Get your life how you want it

One bit of advice you will receive when dealing with a chronic illness is to ‘get your life how you want it’.  I first wrote about this idea here but only in brief because I hadn’t tackled it yet.  And here’s the thing… it’s not easy.  It sounds easy.  It sounds wonderful.  But what I’ve discovered is that it involves tough decisions,re-assessing your views and long-held beliefs about yourself and changes that you feel like you haven’t got the energy for.  So yeah, it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

I knew that my long hours at work, coupled with physical challenges of being a Mum to a 2 year old (read sleep deprivation) as well as the extra emotional stress of being a single Mum and dealing with the other person in my daughter’s life with unclear and ill-defined boundaries was what led me to be so unwell when I came down with a virus.  But I didn’t want to let go of any of the ideas I had about myself.  I wanted to be able to do it all, be successful at work as well as be a successful Mum.  Manage it all like other women had.  But I wasn’t able to and I had to come to terms with that.  When I look back, it seems blatantly ridiculous.  But at the time, I held onto those beliefs like a drowning woman, because I thought that’s what I was.  Someone who was losing her identity.  I saw the illness as an insult to me personally, some malevolent force taking away my hard won success.  I thought that if I could get rid of the illness, I could carry on as planned and get ‘back on track’.  I can’t count how many times I said that to people ‘in 6 weeks I should be right; in 8 weeks I will be fine; surely in 10 weeks I’ll be much better’.

18 months later and life looks very different, but it’s still strange and new and I’m still coming to terms with the changes although I can see the benefits now and I almost can enjoy them.  I’ll write more later on this, I just wanted to make the point that it’s not going to be easy to make the changes you might find you need to, to get your life how you want it.  And mind you, I hate people promoting limiting beliefs, so what I really want to say is, I found it hard.  You might too.


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