When I Feel Like I Can't Anymore

When you are first diagnosed with a chronic health condition, there are things that you are absolutely sure of and there are things that you are so cluelessly and desperately unsure of. There is no in between, usually. The way you feel and think about things becomes pretty black and white. It's one or the other.

It's yes, you're going to follow through with your commitments; or it's no your pain level is far too high to stick to the original plan(s). It's yes, you're going to class and work today; or it's no, you'll be staying in bed resting and attempting to *maybe* save up just enough spoons to take a hot shower.

You are sure you are in pain. You are unsure of how long said pain is going to last. You are sure there was a point in your life when you were not in pain. You are unsure of how that painlessness felt. You are sure you are "okay." You are unsure of how much longer you will be "okay" for.

Though I do it on a daily basis and dealing with the pain has become that of a second nature to me, there are times when I like I no longer can. There are times when, for lack of a better word (channeling my inner white girl here), I feel like I just can't even...anymore.

For example, on Tuesday, I had spinal injections for the first time in about 10 weeks. My neck pain and migraines were coming back with a vengeance the week and a half before. I was excited for relief, but I knew that (as the case with any procedure)...relief is not instantaneous. In fact, the 48 hours following spinal injections usually sucks a good amount.

The next morning when I awoke, I could hardly hold my head up. It was in the exact moment that I let my head fall back onto the pillow again that the words "I just can't," echoed through my mind. As pain shot back and forth from my head to my neck and then back to my head again, I reached for my iPhone and started emailing the professor of my morning class. "I won't be in class this morning due to pain following a spinal procedure I had yesterday. I can't..." I wrote and continued on. Though it killed me to write two words that made me feel so useless, helpless, and just plain angry all at the same time -- I accepted them.

Call it hopelessness. Call it settling. Call it depression. Call it denial. To me, it's normal and arriving at the awareness of feeling like I can't helps me to eventually arrive at the feeling that I can...and that I am.

When we feel as if we can't (in any circumstance), we need to remind ourselves of who we are. For example, I'm Kenzie. No diagnosis, no amount of pain, no medication, and no test or scan result will change the fact that I am alive and human in this moment. We need to remind ourselves of this fact daily. No, MOMENTARILY. That we have a life to live and the choice on how to live it...and if we aren't living our individual lives, no one will.

I got out of bed for my next class on Wednesday. Though the pain was still running rampant between my head and neck, I managed to remind myself who I am and the strength that came from doing so got me to the shower, into some clothes, and on my way to class. The strength I found in remembering carried me through until I finally could lay down to rest again that evening. 

And all that remembering led me to some more remembering...remembering that when I feel like I can't anymore, I can pray. When I feel like I can't anymore, I can utilize my support system. When I feel like I can't anymore, I can continue to seek Christ. When I feel like I can't anymore, I can worship. When I feel like I can't anymore, I can ask for help. When I feel like I can't anymore, I can allow myself to rest. When I feel like I can't anymore, I can reflect all the times that I did...

...and, suddenly, when I feel like I can't anymore, I CAN.



As beautifully written as always. You're doing great things that should provide hope for others in this situation and clarity for those who aren't. Keep kicking butt! Now THAT you can always do ;)


Kenz, you should definitely check out the book "The Best Yes" by Lysa TerKeurst! She talks a lot about being able to say no and find your 'best yes'. I just finished a Bible study with it, and I can honestly say it changed my life and how I make decisions! :)

Great post, girly :)
xx, Lizzy


Great choice of words. I will follow this to. I know we're your comin from. I've gone through a lot of I can't one more. An I cry talk cry get it out then pick up my self say ok that's enough. I'm here for a reason through the lord. Ty for you great words. Be strong too keep it up.Debbie


Wow, what a beautifully written article...you are a great inspiration to others like myself who suffer with colitis. I have actually spent the last five years trying to find the cause of my condition and failed; however I discovered it's caused maintained by a hormone imbalance. Maybe this is something you should look into also?

Stay strong,


Lovely words, sister. Your strength is so inspiring, and reminds me not to take being pain-free for granted. Praying!! Love you!!!