The grief of chronic illness
Today I cleaned out my bedroom closet, something I had been putting off for about 19 months. I kept putting it off because I was holding out hope that maybe my health would change and I might be able to do some of the things I once did.
Acceptance of my limitations is hard for me and I find myself grieving my old self more often. It’s not like I have ever been particularly “well” but I was somewhat functional, much more than I am now. So, back to my closet. I cried. Not for the actual clothes, shoes, or objects themselves but for the memories (I have an eidetic memory) I associate with each item. I cried because with each thing I took out to put into a storage bin I would think of something or someone I loved, I missed. Things I would wear to work, to see family & friends, to go to fun events, even down to a t-shirt I wore to clean the house (who would have thought I’d ever miss that?! Lol). These are all things that seem to be in the past now, things that I miss dreadfully. Now my closet is filled with clothes that can be easily accessible for doctors, nurses, diagnostics, treatments etc. The way I dressed used to be a part of how I expressed myself; it would give me excitement to try new outfits. Now, I feel sad, hopeless, and feel reminders of how uncertain my future is. I’m not ready to fully accept my illness or my limitations but I am trying to be realistic and be patient with myself along my journey. I’ve kept a couple special items in my closet just to stay hopeful but putting my things into storage is a first step for me to be ok with my limitations. When I am ready, I will donate my clothing to a Women’s shelter and the women’s jail in my area that helps inmates transition back to the community. That will be something that I can still give, something that I can still do for others which has been what my entire life has been based upon.
This post was just a way for me to release my sadness and emotions I face around the losses that come with chronic illness and disability. Maybe others can relate. #ChronicIllness #Disability #Autism #CPTSD #ChronicPain #AutoimmuneDisease #Jointpain #DegenerativeDiscDisease #Fatigue #Gastroparesis #Endometriosis #IdiopathicIntracranialHypertension #Depression