The Frustrating Words: “I Can’t Go”

“I can’t go.”

Those three little words kill me every time I utter them to someone who I had plans with.  I hate having to say them partly because I hear sadness in their response, but also because I despise missing out on an adventure.  My soul wants to explore so badly, but my physical body is not strong enough at this time to go.

It takes a lot of courage for me to bow down and hang back from going on an adventure.  I know I am really sick when the calm voice is out in my head telling me that this is not my time to push my body to its max.  If I were to ignore my internal voice and go, I would bet on me losing the risky game of Russian roulette.

Sadly those three little words had to be said to my family this past week. They had plans to go camping to my favorite campsite in New Mexico and unfortunately I was not feeling strong enough to join.  On Friday night I sat on our brown leather sofa watching Seth, the kids and his nephew pack for their camping trip to the mountains.  It killed me to see our living room full of camping gear and know I will not be able to load into the Road Barge with them the next morning.  I can’t help but feel sad that I don’t have a healthy body.  I wanted to stubbornly ignore all the symptoms I was experiencing that were indicators that it was not my time to travel and say ‘fuck it I am going too’, but the realistic side of me knew that would not have been a smart decision with this grueling summer heat.

It frustrates me that I have to exclude myself from making memories with them.  I would rather be laughing alongside them than binge watching Netflix in our quiet apartment by myself.  It is bratty of me to admit that I don’t want to hear their funny stories when they get home because listening to them only makes me sadder that I could not be laughing in the moment with them.  My heart hurts having to sit out on the sidelines and hear that my family had a great time.

Before they all left for their trip, Seth’s youngest daughter was disappointed she could not take Kerby the Labradoodle with them. When I told her he was going to stay home with me she said, “well I will find you a babysitter then.”  Her honest words were a stab to my ego and made me feel pathetic.  In her eyes she thinks I am always not well and have to have someone watch me at all times like I am five.  I should not be surprised by her comment because I do tell the kids often that I cannot go on outings with them because of one symptom or another.  Each time sucks because their eyes always fill with disappointment that I can’t go.

I am tired of not always being able to say yes and bumming my family and friends out.  I want to say yes to every adventure no matter what the temperature is.  I want to experience places first hand rather than watching GoPro clips of them from my phone.  I want to be everyone’s ride or die chick not half way committed to this game called life.

Deep down in my bones I know I will be able to say yes to more adventures, but it still does not make every no any easier.

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Even Kerby hates missing out on adventures.
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23 thoughts on “The Frustrating Words: “I Can’t Go”

  1. Oh how I can relate to this, Kirsten. It is discouraging to feel like we say ‘no’ more than we say ‘yes’. To think of all that is missed by not being able to experience more things with those we love. It makes me cherish the moments I do get to experience, but the reality is that the hard parts are always there. Still learning to navigate that! Thank you for sharing this and your heart, girl. 💗

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I really appreciate your comment and following my blog! Yes tough discisions will never go away, but it makes us appreciate all of the times we can say “YES!” ❤

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  2. Saying no to family time is one of the worst parts of illness. Thank you for being open and sharing the hard reality so many of us live. Looking forward to reading about the next adventure you feel up to taking! (hugs)

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  3. Urgh yes, I hate these words so much. And as well as hating having to say them to other people, I hate having to say them to myself. But not making any plans is worse, I think, it feels like I’ve completely given in. I’d rather keep making plans, keep hoping I can go.

    Caitlin – Chronically Caitlin

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    1. I agree with you! It is better to keep making plans that way you are not giving into your fear of the “what ifs”. Props to you for pushing through!!

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  4. These times can be so lonely and frustrating. I had this happen recently. I couldn’t go with my husband out of state so he went with my daughter and granddaughter. I cried for 2 days, but was able to do a lesser trip with my cousin. When I’m really fatigued and can’t go anywhere, I try to make the most of the “me” time: I have the remote to myself, don’t have to fuss with dinner, etc. But, not as much fun as being with your family.

