It’s Harder When You Think

Yesterday I wrote about my fears concerning my health, and the possibility of my Crohn’s disease being active again.

I’m pretty sure that it’s not the Crohn’s that’s causing problems for me. I’ve been researching extensively, and I’ve noticed that I have all of the symptoms of SIBO. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

I’m not going to go into that right now, though.

For many years, I dated a man who didn’t quite believe in the severity of my health issues. He couldn’t grasp that my fatigue actually prevented me from being able to be more involved in the world. No matter how hard I tried to convince him, his cluelessness held steady.

One thing he said that stayed with me, was that he thought I was more overwhelmed by life, then sick.

As annoyed as I was with him, this idea resonated with me.

I don’t agree with him entirely. My illness, and physical health have done a lot to prevent me from living the kind of life that I wish I could.

At the same time, I DO feel overwhelmed most days. Not because I have so much planned, or too many chores, or anything like that.

Have you ever felt at all like you are a imposter on this planet? I imagine this is sounding funky. I’m not going to get into the arena of aliens from outer-space, though often I do feel like one.

I just feel like I don’t belong here. I’ve felt this way, ever since I can remember. Part of me wants to curl up and withdraw into my apartment, and never come out.

People tell me I’m smart and talented. I really appreciate their compliments. What I’d really like to be is socially adept. Being smart in one way, doesn’t mean that you are necessarily smart in others.

It’s not that I am totally incapable of interacting with people. It just doesn’t come easily. Socializing with people in groups completely freaks me out.

I have several friends in Ashland, but they are very busy people. While all of this alone time drives me crazy, it is also safer than the alternative.

Making new friends is a challenge. Partly because I’m 50, and no longer in college. Partly because I get nervous when I meet new people, and I don’t necessarily shine early on in relationships.

Suffering from depression regularly doesn’t make things easy, either. It complicates the equation of life. Am I not getting out of bed, because I feel really sick, or because I’m depressed? It can be tough for me to differentiate.

My grandmother suffered from depression. She and my grandfather rarely left their house. At this point in my life, I can understand why.


  1. I’m sorry your ex wasn’t understanding (understatement) but I find in general most people don’t understand the extent or even grasp the basics of how invisible illness can affect us in terms of how we live our lives. I feel like I struggle too much, that I should be coping better, doing more. I’m not in the ‘real world’ right now because I don’t have friends or a social life or even a job. I am terrified for the time after my next op when I need to get back into the ‘real world’ because my health in other ways has declined; more pain, even less energy. When you look okay and people think you’re smart and fine etc it’s tough, I feel like a fraud. In terms of social adeptness, I find that the longer I’m apart from the world the more into my comfort zone I get, the harder it is to reconnect. I’m a lot better when it comes to social stuff now that you’d think I was a different person (compared to my early and even late teens with social anxiety that was pretty crippling at times). But you’re right, depression and anxiety and ill health on top don’t make things easy at all. I wish I could make things better for you, for both of us. Just know that you’re not alone, that I ‘get’ that things are harder than others think. Sending my love  ♥
    Caz xx

    1. Thanks so much for the kind and insightful words. Though I wouldn’t wish the suffering you endure on anyone, it’s nice to feel understood and supported. I’m sorry that health issues, and depression have been such a huge issue for you recently. I think abnormal to not be depressed, given what you’re going through. Hugs, Wendy

      1. I think we can be too hard on ourselves thinking we ‘should’ be different, or coping better, when we’re doing the best we can. Likewise, I wish you weren’t feeling the way you are, but things can and will change, and I have hope for brighter days for both of us, even if they’re few and far between. xx

  2. I can relate to so many of your posts. I also recently turned 50 and am adjusting to many changes in my life. Your posts about online dating reflect my experience as well. My social anxiety makes it difficult for me to meet new people or to socialize in large groups. I feel like an imposter often. Recently, i was shocked when my 23 year old daughter, Emily, told me that she feels like an imposter and a fraud in grad school. I guess she inherited my social anxiety. The strangest thing is that emily had no idea that i ever felt the same way. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  3. I’m so grateful that you find my posts helpful, and that you shared this with me. I am sorry that you suffer from social anxiety, and often feel like a stranger on this planet, yourself. It must have felt so surprising to hear that your daughter feels the same way you do. It really does make my day when a reader comments that they find my writing meaningful. Thank you.

    1. I find your posts incredibly helpful. I am going through such a transitional time in my life. One of the things i am doing to try to better understand myself is reconnect with my past. I had a difficult childhood and tried to put my past behind me. I recently reconnected with a few high school friends from the bay area. The experience was healing and energizing. Then i decided to look up my closest childhood friend. My google search led me to this blog. As i started reading through your posts i was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I am so impressed with your art and your writing. I am sorry that you continue to struggle with health issues. I am so in awe of your strength. —Susan

      1. I just made the connection with who you are, as I was sitting on my couch, meditating. I hadn’t seen your name on your comment. But I remembered that your last name was Laitin. So wonderful to hear from you, my dear. I’m sure we will have a lot to talk about to reacquaint ourselves with one another! I’m so glad that your experiences in the Bay Area with old friends were energizing and healing. Please call me, if you feel ready to. My number is 541 631 1442 I, too, am in awe of your strength and what you’ve endured within your lifetime. I’m so thrilled that you have benefitted from reading my writing, and that you’ve enjoyed my art. I am having a show at a local gallery, that begins with an opening party on the 6th of July. You are more than welcome to come. I would love to see you. Blessings to you. Wendy

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