October 4, 2010

Who's in Control?

Due to the nature of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I often feel as though my body controls me rather than the other way around. Often times, my days seem to be decided for me in advance. Will I wake up? Will I be capable of focusing on an activity? Will I be able to leave the house? It is difficult to identify the separation between the illness and me. While most of the time I’d like to think it is only one part of me, there are times where it seems to take over my entire being – worming its way into my goals, values, and personality. So the question is: how do I strike a balance between making choices to guide my life and relenting to the decisions of the illness? Logically, it is easy to see that being at war with an already taxed body is not good, but sometimes this is easier said than done.

Essentially, it is a question of acceptance. I don’t have to like what is happening to me but I can’t be angry about it all the time either. This issue is on the forefront of my mind right now because of my recent decline due to a reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus. Before this downfall I felt as though my life was rather limited, but for the most part I was able to accept those limitations and adjust my life accordingly to feel fulfilled. It was as if I was living in a box with clearly marked boundaries. In that box I knew what was too much to push me over the edge but I also knew the places where I could push myself a bit. Then one day, my box shrunk. Now I am faced with a new slew of sacrifices and limitations that I have to learn.

On one hand, it is a lesson in being grateful – as the old saying goes, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. On the other hand, it is now time to face a new set of fears and disappointments. I’ve been through this process time and time again, with each new symptom, infection, or virus: feel worse, lose confidence, adjust to new condition, and build myself back up. With each pitfall, the disappointment is equally strong but the process of building myself back up again does seem to get a bit easier. The supports I need are all in place; it’s now a matter of harnessing what seems like my last bit of strength to work through the emotional trauma.

Some questions to consider:

How do you support yourself and cope with limitations?

What makes you feel in control of your situation?

Where do you find strength?

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic presentation. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post.Those suffering from chronic or severe illnesses, like MS, Ovarian Cancer, or Mesothelioma need physicians, therapists, and medical advice.Nice information.
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