Saturday, August 28, 2010

Uncertainty...the bully of Chronic and Invisible Illness

I have to apologize to Lana, I'm ridiculously behind in reading up on people's blogs, and unfortunately I'm back on July 29th of hers. So Sorry! I was just reading her post: "Being Chronically Ill Makes Me Question Myself" And all I can see is the parallel that holds true for all of us. Having doubt and uncertainty in ourselves and what we're able to accomplish is both personally devastating and creates roadblocks to what we're allowing ourselves to attempt to do in the future. Goals we've always had, and worked hard to meet, become less important, less achievable, as we look at ourselves and whats happening to our bodies and wonder if its even possible anymore.

Personally, I'm ashamed to admit, but I often see it as a "pass" for giving up, or not even trying. Or an excuse for why I didn't make it. It's hard to draw a line between what we physically can't do anymore, and what we can do, but have to do carefully. Having chronic/invisible illnesses not only affects our physical health, but our mental awareness of self, and our perception of what we're capable of. Quite frankly, It's not fair. But if we remain in the pity party, that I so often desperately want to throw for myself!, we're missing out on the beauty of what could be happening in our lives, and in the future. And what makes all of it worse, is the fact that others around us don't understand what we're going through. (See next post on Invisible Illness)

Our bully, uncertainty, tries to mess with our head and tell us we can't do it anymore. To quote Lana: "The truth is I know that am capable, but I don’t always know how able I am....when I am flaring I forget that I am able." I know I am right up there with her, and I'm sure many of you are as well. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've wanted to do something, but the words: if I weren't sick....runs through my mind as a disclaimer for why I can't. I'm afraid I won't succeed. I'm afraid adding one more thing to what I'm already doing will cause me to have a flareup. And I'm afraid to talk about it. I don't want others to know that I have other dreams, but I'm too afraid of what could happen to even try to accomplish them. I want to go back to school, I wish I'd never given up, that I'd pushed through to the end. That I hadn't picked a major based on things like: I can do this online, in my own time; or this degree will allow me to have a job with awesome benefits. I wish I didn't have to choose my job based on the insurance benefits. I wish needing insurance benefits didn't limit me in what I am able to do. I wish I had more time to volunteer. I wish I had more confidence in myself. I wish people understood.

But I also know, that if I let uncertainty win and take over all my decisions, that my life is not going to contain eveything I'd hoped for. I'll be stuck here, where I am, not going anywhere, or accomplishing anything new. I'm going to look back and be disappointed that I passed on so many opportunities. I'm going to see all those discarded dreams and wish I'd tried harder. I'm going to wonder if I would have been able to do it if I'd only tried. Thank you Lana, for reminding me that I am capable, and that I need to remind myself that I am able, and to try harder to shut out the little voice in my head telling me I can't do something. I'm going to re-evaluate what I want to do, and work on getting there. Because I know I can, I just have to work harder, and smarter to get there.

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