The fear, the uncertainty and the isolation which results from having a chronic illness can break you. If you have ever had to deal with a long term illness you will know all about the day to day struggle and the endurance required to get through. The endless medical appointments, having to say no to social events, feeling like a burden and grieving the loss of the person you were before.
Six months or so into my own health unravelling I remember sitting in my doctor's clinic feeling hopeless and fearful about the future. She said to me " humans don't deal very well with uncertainty". This struck a chord with me. So much of my fear was about not knowing what I was going to do next. Would my relationship survive this? Would I ever work again? Would I ever feel well again? What did feeling well even feel like? - I had forgotten.
It was the uncertainty of it all that was most destabilising. The uncertainty made it hard to set goals, to dream and to plan a future. I was paralysed by the not knowing and as I result I found myself only being able to think about the illness. Before I became unwell I thought I had many things mapped out. There was a clear sense of knowing what would happen next. The concept of certainty existed and it felt possible and real. If you think about this, it is all rather funny.
In many respects even though I had a health condition, things were no more certain than they were before. What had changed was my outlook on the situation. It was me who decided that I wasn't able to plan or set goals or dream of holidays and dream jobs. I had become so fixated and obsessed with getting better that everything else had ceased to exist. When I started to dream and set goals things did shift.
Distancing myself ever so slightly from my illness was in itself a healing. My partner and I booked a holiday and planned some date nights. I started drawing and painting. I also began to reach out to family and friends. Over time I was able to create some balance between being proactive around my health condition and living a life. Some days were harder than others but the importance of always dreaming and setting goals was not lost on me. Have you struggled to dream while living in uncertainty?