How Chronic Illness Uprooted My Sense of Security


Security. It is something we cling to, a stabilizer that offers us a modicum of peace and comfort in a world that is in continual turmoil. The placement of our security is as vast and varied as the human race, yet the desperate need for it in our lives remains the same.

In the frailty and unpredictably of life, we tend to place our security in temporal, fragile entities – hopes and ideals and expectations that are not promised to us, and yet we await the assurance that all will be well and remain.

 

Chronic illness has a way of uprooting security. Security found in relationships, in health, in finances and in the future. Slowly, it rips the rug out from under you.

The security of relationships ebbs away as they quietly fade into the background, unwilling or unable to walk with you in your new life.

The security of your personhood and who you were falters and sheds itself and out emerges a new identity, a person who said goodbye to the “I used to be” and became something wondrously and terrifyingly new.

The security of finances and the tangled web of all it touches rocks your world. Often faced with losing careers and incomes, it is painful to reconcile living a life that is given and taken away by individuals who do not know you and who do not walk in your shoes. While new careers and incomes can be carved out of this new life, it still brings a shaky lack of security. The future of chronic illness is always changing, like a horizon whose fragile paintbrush dips and colors the sky with an ever-changing hue.

Unpredictable, chronic illness uproots everything you once held dear. It tests and pushes boundaries and demands a fight, not just for your physical survival, but for your emotional and mental well-being.

Even in our diagnosis, for those blessed enough to have them, there is a waxing and waning of security in those who care for and treat us, in the long, laborious road of tests and pills and therapy and hospital rooms that echo your heartache.

Security, I have learned, cannot be rooted in the temporal foundations of man. No. It must be anchored where foundations do not shake.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via fizkes.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Chronic Illness

What I Want Educators to Know About Their Students With Chronic Illness

Growing up, I had always known teachers as the people at school who would advocate for me just as my parents would. For the first half of my educational career, before my illness, I was lucky to have teachers who aided me in my journey towards my goals. In my mind, teachers had always pushed [...]
A woman with a serious facial expression.

Why 'How Are You?' Is Such a Difficult Question to Answer

“How are you?” A question that seems simple enough to answer. It demonstrates that someone cares. It should be a nice thing to ask someone. But I never know how to answer. It’s a question I dread. If I’m asked in person, I sometimes smile and say, “Yeah, I’m fine,” and other times I just [...]
26 People Describe What It's Like to Experience 'Poopsomnia'

26 People Describe What It's Like to Experience 'Poopsomnia'

When chronic illness affects your gastrointestinal tract, it doesn’t just cause issues during the daytime. GI symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bleeding or cramping may often flare up during the night, keeping you awake and running back and forth between your bed and the toilet –otherwise known as “poopsomnia.” While this may be common for GI disorders like inflammatory bowel [...]
Two boys sitting in a hallway at a hospital, one boy has an IV and IV stand and hospital gown, they are playing video games

Coping and Self-Care When Your Child Is in the Hospital

When your child is sick in the hospital, it can feel like you’ve entered an alternative universe. That heartache hit me like a tidal wave while caring for my desperately ill son in two children’s hospitals for eight months straight in 2015. Scared witless as Crohn’s disease spread inflammation throughout my son’s digestive track, all I could [...]