The beast is migraines in my case, though it could be any number of chronic or invisible illnesses that are suffered by others. The beast has been with me nearly every day over the last few years. It is always lurking, waiting to strike. Sometimes without warning. It presents a burden in a couple of ways.
Migraine is a burden on every day life. Waking each day, with one eye closed tight, hoping the beast is asleep and will let my feet touch the floor. It rides my back even when it is not attacking me, and threatens to strike at any time. I can't make definite plans without allowing for the presence of the beast. My calendar is filled with "penciled in" events. Nothing written in ink. That would present a specific target for the monster. Sleeping, waking, eating, going out to shop or see a movie, going to church, even when I go to the restroom can be determined by the force the beast lays on me. The daily grind of living with this beast tests my strength on a daily basis. And it tests the strength of those I love.
The burden is on our loved ones and friends as well.. It scares others away. Friends who were close no longer call or visit. Family gets tired as they are sucked into the grind. They reach a point where they are overwhelmed by the beast as well. It becomes tiring for them. They may not be able to see the beast, but they definitely feel it's presence. Almost as much as I do. They begin to not make plans, or make their plans without me, leaving me feeling like an outsider who is lost and alone. So many times I have stayed in bed, nursing a migraine, in an empty house. Compassion gets harder to find as the one's around us have to deal with the monster in our lives.
Sometimes, I feel as though I am the beast that preys on my family. A beast of burden that weighs them down as much as my own beast does to me. There are times when their actions and their words reflect the burden that is placed upon them. I try to suffer my illness in silence and not involve my family, but there is just no way that I could live without them. Do others have the same sense of being a burden? Do you have ways to fight back against the beast and gain your life back? Please share.