It’s My Illness Anniversary This Month!



Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

This is always a strange time of the year for me. February is when I originally got sick and started this journey. It was a really bad flu season that winter and everyone assumed I would get better.

Surprise!

Little did I know what was in store for me.

So it’s been a reflective few days for me. How do you reconcile almost 20 lost years of your life due to a disability?

I thought about where I was, where I thought I was going, my plans, my dreams.

Then I thought of where I am now. I’m going to be 60 in three years. Just that sentence gives me pause. Because I can’t help but think of what I was doing when I was 36. Where I thought I’d be going, my plans, my dreams.

Even typing my age of when I first got sick caused a bit of tightness in my throat. I was so young then. You don’t think of 36 as being young but when you look back from from the persective of being close to 60, your 30s seem young.

Now, I think of other problems with my health. Heart disease and stroke affected both my parents. I’m now on medication for my blood pressure and to keep my heart from racing. This may very well have happened to me at some point, but when your physical abilities and activities dwindle, I can’t help but wonder how much later these would have happened to me.

To be honest, I’m not sure what I really want to say. I’m just typing thoughts out as they occur. I’m not sad like I’ve been in years gone by. It’s certainly not a happy anniversary. No one thinks this will happen to them, it happens to other people. Bad things always happen to other people. Except they don’t.

There are a lot of other people out there, a lot who are dealing with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

It’s been more of a reflective state of mind this year. Thinking about something that won’t change. Something that can’t be fixed. Something that has affected my day-to-day life for almost two decades.

Maybe, ultimately, what I’m saying is that you are not alone. If you are reading this blog and you are new to the disabled and chronic illness community, know that you are not alone.

And don’t be dismissive of what you are thinking and feeling or let others be dismissive of what you are thinking and feeling. Whether you are very emotional at all the changes in your life or like I am at the moment, more reflective. Or anything and everything in between.

Moments change. That is the constant of life. Change. We just have to learn how to best deal with it. Sometimes we’re being great at it, other times it is overwhelming. Be kind to yourself. Talk to others. Seek help, if necessary. But, always remember.

You are not alone.