frasier Crane helped me snap out of it.

That evening I was flipping channels, trying to find something inane to capture my unreasonable mind, still mad as heck though not sure why. I had seen this black mood before. By now, my brain knows better than to launch into a state of Why Me.

So why was I again so mentally miserable?

Frasier had it all figured out.

It was really quite simple, he said. You aren’t mourning the fact that you may have lupus. You’re mourning the life you thought you would have.

Frasier paused. I started thinking about when my mood went south.

Perhaps it was during the excited talk of racing in one of those insane mud runs—an event I would have happily signed up for. Maybe it started when I was holding my sweet nephew, born around the time my doc told me It’s Best to Wait to get pregnant again. Or it could have been watching everyone enjoy my favorite ooey-gooey chocolate cake. Cake I couldn’t eat because I took another doc’s advice to try a gluten-free lifestyle.

YES, I told Frasier. That makes sense! Those happy conversations reminded me that my life has changed. And it’s okay to be sad about that.

The acknowledgement alone yanked me out of my pity-party for one. Why? I’m not entirely sure. The conversation with Dr. Crane was pretty one-sided.

Still, it was enough to convince me: It’s okay to mourn the life I had expected. And next time I’m feeling gloomy, I’ll try shifting my focus to the wonderful things the last few years have taught me.

My “new” life awaits. And I’m thrilled to explore it.

Does your illness affect your mental health? How do you cope?

 

 

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