There’s an ugly truth about chronic illness. It hides from the rest of the world behind closed doors. Only caregivers and those suffering truly understand.
It’s the suffering that happens when people are forced to mourn the life that was stolen from them. And it’s the torment that occurs when you try to pick up where you left off.
Each time your illness attacks, it rips away a piece of you. Each bite hurts worse than the last because you fight so darn hard to win the battle, only to have a part of you stripped away. Yet, we expect ourselves to dust off and start over again.
The cruelty of disease
My chronic illness is a bully. She hunts me down day after day. She persistently harasses me with painful procedures and side effects. But unlike a human bully, she doesn’t sleep. Scleroderma lives with and follows me around every minute of every day. I feel her beating me down without remorse. And there’s nothing I can do about it.
Could you imagine living that pain, knowing there would be no end to it?
So, how do you find a way to face the battle over and over again?
Stop being your own bully
My body can no longer do what it could do a year ago. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully accept or make peace with this. But I have learned that telling myself to start again is nothing short of sabotage. It implies that I must get back to where I was before the damage occurred.
While that sounds wonderful, it’s not possible until a cure is found. Asking myself to press restart is a pressure that will certainly lead to failure. It’s unfair to ask yourself to do more than you are capable of.
Of course, I’m going to work hard to rebuild my strength, but I have to set realistic goals. So, instead I’m hitting the reset button. Today is new. Each day is new. I will not start over, because I cannot. I can, however, take a new path. The one where I am capable of achieving success!
Press the reset button
When your computer freezes, you restart it. But when the same error keeps occurring, you have to reset it. Let’s give ourselves the same grace we give technology.
If you have a disease that keeps taking things from you, I encourage you to hit your reset button. Take off the weights that were placed upon you yesterday. Those pressures were placed upon a person that is no longer the same. Move on and move forward with new goals. Let go of what is gone and set your eyes on the path in front of you. Self-acceptance is a powerful gift.
We can’t change the past, but we can feast on all the beautiful things our new paths have laid out for us.
Note: Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Scleroderma News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to scleroderma.