Chronic Illness:finding a new “normal”

I just read a post on another blog that inspired this blog post. The topic was about how, once you are diagnosed with a chronic illness – this one was endometriosis, you are forced to find a new “normal.” There is no returning to the life you were accustomed to pre-diagnosis, pre-pain and discomfort. There is no denying you are a changed person.

Chronic illness scars you – leaves battle wounds on your heart, and on your psyche. It permanently changes the way your look at life and those around you. And if you are not careful to realize how blessed you are, that your illness is “chronic” and not “terminal”, your pain will become a bridge that divides you from those who love and care about you. You will regret not being able to do the activities you once could. You will regret having to adjust to a new lifestyle. Depression will eat you. Anger will manifest in your core. And no one will want to be around you. There you will be, isolated, with your illness alone to keep you company.

In order to persevere, we who suffer with chronic illnesses must learn to create a new “normal.” This new normal must not shut out those who loves us. This new normal must not discriminate against the “healthy ones” who can’t understand our pain. This new normal must try to fight with every cell in our bodies against the stigma that comes with “chronic illness”. This new normal must take a firm stand and say “we are chronically ill, not chronically lazy, not chronic hypochondriacs, or chronic attention seekers! And we will not accept ignorance and discrimination anymore!”

At least that’s my “normal.” My normal doesn’t take any crap from any doctor, nurse, clinician, or bystander. And as long as I stick with that normal, I feel good. I feel balanced. There is no depression or anger. There is no regret over things I can’t do. I may push myself too far sometimes, but I suffer for it when I do. I realized I couldn’t be happy unless I pushed myself once in a while. But everyone is different. And that is fine. Everyone needs to find their “normal” and then be content with it.


10 responses to “Chronic Illness:finding a new “normal”

  1. Good points. And let’s push for new research so there is better diagnosis and treatment of this disease AND better identification of who really understands this disease!

  2. Endochick,

    While finding a “new normal” can be one of the biggest challenges of having a chronic illness, I believe the journey to find that “new normal” can be one of the greatest gifts as well. That may sound odd but, like you, I have worked hard to find my “new normal” and in doing so have met wonderful people, have learned how to advocate for myself, have helped others, and have gotten a more balanced perspective (I believe) on what really matters in life. Chronic illness forces a person to focus energy on what really matters. It can help people find their purpose in life. Every cloud has a silver lining.


  3. I’m glad to hear that your “normal” hasn’t stopped you from seeing the positive side of life and that you feel balanced. Most people who don’t suffer from chronic illness never find this balance in their lives, so kudos to you for being who you are! 🙂

  4. Endochick,

    Thinking of you and hoping you’re doing much better than when we last connected.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Thanks, Jeanne! Feeling better. Convinced doc to put me back on Baclofen – it was a long and arduous journey! Finally, this morning, after a long, restful night’s sleep, I am beginning to feel like myself again. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well!

  5. You and Jeanne so rock with your kick-ass attitudes. Sure, you get down sometimes but you get right back up and keep on not only going, but inspiring me with your posts like this.

    My new normal has been keeping it light and bright in Funsterland.

    Hope you are still feeling rested??

    • Thanks, Jannie. I’m better than I was last week, that is for sure. And perhaps I will post later to elaborate on this – and maybe I won’t because all I want to do is bury it behind me. But, then again, I’m a blogger! I don’t really have that luxury, do I?

  6. Endochick,

    Just look at the Janster. Stepping out of Funsterland to compliment our ass-kicking skills. Telling us we rock. Don’t you just love her? In the meantime, she’s running a fantastic, free-speech-inducing, fun-fest over on that amazing blog of hers… making people laugh and smile all day, every day. We rarely even hear mention that she has endo. She’s so busy entertaining people, spreading light & joy, and generally being sweet & funny… it’s easy to forget for a moment that this nasty illness hasn’t exactly been kind to her either!

    I also find it interesting that she has defined her new normal as “keeping it light and bright in Funsterland”. Translation? She copes with the negatives in her life by focusing that much harder on the positives. I see her. She inspires others every day. I don’t know about you but Jannie makes me smile simply by popping up on my blog with that wise eye watching over the proceedings. 🙂

    Now, I must say that I am very relieved that you are doing so much better. When we connected the other day, you sounded terrible. 😦 I was really worried. I am very happy you are doing better now.

    As far as elaborating on details, there is no law in bloggy-land stating we must blog about every single thing that happens (no matter how dramatic – whether good or bad). If you have talked about the subject enough and want to move on, no one will hold it against you. I know you were pretty upset the other day & you’ve already talked about it a great deal. So, if you don’t want to relive it, don’t feel like you have to.

    That is not to say that I didn’t understand that last statement (the luxury remark). You know I get it. 🙂 That reminds me. If you have not read Jannie’s post on blog addiction, I highly recommend it.

    Glad you’re doing better!!!


    • Jannie’s blog post on Blog Addiction was hysterical! LOL

      I, too, am so glad I am feeling better now! As always, Jeanne, thanks so much for being there to talk to. 🙂

  7. Great stuff! Thanks for posting!!

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