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.