Sunday, 12 March 2017

Chronic Illness Life Lesson Number Two - Feelings of Resentment and Forgiveness

Welcome back! To follow on from my previous post (Life Lessons Number One) we are now ready for the second instalment, on the topic of "Resentment and Forgiveness".

At the beginning of my illness after being signed off work for two days, with what my doctor thought from blood results was food poisoning, it truly never crossed my mind (nor my GP's) that six months down-the-line I would be hearing the words "you have a chronic illness" or "I need to warn you, that the extent of you disease there's a chance the only option for you may be a colectomy".  Don't get me wrong, I also knew in my gut, that this was bigger than another episode of the "oh so occurrent" gastroparesis, I knew something wasn't right, but neither was I expecting it play such a role in my life indefinetly! I was refusing to let my illness stop me, and I couldn't imagine not having control over my life, and that's how it felt until very recently...

I had routinely been in a very poisonous mindset of getting extremely optimistic that this next doctor I shall meet in X weeks, will diagnose me...he will fix my condition! Inevitability, this was an unhealthy mentality where I would then fall into days of resentment towards everyone, but most importantly, to myself. It happened month after month, I had researched my new doctor, received a referral from my GP, booked an appointment. Which, to be told, various responses of "I can't help you" "Is there a chance this is in your head?" "Try this medication you should be fine within a couple of days"... My heart would sink every time and for days, and sometimes weeks, I would be so upset at myself, questioning myself and my symptoms, it was a terrible cycle and I knew I had to snap out of it quickly.

Despite this, once I hit yet another "false milestone" for my illness, say being signed off work a further few months the feelings of resentfulness would wash over me once more.

I had already been told that my condition was chronic by three doctors, it made me realise that I had to face this head on and the truth was, that it wasn't ever going away. I have realised that despite my circumstances, and awkward condition. I have a choice in my attitude and how I handle it. It's something that I am still working on and is taking me a long time, but that it is ultimately about perception, and forgiveness to oneself. As I keep mentioning over and over again my mantra is "Rubbish times let you discover what the great times are, as well as discover your strength and the strength of those around you". I am determined to fight back and not be a victim. It can be so easy to shrink inside your shell and feel sorry for yourself, but this is not the way I wish to live my life.

This all reinforces my name "The Hopeful Chronic"- which, while this condition is extremely tough, I know I am strong, and fighting this and by overcoming it as best I can, which is only going to make me so much stronger.

"The Hopeful Chronic"


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