I am out of control.
I think the hardest part about chronic illness is realizing that control is a total illusion. I often wonder what my six year old self would think if she knew what she would become. Would she look forward to the future? Would she think I handled the battles well? That little girl is all grown up, in a reality she never would have dreamed of. She grew up and developed a rare, auto immune endocrine disorder, Addison’s disease.
As children, we are asked questions like, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” I was always the confident kid who had an answer to everything. “Yes! I’ll be a doctor because I want to help people.” Little me said time and time again. I earnestly believed I could choose my future, and with that belief that adulthood meant control. I thought being an adult meant I could determine my entire life.
Everyone of us who suffers with illness has a dream of “What I could be…if.”
I now see how flawed my childhood ideals were. Yes, chronic illness you have taken my control. I cannot change what happened today, last week or last year. But I can control how I look towards tomorrow.
I will still have Addison’s disease tomorrow but I refuse to let it cripple me. When I wake, I will choose to revel in the beauty of a new beginning. I will allow the sting of my tender spirit to remind me I am still alive. I will use my pain to inspire and help others heal their own. I will learn from the error of my ways. I will smile. I will let myself hurt. I will let myself heal. I will take care of my body. I will let my salty tears remind me of the ocean and not the pain.
Chronic Illness, you took my control but you will not take my character.