The Mighty Logo

Grieving the Person I Was Before Chronic Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

“Click, click” is all I hear while I sit in front of my computer screen biting my lower lip trying my hardest not to cry (telling myself I need to be strong). “Oh no,” I can feel a tear fall down my face; there is the beginning of me grieving the person I used to be. These days our social media has become the center of where we post our pictures and stories of our lives. I know I share everything on my pages – the good, the bad and the not so pretty.

Sometimes I scroll through my old Facebook albums or Instagram feed and I can see it. I can see how my chronic illness has changed me. It’s not just in my appearance, it’s in my actual expression. I look at the smile on the girl in the pictures today and she looks hurt or broken inside. The girl in pictures years ago, she looks alive – happy, free, with energy!

I want to be her again, more than anyone could ever imagine. But I can’t… I can’t do 90 percent of anything I did in those photographs and when I see them my heart breaks a little more each time. This isn’t my first time doing this and I doubt it will be my last. I need to know though, when will the day come that I no longer grieve the person I once was? The girl I can simply no longer be? This new me is different and she is having a hard time finding her way.

As soon as life slows down for a minute and she gets a moment to herself that’s when it hits. It feels like someone hit you with a bag of bricks and knocked the wind out of your lungs. You cry, you get angry, you get all types of emotions but there is no turning back.

I know I cannot let this go on any longer. I am sure it’s not good for my health. I’ve thought I had come to terms with my illnesses many times. This circle of sadness needs to be put to bed and not brought out any longer. I need to be stronger, keep going, fight and no longer look back.

But I doubt it will happen. I’m sure all of us have something we just can’t let go; unfortunately for me it’s my prior self.

Getty Image by SonerCdem

Originally published: April 16, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home