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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Keep Swimming...

Patients For A Moment (PFAM) is a patient-centered blog carnival to build connections within the community of people who blog about illness, disease, and disability. Brittney, at The Road I'm On, is hosting the next edition of the PFAM blog carnival:  "What do you do when something you thought you conquered comes back? How do you deal with the change, accept that what you thought was gone for good isn't, and get back to the positive side of life?"

This topic couldn't have come at a better time because I'm currently dealing with this in my life.

I know that I'm going to struggle, at least to some extent, with my illness for the rest of my life (I'm not sure I've fully accepted and embraced this, but I know it). I'm hoping to be able to get things under as much control as possible, so that I can live as close to a 'normal' life as possible.

Now, I can't say that my life was in any way 'normal.' But, I felt like I was on the right track. My husband and I had moved back to Texas (near our families... and doctors). I was starting to be able to do a little bit more around the apartment, and spend a bit more time with my family (though still definitely much less than 'normal'). And, then, everything tumbled down...

Things have been really rough for me over the last few weeks. It's been a pretty big set-back, but I'm really trying to just remember that things will get better. I've kinda gotten used to the 'one step forward, two steps backward' process that tends to be prevalent in chronic illness. It's difficult, but I have to be very deliberate in my thinking, in order to remind myself that things will get better.

I think that part of the challenge is that a false sense of stability forms, when someone that is chronically ill experiences even a short amount of time functioning at a higher level (even if it's only minimally higher). Having even the smallest taste of 'normal' can trick your mind into thinking that things have changed permanently. But, having a chronic illness doesn't work like that. There will continually be ups and downs. You just have to learn to cherish and savor the ups, and trudge through and survive the downs. Much easier said than done... but it's an important thing to work towards. So, when life gets you down...  just keep swimming...
by midnightheartache

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