This is my first post. I've sought out this forum mostly because I'm lonely, I guess. Sixteen months ago, I had everything going for me. At 30, I had a job that I loved. I had run my first half marathon. I played indoor and outdoor soccer. I had lots of friends. I was strong, and confident. Then with very little warning all of that was taken from me. If I'm being completely honest, whatever wasn't taken from me, I gave up because I didn't know how to deal with my anger over this still undiagnosed illness I've been stricken with that has changed my life in almost every way.
I lost some of my vision. I've vomited more times than anyone should in a lifetime. My joints, mostly throughout the right side of my body hurt terribly at times, and at night I feel like I'm being burned at the stake. Sometimes I have to pack my body with ice just so that I can rest. Sometimes my asthma flares up. Sometimes I get rashes. I've had so many tests of so many kinds, and no one has been able to figure out what is wrong with me. Two days ago, as a last ditch try to stop all of it, I started on a course of Prednisone.
My job is secure. It will be there when I am well enough to return to it. My relationships were not so secure, mainly as a result of my own insecurities. It's tough to be sick. It's got to be tough to be friends with someone who is sick, especially when they're angry about it. I feel so isolated, and so sorry about this person I've allowed myself to become in the face of this illness.
When I look in the mirror, I'm not sure who I am anymore, and it's not just that I've lost so much weight that I can fit into childrens clothes. I don't think I know who is beneath the reflection. I used to be happy, and optimistic, and driven. I never turned down a dare, and I wasn't a quitter. I'm no longer an athlete. I'm no longer consistent, and someone I know can be counted on.
All this time that I've been suffering through this, I've wanted my life back. I'm finally at a point where I'm willing to accept that I probably can't ever have the same life I used to have, but where does that leave me? I still know who I want to be, but I need to know who I am right now. How do I start a new life that I can be happy in regardless of the uncertainty I'm facing, and might always face? What is my first step?
If you had asked me before I got sick what my goal was for my life, I would've told you that it was simply to be a good person. To me, a good person is someone with intergrity, and compassion, who is kind to themself and to others. A good person is grateful, and says they're are sorry when they are, and when they should be. A good person does the right thing even when it's the most difficult thing to do.
Whether I am sick or I recover from this somehow, that goal that has always been most important to me doesn't have to change. I lost sight of it for a while, but I can see it now. I might not be able to do everything I used to do, but I'm sure I can be a good person again. I am not a quitter.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Ghandi