Grief is a feeling of immense sadness and loss. It is a part of life that many people have to endure when a love one passes or lose something increasingly significant to them, however in my case I’m talking about a grief that I know a lot of people with chronic illness and sickness have experienced at some point in their journey. I’m talking about the grief that comes with being chronically ill and grieving the life that we had before getting sick. Wishing we could have our life back before we got ill and wishing we were the person before. Remembering all of our friends and family that we used to have and used to go out socialising with and enjoy outings and gatherings. Then there was the time when we became sick and those things we used to do just become memories as we lose those friends and in many cases family members who just don’t understand and no longer want to be around us now that we are sick. That is something that deeply saddens me that they didn’t stick by me through my suffering when I would do the same for them. You learn very quickly who are your true friends and family and who is prepared to stick by you through anything. Just because we’re sick doesn’t mean we can’t be happy and still enjoy things.
I have times often where I will just sit and cry as I look at the photos I have on my wall next to my bed and remember how I used to be and who were my friends and now aren’t. It saddens me to see how happy and healthy I used to be compared with how exhausted and run down I look now. The things that I used to do, holidays I used to go on and looking back at photos where I had all the energy I needed to do the things I want and see all of the people I wanted to see.
Since getting poorly I have had to give up so much including going out with friends, seeing family and I’ve even had to give up college which for me does make me very upset, especially as I watch my friends do so well and get the grades that all I wish to get too. My first year at college I did so well and got a distinction* which I was so proud of! It just upsets me that I couldn’t do my second year and finish my course to get a full qualification. I’ve found that trying to get past some of the grief that I’m experiencing is to find little things that I am passionate about and see people who I love, even if it does mean that I can only spend half an hour doing those things.
I can say that through all of this grief and the loss of so many things there have been good and positive things that has come from getting sick. I’ve made lifelong friends who also experience things similar to me and go through the same physical pain and sickness that I do, people who truly do understand what you’re going through and you have those people to talk to and cry with who won’t judge you and really do understand. I’ve taken up piano lessons and I have a half an hour lesson most weeks which I LOVE! Music is something that I’ve always been passionate about and wanted to pursue and even though I cant do my second year at college this year I still have something which learning will benefit me massively if/when I go back to do my second year.
Sometimes I get so caught up crying and pleading for my old life back and it becomes difficult to notice any positives but despite this I have to constantly remind myself that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my struggle. My pain and suffering has shaped me into the better person that I am today.
“I LOVE THE PERSON I’VE BECOME BECAUSE I FOUGHT TO BECOME HER” – KACI DIANE
You can’t change your past but you can change your future. Remember that you are in charge of your life. You may be sick and unable to do what you used to but it’s about adapting to find things that you can do now. Build new dreams and hopes for your future. Life is all about the ups and downs and it’s okay for us to sit and cry for a while, just as long as we don’t get stuck there. We have to keep ourselves moving forward.
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All my love,