“It’s just a constant battle: me against my body; my passions and my dreams and what I want to do with my life, against what I am physically able to do.”
You never stop mourning the possibilities you will never have. It is a fact.
I have been chronically ill all my life, essentially, and one would think that would enable me to understand that I have limitations. Instead, it just made me have this strong desire to find something I was passionate about I was capable of doing within my limitations. I knew for example, that I had a lot of problems with physical work, with repetitive motions, with standing long hours, with lifting… a lot of restrictions. I wanted to aim for a desk job. I went to university in order to find something I was passionate about. Academically I never had a problem. Finding subjects that interested me was never a problem. Excelling was never a problem, once I figured out how to compensate for the fibrofog issues that is.
I had this belief that I could attain my goals if I just pushed through the pain. If I just ignored it. Because by the time I went for my Masters I was in school and also working. I had fibromyalgia but I also had to contend with chronic migraines. I hit a new wall of pain. I discovered that, no, you cannot just push through some pain. That pain once you reach a limit affects thinking as well as you physically. Your passions and your dreams. So you make compromises. You discard that passion and that dream.
I decided I would work instead. Just a job. A desk job I could physically Do. And make that a career. Yet, I could not actually physically do it. I could not really function through all that pain. I could not have a perfect attendance if my life depended on it.
So I am not working, which at this time is a good thing. I am coping with that pain better. I am surviving. Yet I have this frustration in me. This eternal frustration that no matter what I want. What I desire. What I dream of. It is stalled by what I am physically able to do. I have been told I might be able to attain part-time work. At best. That is my best case scenario. And I have to realize all those things I thought I might be, become, all those possibilities… are gone because of this pain. Pain just ends possibilities.
And this is not a poor me statement… but I wonder what would we all achieve without this pain? If it were just never there what would we have been? What mountains would we have moved? But it is not to be.
We must take what we can get. And to that end, we constantly mourn. Mourn what will never be. I can understand that these compromises are a good thing for me mentally and still mourn the lack of what could have been. So we have to deal with this lack. This void. And fill it with what we can.
See also: Denial and chronic illness