Sitting at the end of my bed, she suddenly hits me on the chest like a ton of bricks. My lip trembles, I feel the lump in my throat and I have to stop before the tears flow.
I have trouble putting on my socks and quickly, I remember that my life is gone and will never be what it was. It took me a while to mourn the loss of my old self, and even longer to realize that it was what I was doing. Mourning.
And just like sorrow, no matter how much time you need to heal, you never really mourned. I have lost loved ones over the years, very special people for me and I think about it every day. Now that the years have passed, it does not hurt to remember them, to think of them and the beautiful memories that I shared with them. Yet I am sometimes caught off guard.
I’m going to see my nana’s favorite treats in the store and I’m going to get them, then it’s lightning. My girl is no longer there. That’s where it hurts the most – when you forget that loss for a little second.
It’s a similar process with my condition. Now that I have struggled with this problem for almost 10 years, it has become easier to accept my limits, but from time to time I want what I have.
I forget that I have limits and as soon as I remember things that I can not do … It’s when the bump hits my throat and my eyes in the throat, because it’s a very pain real and raw. This is the first time I hear about the news, it’s once again the pain and confusion and it’s heartbreaking.
All the steps follow one another quickly: you deny your illness, you push yourself to the absolute limit, then you feel such anger when you have trouble keeping pace with others or performing simple tasks.
Then comes the negotiation: if I became healthier, exercised more, ate less shit, meditated more … But no matter what you do, your illnesses will not be gone. Awareness of this causes depression, does not feel good enough, feels helpless and helpless until, finally and thankfully, you make the full turn to be accepted again.
Every time I go through the cycle, I get to acceptance faster and it lasts longer. This does not mean that I am happy with my illness, but it suits me. It’s part of me now and, in most cases, I accept it – in the same way that, even though my grandmother misses me with all my heart, I managed to accept her loss.
When I think of my grandmother and how much she misses me, I also think of my happiness to know her, to be loved by her and to have wonderful memories that no one can keep me.
When I think of my rheumatoid arthritis, I must also see the positives. I have more than I lost. My illness changed me, but it did not reduce me. It made me more empathetic to others, made me stronger, made me a fighter and, more importantly, showed me how much my family and friends loved me.
Sometimes I will cry my old body and the normal and painless life I could have lived. But for the most part, I will make the most of what I got – which, when I think about it, is more than enough.