When I initially got my diagnosis of Addison’s Disease, I fell into the phase, we all know so well, GRIEF. Here now was a progression, a morsel of liberation at discovering concrete answers as to why I have been ill for so many years. Still, some of the hope fragmented as I sluggishly came to terms with the reality that my condition is an incurable disease. When you’re told you have a chronic illness, some parts of your life will cease, and the rest can be continuously disturbed by it. From that point on, the diagnosis, and the rest of my life felt like a massive pill to try to swallow. While at the same time, you have to consume enough of them in real life to preserve some of the quality of life you formerly knew.
In the beginning, people were not always gracious with my emotions, which made me feel like I was more mental than sick, even though I was in a bad physical state. Physical does take a toll on psychological. I had to either shrug it off or get rid of those folks that no longer served me in what I needed for personal growth and to keep fighting. I was fuming at the universe for dispensing me a card that couldn’t be fixed, that couldn’t be torn into pieces and made to vanish. I would smash out in unexpected instants and afterward break down into tears. But I was loved throughout it all. During the misperceptions, the miserable episodes, the days spent in bed, I was held and soothed by the one person I could count on. ME. I started to give myself pep talks about sunnier tomorrows. I realized how much I truly do love myself.
I trust in brighter days, but I struggled with the awareness that I basically had to re-create my existence from what I once knew. I had to grieve the previous plans I had for my life. Now it’s just like someplace I may go, or how do I do these things, and the reality that the sketch plan I had in my head for my life was now going to be jumbled. It distressed me. But on the other hand, I now could trust in the new marvel. Different plans and changes are not always bad, but I had to grieve for the life that could have been first.
In the peak of that grief, somebody I loved, named me a victim. Honestly, I believe the word victim is a terrible thing to say about a living breathing person. We utilize it on somebody who has remained mistreated, who’s confronted trauma. It brands me with weakness; To me, that shouldn’t be said about humans fighting for their life. We aren’t weak because we are sick. We ought to be termed soldiers, warriors, and winners alike. Admired, not felt sorry for. I had not ever before linked myself with weakness. I have had weak moments, but when I revisit the trials I’ve confronted, I never believe myself as somebody who was going to be shattered, even when it felt like current conditions were vexing to expunge me from this planet. I saw myself, sword in hand, prepared to defeat what lay before me. Even when I was flat on the ground, when the sword remained too hefty to raise, I was nevertheless preparing myself for combat.
Then somebody else observed me and my grief over a life I’d never live and in its place saw somebody who was giving up. They saw my diagnosis as a risk to overthrow me. I understand the intention, I recognize that they sought to make me come back and keep fighting this disease; desired me to challenge them by putting me firm on my own two feet then attesting the term “victim” incorrect. I wished we could just talk about the entire condition over and over again pending we got it precise, and didn’t partake to squander separately over it… but I recognize today that they were demanding to love me throughout it.
People in your life will never really understand your grief or chronic disease. They might not ever be adept at perceiving the realism of your condition since they just don’t have the tools to do so. They are the people who attempt to provide you resolution after resolution instead of just being there as someone to validate your feelings with. There also will be people who are astonished that you are still sick weeks and months and years after your diagnosis. For the average individual, chronic disease sounds like a cold that should be easily fixed. They are things conversed over the dinner table with doctor-suggested resolutions and what Uncle so-and-so attempted that helped him function. For healthy individuals, a chronic sickness appears like an insignificant blip in the toot of their everyday existence.
There are also the folks who may attempt to “repair” you. Grief can gulp you up for an extensive period — I don’t think it’s detrimental if it does — but you are not a victim to your disorder. You are not a victim of your feelings. You are not a “victim” for requiring periods to practice what has transformed. I assure you, even when it feels like you are sinking in it, the lighter days are awaiting for you. And they will be there for you when you are willing for them. There is no repair, it is about survival.
However, I know it was said with respectable meanings, but being called a victim upset me a great deal. I started inquiring about my connections with everybody, and I turned out to be very abysmal in my thoughts with a lot of the people in my life. I was concerned that each individual who caught my story or perceived my feelings or merely caught my speech was considering somebody who is not doing the disease “the right way.” I realized I don’t care to choose how others see us; we are only accountable for how we see ourselves.
I inspire you to be a winner or a soldier or a warrior. You don’t have to let your sickness claim you. A diagnosis is just a method for doctors to comprehend you better — it articulates nothing of who you are as an individual or what countless achievements you WILL achieve. You are more than an abridgment, more than a researcher’s last name, more than a page in a medical periodical. You are you, and you are extraordinary in your existence. I am not a victim of grieving, and neither are you. Anything you sense about your diagnosis is authorized irrespective of what anybody else believes. We are champions for pulling ourselves out of bed on certain days. We are unconquerable for selecting the choices that are best for ourselves and our health. We are robust for breathing with a disease that is daunting and problematic and occasionally unbearable. We are advocates for success through it every day.
And to the individuals in my life who didn’t comprehend… I hope you do not ever find yourself feeling weak. I hope you discover to rejoice even the minimum of conquests. I encourage you not ever beat yourself up for your thoughts. I actually, sincerely, hope you have a lengthy and content lifespan.
But most of all, I hope you recognize that I don’t see a victim once I look in the mirror. I see a courageously spitfire little lady.