Who Am I Now? After Being Diagnosed
While I work hard to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information at the time of publishing, as time passes some information may no longer be relevant or accurate. The field of medicine is a constantly evolving science and art. Thankfully! In 1951 a woman was given a lobotomy to treat her ulcerative colitis. That wasn't even that long ago!
Dreaming Of Your Old Life
Last night I came across a video titled, Who Am I Now? After Being Diagnosed. The title of the video alone caught my attention.
Who am I now?
Think about that for a second.
Maybe you’ve thought about it before. Maybe you think about it all the time. Do you find yourself yearning to be the person you used to be? Do you think about how able your body was, dream about a sport you used to play well, or wish that your body could do all the things it used to be able to do? I used to think about stuff like this often and during difficult times I still find myself thinking about who I used to be ‘before I got sick.’
I spent time with a friend this past week who is newly diagnosed with IBD. I listened as she spoke about her life before she got sick and it seems like she is stuck on that right now. Understandably she’s still mourning the life she once had. It’s not wrong to think about the old you. It’s normal to mourn life the way it used to be, to dream of going back, and to wonder what the future holds.
The New You Can Be Just As Great As the Old You; Just Different
Here are my thoughts: Fantasizing about who you used to be is normal but when you fixate on it it’s no longer healthy. You’re not allowing yourself to move forward or come to a place of peace and acceptance about everything. I’m guilty of doing it at times. I think about the body I used to have and how capable it was; I miss the days that I danced. I think about how I used to go to school, work two jobs, and maintain a social life without thinking about it. When things get difficult I start thinking negatively and wish that I could go back in time. Sometimes I watch my healthy friends and wish that I had their lives that they seem to take for granted. There have been times that I’ve been flat out angry with life, my body, my disease. Times where I had lost hope for a future that could be anything I wanted it to be.
Now, after many years of having chronic illness, I have come to a point where I have (mostly) accepted my life as it is. I know that things are always changing and that my health today is not going to be the same a month from now or a year from now; it could be better OR worse, so I better learn to roll with the punches.
Currently I can’t do some things I would like to do.
In the future maybe I can?
Or maybe my health will never allow me to get to that point again.
If I don’t learn to accept these things about my life it will be a lot harder to deal with. Some things are out of my control and that pretty much sums up life with chronic illness doesn’t it? I can’t control what medications will work or not work, I can’t control future surgeries and how they will affect me, I can’t control when I will be doubled over in pain, or anything else that might happen.
I have learned for the most part to be a go-with-the-flow type of person. This is certainly not the type of person I used to be but as each year passes, and more happens, I realize that in the end it’s all okay. It’s okay because I am here, I don’t give up, and life is still filled with it’s good times.
I have friends, I laugh, I have love in my life. In the end does it matter if I am a high school teacher, working in a salon, or doing something completely different? Does it matter what grades I got in school or how long I was able to ride my bike? I think not. I think in the end when I look back all I want to be able to do is say that I tried my best, I laughed, I smiled, and I have love in my life.
This post was edited on 7/16/2019 for appearance, grammar, and clarity, as I transfer my site from Tumblr to WordPress and rebrand Inflamed & Untamed.