(image from weheartit.com)
February 15, 2000.
That is the day chronic illness joined me on my journey in this thing we call life. 10 years of living in limbo, 5 years of being undiagnosed, gains and losses, fears and joys, anger and acceptance.
Two days ago was the anniversary of me originally getting sick at work. 10 years can be a big anniversary depending on the reason. Anniversaries are usually filled with joy and celebration. You would think that having a chronic illness would not bring opportunities for joy and celebration but that would be wrong. You do learn to celebrate the little and big victories along the way. You learn to appreciate the joy in things undiscovered or rediscovered.
I wanted to acknowledge the anniversary but I really wasn’t sure what kind of post I’d be doing. There is so many negative things that happen when you become ill it’s very easy to fall back on that. I read a venting post recently and thought that would be great for the anniversary. It will be right in the middle of winter and if I’m feeling sad or being situationally depressed, which is my depression diagnosis, it would be a great time to vent. But, I’m doing OK right now. I may do a venting post one day. I’m sure there will be a time when I will want to do it but, now is not the time.
I think there is a combination of things as to why I’m not in the mood to write something and it boils down to me realizing that I’m at peace with having a chronic illness . I’ve accepted that my disability is not going away and I’ve come to peace with that knowledge. I’m more comfortable with it, dealing with it, knowing the different tricks to reduce as much as possible the dizziness and that unbalanced-but-really-I’m-not-drunk walk. Having less stress because I’m not waging war against the illness anymore. Having less stress because I was able to get on disability. Having other people around me dealing with their own health problems and being able to talk, learn and vent about what we’re going through and knowing that I’m not alone. There are many “have-nots” while dealing with a chronic illness but, as you can see, there are many “haves” as well.
As I wrote earlier, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. It has been 10 years. Surely I could come up with something. But, for now, this seems about it. I certainly wish things were better in many regards for me, and for all of us dealing with chronic illness. However, we don’t get to wave a magic wand to wave around and suddenly POOF!, we’re better.
What we do get, by doing such things as reading other blogs, is realizing that we are not alone, others know some of the different things that we are feeling and going through and that we can learn from their experiences as well. And that knowledge may be one of the best gifts those of us with chronic illness can receive.