When Chronic Illness Leaves You Feeling Disconnected From the World


Everyone knows what it’s like to feel as if they are being pulled in different directions. The notion of struggling to meet all the commitments and pressures associated with appearances and possessions can be difficult to fathom while most of humanity is crying out in fear, anger and sorrow. All is happening so fast.

Where does that leave us chronic illness dragon tamers, who must face chronic illness each and every day?

I personally can’t help but feel disconnected with world events. I see, I empathize but I am on the sidelines…in my recliner or in bed.

And yet, part of me wants so badly to belong. I miss too many things to count, like friends, outings, traveling, wearing real clothes (instead of the soft kind). I miss going to the theater, to the movies. I miss getting a massage every now and then, doing yoga and riding horses. And every mother knows how much our children and grandchildren mean to us. I miss mine. I miss showing up for birthdays and showers, and shopping with my girls. I am painfully aware of all the missing out… this is hardest when I say no to an event, even a small one, because my body simply won’t permit me to leave the house.

On the other hand, I want to be left alone. I don’t want too many phone calls or emails, and I don’t want company over because I am forced to spend my limited amount of energy on the chronic illness dragon taming… managing the illness 24/7. Then there are the ins and outs of daily life to deal with as best I can. I really don’t want to socialize. Really, I don’t. But the fact remains that I miss being in the world and so sometimes, I say yes. I put on a smile, a little make-up and my best stretch clothes and just go for it, hoping that my body will hold up for that occasion when I can feel almost normal for a little while.

In every single one of life’s events, we are called to make a decision based on what is dear to us and what is doable. We are constantly pulled in two directions: one is a matter of surviving and the other, a matter of living. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a balancing act that we can accept over time.

The sooner we learn to stop, to look deeper and really listen from within: only one direction becomes clear. There is no struggle if we become aware, truly present in this one moment. It is here that emerges a knowing that each of us is a drop in the cosmic ocean that is life, and that everything is connected. It is here that our heart is at peace, and where the healing goes on.

Follow this journey on Marianne Granger.

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