It probably shows in my recent posts that I’ve gone through a lot of changes in the past few months, physically and mentally.
When you’re in treatment for an illness like chronic Lyme disease, ideally you have to put off certain goals or extra activities because letting your body heal is the priority. And when you have something like myalgic encephalomyelitis, you shouldn’t push yourself too much because abstaining from chronic over-exertion will give you the best long-term prognosis; repeated self-induced “crashes” will harm you.
But faced with two relapses, the possibility of another gradual decline, and the complete mental and emotional exhaustion that arises after four consecutive years of fighting for your life, I came to some big conclusions in early December:
This is the only life I have, it’s okay to make whatever decisions I think are necessary to live it, and I cannot put anything on hold anymore.
There is no longer a “things I’ll do when I get better” category in my brain. And it’s not that I don’t believe I can get better–I believe anything is a possibility. (And how I love that word. “Possibility.” Almost as much as I love the word “indefinitely.” Indefinite possibility means, at once, what is uncertain is also limitless.) But like I said a few posts ago, even looking forward positively is still not living in the moment. You can’t get caught up in all the things you’re looking forward to having or being or doing, because you’ll miss the opportunities of the only life you actually have–the life you’re currently living.
Besides, what do you really want your good health for, anyway? I realized that many of the things I wanted to do were still possible if I just went about them a different way and stopped waiting for that imagined “better time” in the future… A future I’m not even guaranteed to get.
Would you live your dreams? Well, find some that are still achievable, and get started. If there aren’t any, create new ones.
Would you spend more time with your family? You can still prioritize that, you just have to do it differently than when you were “healthy.”
Would you be a better spouse/parent/friend? Don’t wait to unveil that version of yourself you’ve always imagined. They’re in there, and you can get closer to being that person moment-by-moment.
Another thing I learned is that I can’t expect people to understand where I am with this, if they haven’t been here.
My blog is (for my expression, but) less for people who are just now starting their fight than it is for people who have went a few rounds with their disease until they had to just Let It Be. I’ve had people think me delusional for their lack of understanding, just as I probably would have thought of someone like The Current Me, back when I was just starting out. And that’s okay. I hope they find this place gracefully if they also end up navigating it.
So with that in mind, I made some resolutions for this year. To be continued…
♥ a rainbow at night