Reflecting on the past few years with a classmate, one question kept coming back to me. What changed? What made everything so different? And the answer was so incredibly obvious — I got sick. And over time, it took over more and more of my life, including how I spent my time, who I spent it with, and what I was interested in.
Somehow, it’s still difficult to come to terms with that. I couldn’t even say it out loud. Why? Why is that so hard?
Is it the desperate need to be in control of my life? Laurie Edwards in Life Disrupted discusses how this need causes us to sometimes explode over small mistakes like “ruined” fast food orders.
Is it the desperate desire to be defined not by my past or my circumstances but by who I really am? As a young woman in her mid-twenties, I definitely wish people would take the time to really get to know who I am below the surface. Not only is that what I can control, but that part remains the same regardless of my heritage or my health.
It seems that that’s what made certain relationships explode. Maybe that’s where the tension with my family lies. Maybe that’s what I appreciate about the doctors I’m working with now. It’s definitely something I appreciate about Timothy.
What do you think? What’s the biggest barrier to coming to terms with illness?