Young, Sick and Lost

Having a chronic illness and being sick involves a lot of grieving. Grieving for who you were, what you had and what you could do and that's ok. It's ok because grieving is apart of healing and once you heal from losing yourself you can begin to reinvent yourself.

I felt like I had been stripped of who I was, I felt naked on the inside.. I had lost everything; my passions, my intelligence, things that made me, me- And sometimes that is worse than the physical pain. 

It took me a really long time to accept I was sick and couldn't do things I once could. I would push myself past exhaustion to keep up with my friends because I didn't want my teenage years to be taken from me. It had already stripped me of my health.. I no longer had control over my body. My body had been in over drive so long it could no longer function properly. And when you lose control, you lose yourself.   

The real pain comes from not being able to be the person you once were. I spent a long time mourning, not only my pre-illness life but what my life could've been; the dreams I will never fulfill, the festivals I'll never attend, the memories I'll never make. You grieve that.. that's something I never expected and it's something you need to do. Honestly I don't think you can understand it until you have been through it as it's so personal. 

Years, months and days are wasted, filled with denial, anger, depression, guilt before you reach acceptance. Denial filled my head with the words "this isn't fair." I was filled with so much anger as to why this was happening to me; no medications are working, the doctors aren't helping, everyone is forgetting about me. But I fought my way through this toxic mindset and I realised there is life beyond this illness. And then comes acceptance- it's not permanent (well for me it isn't) but its there. The denial, anger and guilt will over ride it but there is more days that I appreciate everything I have, every small accomplishment I make and I celebrate that. 

When you lose yourself you have no choice but to find yourself again and sometimes that means reinventing yourself. Being chronically ill changes you. It changed my mindset. My old goals have been replaced with you ones and so have my hopes for the future. This illness has taught me to become more tolerant, more kinder to myself and more understanding. Because the more you fight against it the more resentful you become. Eventually you understand that you must let your illness in and for one simple reason: the sake of peace. 

Being sick is the worst thing in the world but like everything in life there's always a silver lining- and I've found it. 

 

Sarah X 

Sarah ReedyComment