In recent times I have struggled much more than usual with my physical health. Whilst dealing with health challenges is not new to me, dealing with a diagnosis of a permanent and potentially debilitating condition like inflammatory arthritis is. My reaction to this has been compounded by the fact my 81 year old grandmother has battled something similar for 25 years and has been crippled by it. I look at her and honestly, it is a fate that scares the hell out of me.
In spite of the many health issues I have had over the years I have remained fairly active, busy and the ‘do-er’ type so you can imagine the frustration of having to ask and wait for help, adjust my plans or put things on hold just because I physically cannot do as much right now. I can tell you I have really underestimated the impact of all this, as I am sure many in similar circumstances will relate to. For me, it is really about having to welcome a new way of living; which, let’s face it, when foisted upon one in the most unwelcome of ways is a change that is hard to embrace.
What I realised was this, this very unwelcome change has forced me to peel away some layers around why I am like I am, which is independent, at times to my own detriment!
Among other things, I discovered this….. at the base of all the emotion this unravelled was fear.
Fear of not being able to financially support myself.
Fear of being a burden to my loved ones.
Fear of being in pain forever.
Fear of being crippled like other family members have been.
Fear of losing my independence.
Fear I might not be around long enough to meet my grandkids.
In fact for some reason this particular issue has really made me question my mortality. Interestingly, it is far from the closest brush with death I have faced, but the permanency of it has weighed so heavily on me.
Whilst I don’t have all the answers, the cure, or anything else that will make this problem just ‘go away’, what I have come to realise is the only way of overcoming this is in acceptance. Easy to say and hard to do, I know!! Am I there yet? Not entirely. Does it help when I can spend time mentally in that loving, accepting space? Absolutely! Working my way through this with support is the only way forward and the sooner I can shift from black and white thinking and accept what is, I suspect the fear and the disease itself will lose their power over me.
So if I offer any advice to you who might be in the same boat and reading this – it would be to look at who or what you are handing your personal power over to, and how can you take it back. My guess is the answer may revolve around acceptance.