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The new ‘normal’
I cannot walk any more!!
I am in constant pain!!
These are some of the new realities for people with a chronic illness, the new ’normal’. You no longer have the luxury of being able to hop out of bed and go for a long walk. Everything in your life has to be planned around your illness. This new ‘normal’ takes time to adjust to.
In the last week I have had to avoid doing things which, when I was well, I would have loved to do. One of these is a class reunion. It is now 30 years since I left school, and this weekend a reunion was planned. As part of the reunion there were several events taking place, dinners, golf, and late nights reminiscing about our times at school, and what has happened in our lives since then. 30 years is a lot to catch up on. I decided not to attend, as physically it would have been too draining, and the recovery time could be weeks. This is my new ‘normal’.
Life, whether you are well, or not, brings many changes. In my life I have had so many that I have lost count. One thing that I have learned is that I cannot live my life in the past. It is part of me. That is true. But it is not me now. I am living in a totally different situation and I have to live to the very best of my ability given my current situation. So I have accepted that there are things that I cannot do, such as attending the school reunion. However are are thing that I can do. Such as writing this blog about my experiences and what I have learned. This has given me peace in my life, and happiness.
I still struggle with this way of living, and I admit that I don’t always succeed. But I will always try to enjoy what I can do. To focus on my abilities. The other path could lead to despair (see Tip 3 – Look after your mental health). I have RRMS (Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis), and it has gone through cycles of having an impact on my life, and times where it has not. I also have a chronic headache (which has lasted for 3+ years at the time of writing) with no seeming possibility of improving. This will not change.
So I have a choice, accept what I cannot change, and move on with my life, or rebel against it, and live a life of struggle. I have chosen the former. This is an active decision, and a decision that I have to make every day.
At some stage things might become too much for me, and I could be tempted to wallow in self pity. I sincerely hope that this will not happen, and I am depending on the people that I surround myself with to help me. The new ‘normal’ can be very tough.
How do you cope with the loss of an ability? what do you do to live your life better? Please let me know in the comments below.
See my other posts in this series.
As I am not a medical doctor, or other member of the medical profession, I cannot give medical advice. In this post I am letting you know what works for me. Only change what you do to help you cope with your illness after discussing it with a qualified medical practicioner.