Learning to cry after your tears got dry
Recently I’ve learned I have a condition called Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease. It’s named after the Swedish doctor that discovered this disease in early 1930’s. Those are the kind of diseases that we just hear about when it happens to someone close to us (or to ourselves) or to any celebrity.
I didn’t know a single word from Swedish — even Ikea furniture never helped on that sense. But that name on the top in particular, I had to learn. Because it looks like it’s going to be my partner for the rest of my life.
On the one hand it’s annoying me. And a lot. It’s roughly interfering on my usual activities and routine. Now I have to deal with pains levels that I’ve never had before, and all the medications to reduce it. It’s draining my energy. It’s causing some weird brain fogs. Sometimes it’s making me a stranger to myself.
But the most awkward symptom that I’m running into is the dryness of eyes and mouth, and therefore the effect it brought to my ability of crying as usually any person would do.
It’s not that I cannot at all; one drop or two may come if I’m under heavy emotions. It’s hard, and it’s uncomfortable, and I get insane puffy eyes that take a couple of hours to come back to normal. But the will and the need to cry are there yet.
However, on the other hand…
It’s teaching me. The hard way.
About constraints. About limits. About patience. To not let it go. To accept what you cannot change and to live with what you’ve got.
Those are values have always had place in my life somehow, but now they have a completely different layer of experience and understanding.
Lately I’ve been searching through out the web for articles, news, stories, etc. Unfortunately the most of the stories I’ve seen tend to have a sad tone. I strongly respect every single person opinion and point of view, each person is the only that can really judge her/his own pain. Also I believe I’m at the beginning of a brave and hard new world, there’s too much to learn and to live; there are out there millions of others that have been struggling with that for a long time.
But I must confess it made me sad. Maybe they are not having the help they should have, or not even the understand and support from others. Maybe they had already a hard life and the disease brought another layer of difficulties. Maybe they are not having help to accept what is happening to them. Maybe there’s not as much help available for this disease as for others.
My ultimate lesson to learn then becomes…
…my condition may determine aspects of my living, but I’m not going to be defined by my condition.
I’m looking forward to keep my life as close as possible to what I believe as a normal life for someone with this condition.
I’m looking forward to make fun of my constraints and the awkward situations they might bring.
I’m looking forward to learn new ways of entertaining myself which fit any restrictions that may come.
I’m looking forward to finally start a healthier diet and the exercises that I’ve always postponed.
I’m looking forward to regain some quality to my life that I’ve lost the last year.
I’m looking forward to become less dependant on medication to feel well.
And finally, I’m really looking forward to keep all the lines above on top of my mind even when harder times come.