When do you stop believing in miracles? When do you understand that miracles probably won’t happen to you? When do you just say, to yourself, this is it?
At some point every chronically ill person looks in the mirror, or into themselves, and stares into the vast, terrifying thing that is “chronic.”
I once said to a friend,
Until you accept you may be sick for the rest of your life, you have not accepted your illness. Until then, you can not begin to heal.
Was I being cruel? I didn’t think so then, though they exploded at me. Accept!? NO! They would keep fighting, force their body to heal, drag it into submission. Let me tell you, that didn’t work out for them.
I have never found the just-keep-pushing philosophy worked when it was shoved smack up against an illness. Dear, sweet sick people, for your own happiness, do yourself a favor.
Accept that you are sick.
Fibromyalgia has taught me patience. My patience is vast, quiet and un-manipulative. I can wait this flare out, because I know it will pass, and then come back again. There will always be limits. There will always be things I can not do without hurting myself. I accept this. I am patient because of it.
I accept that I may be forever debilitated by this illness. I accept that things will probably get worse before the day I die; may it be long away from now but before the pain takes away all that’s worth living for. One sweet day, this dysfunctional creation I live in will just stop working and the pain will pass away with my soul. I neither dread nor look forward to this day. I will welcome it when it comes, knowing my suffering in this life will end.
What a blessing that acceptance is.
I hope that one day, following lots of really fascinating research, we will find exactly what causes auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia and other interesting illnesses. I am glad I get to be alive while we do that work, to participate in it as well as get to study it. Maybe after that we’ll find ways to treat, cure or turn off these illnesses, or how to prevent them.
I accept that it’s likely the best treatment is prevention: lifestyle changes regarding stress management, diet and exercise. I accept that these things may help me, but that no matter how hard I work to prevent flares, I am ill, remain so, and will likely continue to suffer despite my hard work.
I accept this. I accept this pain. That it and I will be forever companions in a way I will never be with anyone or anything else. That it is a part of my body, that it is what I started this life with, and will leave here when I pass on.
I accept that I will know pain in all it’s intricate, intimate ways, better then I could ever know a lover, partner or friend. I live with the pain and it lives with me.
We might as well just accept it.
Hope is wonderful. Hope for a cure. Hope for answers. Work for answers, research and to pay awesome doctors to help you mange your disease(s).
Pray for peace, for me, for you, for those who love, care for and treat us. We all need the good energy.
But don’t confuse prayers for a miracle for acceptance. Don’t confuse hope for a bright future for acceptance.
To get somewhere else, to move forward, you need to know where you are.
And the sooner you accept what you have, where you are and what is happening to your body, you can begin to move towards healing.