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I have the occasional bad day from living with sarcoidosis. I mean really bad day, when all the emotions that I work so hard to keep organized in their little compartments come flying out and then there is an ensuing melt down.

Living with a chronic condition is hard on the body but its equally hard on the psyche. The hard part about managing my disease is balancing all the parts of myself that need attention and because my physical self is in loud screaming pain, it tends to get the most attention.

In addition, I know that I find it best to try to keep all that emotional turmoil as quiet as I can for fear that if I let it loose, it will be a plague I cannot contain, spreading through my entire life like a raging death, killing everything in its path.

Living with a chronic and unpredictable health condition means that I am in a constant low level state of fear. It means I am in a constant state of high alert and I am always battle ready. This alone is exhausting, but I know no other way to survive now. I cannot give in. I won’t.

I am learning to accept the challenges and pitfalls and I do strive for as much normalcy as possible, but sometimes when I can’t do a simple thing because of weakness, it enrages me. I stuff this rage. I plaster a smile on my face and press on. Until it happens, again and again and again and again. Eventually, I cannot hold it in anymore and some of it comes rushing out, but I try to be careful not to let it all out, for I know if I do, disaster will follow.

So every now and then, I have to let a little steam out. I open the gate but not all the way and I alway hold the knob so that I can shut it again when the pressure subsides. I know no other way to manage the emotional ups and downs of this disease but I do know that my psyche needs as much attention and care as my body.