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Ugly Cry

ugly cry Shanna Nemrow Wellness Unraveled Blog Post Living with Hashimoto’s

Living with an autoimmune disease feels like being on a never ending emotional rollercoaster.  Sometimes you just have to let it go and ugly cry. Yesterday that is exactly what I had to do.

Prior to this week, I strung together a good number of days where I felt great – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Then I started getting some new and weird symptoms.

I woke up yesterday and knew that I needed to go back to the doctor. As I sat in my doctor’s office, I had tears silently and uncontrollably sliding down my face as I explained my new and unusual symptoms. The doctor did some initial testing to rule out a few things, then he explained he thinks it is all autoimmune related, and wanted to run several blood tests to check inflammation levels, autoimmune markers, and retest my thyroid.

ugly cry Shanna Nemrow Wellness Unraveled Blog Post Living with Hashimoto’s

I sat there a little stunned…wait, what?

I looked back at him, and wanted to say, “No, it’s not autoimmune related. It’s not. You see, my body and me – we’ve finally come to an agreement. It has Hashimoto’s and it tells me when I’m going into a flare. Then I know what to do to get through it and to eventually feel great again. It’s a game my body and I sometimes play…

See, it starts with fatigue and an overall sense of feeling unwell, then I feel cold all the time and my hands can never get warm, then come the morning headaches and brain fog, then the muscle aches and joint pain, and then it just feels like I have a storm going on inside my body. Oh, and fevers.  Let’s not forget the low grade fevers. Those are my autoimmune issues, doc, not these…

I don’t know what these are. I don’t know what to do about these. You were supposed to tell me it’s a viral infection of some sort and it will all go away in a few days with rest. You weren’t supposed to tell me it looks like my immune system is attacking my body in new ways. I’ve never even heard you talk about autoimmune issues. You weren’t even the one who diagnosed me.”

I did not actually say any of that to my doctor. Instead, I dried my tears, let the nursing student dig through my veins to draw four vials of blood, then drove myself home, still in pain. I went home and rested.

By the time my husband got home from work, I was already going stir crazy, not feeling well at all, and heart broken about having to cancel all of our fun weekend plans yet again.  I had been holding my emotions in, and not communicating with my husband. I realized I did not want to pretend I was okay.

Where would that get me?

I was not okay.  Not physically, not emotionally, and not spiritually.

If I could not open up and honestly communicate with my husband, who else would I ever be able to honestly communicate with? So, I gathered my courage and prepared to be brutally honest with my husband, and with myself.

I asked him to hold me, climbed into his arms, and I ugly cried it all out…all the pain, all the frustration, all the anger, all the hurt, all the confusion, and all the heartbreak.

I do not remember saying a word. I just ugly cried until I did not need to anymore. And he just held me and reminded me to breathe.  So I did.  I took a deep breath.

As I breathed in new fresh, clean air, something happened.

I felt a little better.  After taking a few minutes and allowing myself to experience and communicate the negative emotions I was feeling, I was able to release them.  I was ready to move forward with determination and faith, ready to do anything and everything I could to feel well again.

I will never again underestimate the therapeutic benefits of an ugly cry.

To read about my story, click here.

“Crying is how your body speaks when your mouth can’t explain the way you feel.”

“…you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

How has allowing yourself to feel pain, frustration, anger, hurt, and confusion, then communicating those feelings with a trusted loved one, helped you in your battle with autoimmune disease? Please comment and share – I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

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