Be Brave, Be Strong, Take Risks
When we become ill we begin to ask questions:
- How did this happen?
- Why did this happen?
- What did I do?
- Is this my fault?
Why Ask Why
We try to be brave. We try to be strong. We have trouble pushing the boundaries of illness when the tough questions hold us back.
We want to get out of the rut of chronic illness. No one wants to be inside all day, in bed all day. We don’t want to keep answering the same questions over and over. We want a life, or we want our old life back. To get that life we want, the best life we are able, it takes more than bravery, more than strength. We have to take risks.
Are you willing to take risks by not caring anymore? Are you willing to move on?
We become obsessed with the past. We gaze often into the rearview mirror. We spend much time in the “why zone”. If we are not why’ing ourselves into mental paralysis we are busy in the “how house”. The “how house” has no doors, no windows. We run around looking for an answer that, even if we find it, it will not unlock a single thing, will not make us better. We will still be right where we are at, staring into the rearview mirror.
Are you truly willing to give up wondering, and whying, and howing?
How Do I Get Rid Of How? How Do I Get Rid Of Why?
If you knew the how and the why of your chronic illness what would you do with the information? If you knew how you got sick would you be able to make it better?
It is true that these are haunting questions and I am not going to tell you to “stop it” like all of us who are ill are often commanded to “feel better”. This is not a: “if you don’t think about being sick you won’t be sick” thing. This is not the cure to chronic illness. This is about closing the door on yesterday so you can start having tomorrows that have worth.
The reason there are so many health bloggers is just this: working out the demons of chronic illness in writing is productive and helpful. If you want to work out how you got sick and why you got sick then start at the beginning. Chapter One, “The Symptoms” and then get going. Write your heart out. Write your tears. Write your pain. Write until you are no longer wondering about the why and the how. Write until you are writing about today. Write until tomorrow and you are writing about tomorrow.
Most of all, write the story called, “It’s Not My Fault”. It is not your fault that you are ill and you need to get that out of your system.
If you write all of these chapters of your life into a blog you may find that someone else that is stuck in the How House or still wandering around with Why, and they might stumble into your words and discover that they are not alone. They may start writing as well.
You may start a revolution.
What Matters Is Today
Once you have everything out, all that you could have seen in that rearview mirror spilled out in your writing, there is only one direction left to look: forward. Looking forward with a brighter outlook you can begin taking a huge risk: you can make plans. Wake up in the morning and decide what it is you are going to do today because yesterday no longer matters.
Yesterday is a thing you can no longer alter and today is a thing that is malleable. All you need to do is take the first step forward. Start looking through windows and forget about those rearview mirrors. It could mean finding a fuller life.
And if you happen upon a mirror, look right into the center of it congratulate yourself. You are up and on your way. The next step is yours to decide.
Do what you are able, and make it matter.
This post can also be found at The Chronically Awesome Foundation’s Community Blog