Sunday, September 23, 2012

Embracing My Illness

This is something I never thought I would write, until I read a reply from Patti yesterday. I have asked for her permission to make it a post, and am hoping she will let me share it with everyone.

I’ve been fighting my illness, but really there is no way to beat it (not yet, anyways). So I need to stop fighting, and accept a few things. Here are some:

 -        My diagnosis.
-        There is no cure. (Not yet).
-        Taking medications. They cause side effects, and I don’t want to take them when I’m feeling really well. When I’m feeling well, it makes the whole “being sick” thing feel like a mistake.
-        My limitations. Stressful situations aggravate my illness, and I need to avoid them.
-        My work. I need to modify my work to accommodate my illness, otherwise I will just keep getting sick.
-        My lifestyle. I can no longer drink alcohol or have caffeine. I have to have a regular bedtime, otherwise my disrupted sleep will throw me into a dangerous depression.
-        I can’t tolerate too much change. I need stability.
-        My anxiety. I will always have trouble being around other people.
-        My need for order in my life.
-        My need for exercise and proper diet.

Here are some things that my illness does to me. It:

-        Makes me not want to exercise.
-        Makes me crave carbs.
-        Makes me start big projects, and work on them continuously until they are finished.
-        Causes me to create grandiose plans.
-        Makes me feel like I’m smarter than everyone else.
-        Makes me less tolerant.
-        Makes me stay in bed, not shave or shower, and cry a lot.
-        Makes me want to hurt or kill myself.
-        Causes my brain to overload, so I become slow at making decisions and can’t think clearly.

Everyone gets sick at some point (even Superman got sick when Lex Luthor exposed him to Kryptonite). This feels like it isn’t fair, but that’s life. This just happens to be my disease.

I’ve never realized this, but I can embrace my illness with all of its quirks and limitations, and live with it in a positive way. (I was going to make a comparison to marriage there, but realized that I would not have a great day with my wife if I did that).

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