Fight with windmills
Fighting with pain, fatigue, disability, and chronic illness can look as a fight with windmills. You can’t win, you get tired, but you don’t quit. Accepting being helpless in fight with genes, nature, destiny, God is a long road, but necessary if you want have better quality of life.
Accepting chronic illness is not about resigning yourself to illness forever, it’s about understanding and no longer fighting where you are right now. Because as long as we deny where we are, we can’t formulate a plan to move forward.
Acceptance is a gift, it is finally permission to stop fighting with reality. When we deny situation, body, condition, we denied parts of ourselves. People put so much effort to pretend that they are not in pain, they don’t have lifelong condition, and energy drains so much to hiding, neglecting, diminishing. What would happen if you would shift that energy into a process of accepting?
Start with not blaming yourself for condition you have. It’s not surprising, given that our culture tends to treat chronic illness as some kind of personal failure, unconsciously. Certainly, you disease affects what you can do, but it is not your fault, it is not “failure” of your character, nor you deserved it. Letting go of self-blame is accompanied by a tremendous relief.
Learn how to distinguish your personality from your disease.
Accept that you need to reorganize your life and that you may never be as you were hoping/imagining. Create supportive environment for productivity and satisfaction.
What is a main fear that is connected with accepting chronic illness, is that others will not like me if “ I am like this”. You worry that accepting your condition you won’t be motivating to change thing you don’t like or that you will stay “like this/bad/wrong” until the end of your live.
Even though is frightening, it is a first step in transformation. Don’t forget to be kind with yourself and let all emotions out.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain,” Vivian Greene.
By Andrea Nenadic, Psychotherapist and Social Worker