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    1. That is a great way to transition the sadness and focus on the plus side of a quiet house to recenter yourself! I hope your next adventure will be with your husband! ❤

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  5. I am so sorry to learn about your chronic illness! I cannot imagine how frustrating that must be when you are such an adventurous soul. It’s so hard to love + honor our body when it seems to fail us. I hope you find relief — we can chat about it on Monday if you want 😉 — and can jump back on the travel bandwagon soon! ❤

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    1. It is very difficult to find the balance between adventuring and keeping my body well! I am looking forward to our Monday breakfast, I am an open book so I hope you are ready! hehe ❤

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  6. There are so many of us that understand what you are going thru and how you feel both physically and mentally. I have had to say those words to many times. Thank you for putting this in to words that explains how it feels for all of us. Stay strong.

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    1. Thank you Ellen for taking the time to read my post and leave such a kind message! Our chronic illness community is a wonderful place to turn to to get a big virtual hug!

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    1. This is absolutely the hardest thing to go through! I too have had a few friends stop asking and checking in and I realize that they don’t except me and my new chronically ill self so they aren’t my true friends.

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  7. This! I have POTS, MCAS, and hypothyroidism and I feel terrible every time I have to bail or be noncommittal, even though I have understanding friends and my family is used to it (I’m not the first generation with these issues). Kerby is adorable, by the way. I have a poodle mix too and she takes excellent care of me.

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    1. That is wonderful that you have a supportive community of family and friends! That makes it a bit easier when you know they won’t be mad at you for not being able to join. — Kerby says ‘Thank you!’ He loooooooves any type of attention so he will eat up this compliment! Aren’t poodle mixes a great breed??

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  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I’ve been there but am much better now and share this hope with others. The two years my son was the school mascot, I was not able to attend a single game. The only time I saw him in this role was at an assembly. Though I’m not back all the way, most people don’t think there is anything wrong with me because I can do so much that I couldn’t do back then.
    For those who are truly looking for answers, message me and I’ll share what helped with so many of the issues you and others listed.
    My prayers go out to each of you.

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    1. Thank you so much! That is wonderful to hear that you too are much better than when you first got sick. The beginning years are very difficult when it seems like you are never well enough to do anything! Cheers!

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  9. I relate to this so much. I have been ill with POTS for over a year now. Just this week, I got news of what’s been causing that condition… a genetic disorder, so it won’t get better. I have been in good spirits all year, but I think somewhere in the back of my head, I thought it would end. Now that I have the diagnosis, it hurts so much not to be able to do things with my family. Today, we were invited to a friend’s pool, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sit up in the heat. So my husband took our boys out on a hike instead, and it hurt so much. I was glad they would still be doing something fun when they couldn’t go to the pool, but I was devastated at the realization that I just can’t go. To really anything. Or rarely, anyway. I can very much relate to your post. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Keep your chin up darling. You will go through emotional and physical hard times with this condition but it does not have to end your life! My POTS is also caused from a genetic disorder (thanks EDS) so I understand the sadness you feel for the fact you will have to deal with this forever. I hope you allow yourself to grieve and cry but you can still find the rainbow! Please send me an email if you have any questions or would like to talkL klarkin1237@gmail.com

      Well wishes darling ❤

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      1. Thanks so much for your kind reply. Mine is caused by EDS, too. I don’t know what I would do without other people who know and understand this condition. 🙂

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  10. I’m glad I read this. Growing up, my mom was very similar. As a kid, I found it super annoying that she never felt well, and I’m ashamed of that. Now that I’m an adult, I know she had illnesses that she tried to protect me from knowing about, because she didn’t want me to worry. She always said, “I feel tired” not “If I go, I might have a stroke.”

    Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a fine line us adults have in sharing too much information with children but also educating them so they become kind and empathetic. I hope you and your mom still have a good relationship. Thank you for the well wishes and for taking the time to read and comment on this post ❤

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