Traditional work is difficult when you have a chronic illness. Accepting that I have a new path, I find new opportunities for personal fulfillment.
Now that I have accepted that my ability to work in a traditional job is not possible I have had to find another reason to get up every day. Readers of my blog will understand that I am going through the process that is the reality of many people with chronic illness. Our illnesses want to be the lead player in our life. Dictating our direction, and speed.
There are times when I don’t respect this, and I pay the price. It can be either more pain or fatigue. The worst is when I feel like pain, and fatigue has subjugated me to the extent that it is my whole life. There is no room for the Robert behind the illness. This can be very difficult to bear. My old life is gone.
I am seeing this summer, which is coinciding with this downward spiral of my illness, as an opportunity to be a new version of myself. Respecting the constraints, but more importantly seeing a new way to live. Reinventing myself, and perhaps being an entirely different person.
In the deepest recesses of my soul, I have always wanted to write. This blog has opened my eyes to the possibilities, and I am embarking on a new path. I am styling myself as a writer. To achieve this, I have started the process of writing a sci-fi thriller, and also a book about my life with MS and chronic pain. Interestingly they are both journeys.
Finding a path
The great thing about writing is that I can do it in my own time, in a place that is comfortable for me. The novel will allow me to escape into a world of my own making, where the limitations that I have, no longer exist. Exciting, and these two projects will give me a reason to get up in the morning. I suspect that they might even keep me awake at night. I’ve been told that the muse can visit at the strangest of times.
In the last few weeks, I have been trying to find the right balance between how I respect my illness, and how I create personal fulfilment. This has been a rocky road, and I have paid the price for disrespecting my limitations. My error has been to do too much. I now realise this, and I am adjusting. To find the right balance of rest, exercise and feeling useful will take time.
This journey is not unique to me, and the rules will change, and I will have to adapt. It is in these times of transformation that you can see the flaws and weakness of your character and the strengths. Needing to learn how to listen to my body, and how to say “No” are my two most significant problems. At least I see the issues now; next, I have to understand how to correct them.
How are you adjusting to the changes caused by your illness? Are you adapting, and how?