My psychologist would link that quality to her diagnosis of high-functioning Aspergers. I am somewhat afraid of people, as I don't understand their basic social cues. As a result, I have a tendency to take every joke as complete seriousness. Most would think that this issue would be easier to overcome than most of my chronic illness problems (pain, the unknown, being a guinea-pig for medication).
The thing is, it took me a long time to get diagnosed with anything. Every aspect of every illness seemed to compound, creating this world where everything appeared to be a threat. People of authority and the general public told me I was crazy. I fought against this label, as I still don't believe it is a correct title in regards to ANY MENTAL ILLNESS. Eventually, I won (but there are still people who would disagree...).
Now I start the healing process.
After 22 years of seeing black, I am, slowly but surely, turning the world into color.
- Admit that you need help. People will be there to help you, but you have to be willing to fight for your mental health and physical health, instead of for your ego.
- Read self-help material. Some of it is actually quite brilliant, and the rest of it will just keep your mind wrapped around not being angry.
- Accept your new state. Learn that it's all about living your best life. There will always be limitations, but learn what you love and run with it (or hobble in most of our cases...haha).
- Know that this process is going to take a long time. No change this drastic will ever happen overnight. The key is, every time you fall down, pick yourself back up and dust yourself off.
- Make sure to keep the people in your life that make you feel better about yourself, and learn to let go of those who don't.
- Take care of you to the best of your ability. The better you feel the more you can give to others.
- Learn that no one is to blame for the situation. Blame and guilt are wasted emotions. I am still working on this one, but at least my mind started to wrap around it.
- Life is different when you remove the mantra of hating yourself. I used to think that I caused the illnesses, but in all actuality this is hugely unlikely. Forgiveness, and eventually love, are key.
- Have as much fun if you can. Life is short, but it is worth the effort.
I just started this process about a year and a half ago. The changes I have made are monumental though. My fear is receding. Even if my body may not be okay, I think my mind will eventually get there :).
(Image from WeHeartIt)
What are your fears in regards to chronic illness? What are you doing to combat them? Any strategies I should be trying on for size?