Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Death And Life Living With Chronic Illness

II was driving to my daughters to watch the grandkids yesterday and my mind began to wonder. I thought about how life with chronic illness is so unpredictable. I thought back to when life was somewhat normal for me. A time when I was involved in so many things. When I was able to give little pieces of my soul and my goodness to the world. The lives I know I touched even if it was only for a minute or an hour. I pondered on how many years it has been since I was robbed of my physical ability to help others. I tried to figure out when the death of that life occurred for me. I felt sad trying to figure out the exact moment out. I can't really pinpoint the moment but I figured out it was a somewhat gradual death. I remember being involved in so much but I also remember when I had to cut back. When I first became so sick it affected my daily living I simply cut some things out but still forced myself to give. A good choice I am not sure now as I look backnow. I would wear myself so thin that I suffered even more but I always felt we all need to give out to the world and for me that had always been such a big part of me I could never give it up. The last thing I gave up was being a Hospice volunteer. It was the most painful decision I had ever made about my service to the world. I felt like I lost so many deep relationships and that I was giving up on the dying like the rest of the world does. I always found it somewhat odd how we think of the dying as another entity and not people anymore. Some of my deepest heartfelt relationships were with my hospice patients and I miss them and I still mourn the losses of the relationships I was never able to have after I had to stop volunteering. Thinking about that time I came to the conclusion that was my death, the death of Dianne, at least the old Dianne. But then I realized there was also a birth of my new life. The new Dianne. The Dianne I am still coming to grips with. I wonder if I will ever be comfortable with this new life but for now I try to get through each day one at a time. Gone are the days of planning a life filled with so much and taking it all for granted. These days it is more about getting out of bed and trying to do the things I must do and having enough energy for all the other demands of life. The real world part of life. Making plans or being invited to things that so many times I truthfully don't want to go to because I know there will be a price to pay. I also know there are times I have to make plans to keep people in my life. When you are chronically ill there are people who don't understand or as I believe don't want to understand who leave your life because they can't handle it. The few friends I do have and want to keep need to know it has nothing to do with them when I can't meet them. I am fortunate to know who understands now. I thought about this for a while how time weeds out those who care and those who don't. I also had the realization that I have done the same thing when it comes to people not only did people leave my life but I made decisions to leave people behind too. I had to delete the toxic people in my life. The ones who just took, took, took from me. The new me has more time to focus on me, as selfish as that may sound, but it is what it is. Quite honestly I don't care anymore. 

My new life. A life I dreamed of at this age? No way! Just finding my way living this new life. Like I always say the pain, fatigue, and other symptoms of chronic illness are easy to deal with because you know what you are getting. You get to know your body because it controls your life. It's your boss. The mental and emotional affects of chronic illness? Brutal to say the least. Longing for the way things use to be and trying to get that person back is one of the worst symptoms to deal with, at least for me. I continually compare the life and death of chronic illness to the life and death of life. We all have a life and die and after death we still have new life. In chronic illness there is the death of a life you once had but also life in your new life. You have to continue to live and keep the hope. Blocking out the voices in your head that tell you your life is over is a full time job and you must be in control of those voices and live and give the best you can. Maybe you can't do it like you use to and it looks different now but you are still living. Life goes on! Do it the best you can! 

God Bless!


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