The five stages of grief are:
People living with chronic illness often continue through these different emotions, as the pain continues, there are changes in one's limitations, and so forth. Even if someone reaches a place of acceptance, they can fall back to the other stages. It can feel like there are waves of acceptance. But, I'm stuck in a dip / valley, and I'm not sure how I got here or how to get out. I didn't even realize that I had come to some sort of peace with things... until I no longer had that level of acceptance (hindsight's 20/20, I guess).
I'm finding myself in the depression part of the model. I'm trying hard not to sink into a deep depression, but I know depression well enough to know that I'm there... just trying not to slide further into the darkness of depression. I need to reach out to a therapist, but it's difficult to do. I have an accountability partner, which will hopefully help me get the help I need. But, it's a huge step that I even am writing this out.
Depression isn't something that you can really articulate. I feel somehow disconnected (dissociation) from God, myself, and others. I don't find joy in some of my hobbies. I'm trying to go through the motions that I know I should take, but I really just don't care. I just feel unmotivated and STUCK.
It doesn't help that I also deal with anxiety and panic attacks, which have both been worsening. I sometimes feel weird and need to sit down, but then I need to stand and/or move around... so, I'll just sit, stand, sit, stand, and so on. Meanwhile, my heart feels like it's about to beat out of my chest. I take my blood pressure and pulse, and they're normal... NORMAL?! How can they be normal, when I clearly know that something's wrong?!
These feelings of depression and worsening of anxiety didn't come on quickly (it's been a build up over months), so I can't expect them to just go away. I just need to find the strength and courage to reach out for help and start climbing out of the pit. I'm NOT done fighting yet!