There comes a time in every fight, where you have to wonder what it is you are fighting for. In the case of chronic illness, I thought I was fighting to take my life back. I thought I was fighting to find a cure for myself. I thought I was fighting for the right combination of medications to help me lead a "normal" life again.
I was fighting, fighting, fighting...until that one day when I realized, I was fighting a losing battle. No matter how much I fought, I was never going to get my life back. No matter how much I fought, I was never going to be "normal" again. I actually even fought myself at this time, to not give-up the fight. I thought that if I admitted failure, I was letting the disease win. But the truth is, that as with most fights, the toll the fight takes on you emotionally is much worse than the fight itself.
I finally realized that by giving-up my fight, what I was really doing was accepting my condition. And by acceptance of my condition, it meant that I was accepting my limitations, and that was very depressing to me. I admit that at this point I fell into a deep depression. My life as I knew it was over. There was no hope that I would ever be able to return to my nursing career, and my feelings of hopelessness about ever being able to support myself financially was all encompassing.
I felt useless to myself, my family, and to the world...I was a person without a purpose. How could I go on? And yes, why me? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why was life so unfair? I hate to admit it, but there were times like that, times that I just felt sorry for myself. I felt as if I had hit rock bottom, but then the earth would open up to swallow me even further down, each time I thought I couldn't fall any further, I did. How could I even begin to climb out of my despair? Did I even want to try?
In retrospect, I now can see this time as my grieving period, much like the grieving for the loss of a loved one, I needed to grieve the loss of myself. And as with all grief, you feel you will never get over the pain of your loss. But just as in grief, there comes a time when we have to allow ourselves to move on, to let go of the pain, and to hold on to the happier times. Let me assure you, this was not a brief amount of time by any means. I would say that I still have one foot in this part of the process, even though I feel I am beginning to move on.