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Why It's Hard to Come to Terms With Limitations When You're Sick

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I like to portray myself as put together, doing well in school, having an exciting life, but that is me in utter denial, burying the fear deep down inside myself, pretending I will never have to deal with it.

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Yet the truth is, I am terrified.

I try to convince myself that I’ve accepted my diagnosis, but in reality, I am still grieving a great deal.

I am mourning the person that I envisioned I would become.

I’ve missed out on so many things that I will never get the opportunity to do again, and I continue to miss out. My health limits me, so I have no option but to make the hard choices between health and pleasure.

I try to envision my future, and I see a blank page.

I know what I want to accomplish; however, I don’t know if I can attain it, and that is my worst fear.

I want to be a pediatric, complex care physician. I want to get married and start a family. I want to move to a city with a prominent university hospital not far from a beach. I want to change lives. I want to do something good, something meaningful with my life.

Except when I think about reality, I realize that I am regularly stuck in bed for the majority of the day. I think about the fact that I can barely remember what I consumed for breakfast, let alone calculus and chemistry. If I want to be a doctor, I need to complete a residency that requires me being on my feet for hours at a time, and I’m not able to stand for more than a few minutes. I remember that I’ve never been in an actual romantic relationship and that I spend more time with my doctors than I do with my friends.

Years ago, when I was little, I imagined myself going to an ivy league university, being top of my high school class, and having straight A’s. That quickly went from my reality to the impossible as my eating disorder took over my life, and I barely made it through graduation.

I always question how I got here, how I am still alive and relatively stable.

But the fact of the matter is I am here, and if I could get through that, I can get through anything.

No, my current situation doesn’t look exactly as I pictured, but it’s a life that’s worth living. I am not where I expected to be, but I am where I am, and it is a place that many people would love to be barring my illnesses.

One day shortly, I am going to look back and think, how did I get here?

Whether it’s where I want to be or not, it will be where I end up, and that is OK.

Are you struggling to accept your diagnosis and any limitations that come along with it? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally published: November 25, 2019
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