How do you come to terms with having a chronic illness? I do not have the answer to this question, but I will share some of my thoughts, emotions, struggles and hopes.
For those who have followed me for a while, you know that I have had a sleeping disorder since I worked overnight shifts 10 years ago. 7 years of poor sleep and lots of work resulted in me collapsing about 3 years ago. Since, I have slowly worked myself up to working 50%. I am a different person now. I used to be able to do anything I wanted, to be able to push myself to new limits, learn more, work more, experience more. My willpower was one of my strongest assets. It is no more…not in the same sense, anyway. My body`s signals are stronger than my willpower now. If I am tired, I can no longer will myself to get going.
Sometimes it feels like I have lost, lost to my body. Other times I am thankful that my body will tell me what it needs. It used to whisper, and I did not listen. Now it roars!
Like a lion, it roars. I need to keep it happy, in check, for it not to consume me. It will be a dance between us, sometimes a playful dance, sometimes a dance for life. I am no longer the king of the savannah, there are two of us, and sometimes I have to yield. And the costs of yielding is high.
I can accept that I have to use medication, I can accept that I can not work the way I used to, and that my social life suffers. But can I accept that I might not be able to bring a child to this world, because I get so ill? Not now. Maybe never.
So I will roar back, as much as I can. But, it is hard to know what will sustain me in this jungle. There is, truly, a jungle out there, with advice on how to heal. I have tried so, so many things. After a while, I just needed to rest from it. Trying to heal was exhausting. Now, I put my trust in nature.
I am giving my body the healing powers of the greens in nature. Every day now, I am juicing or making smoothies, drinking fermented juice, reducing the anti-nutrients of grains. It takes time to plan, because it is a new way of eating. But, if I could get my life back, that is a small, small sacrifice.
I sense a shift in my body. It awakens. Slowly. I can roar higher. I may not win the battle against the lion, but I can live side by side with it. And hopefully, soon, live side by side with it without fear that it will take all my dreams away. The dreams of a good life and a family.