Instead, we get the Chronic Pain Lifestyle. That is a rough deal but it is the one we got. We can mourn the fact we didn’t get the one we requested.This can be a difficult task really. We are constantly making adjustments for our health and it almost seems like our health is what is ruling our life choices. No one likes that feeling.
Fundamentally as a young person with chronic illness, I had the feeling I could work around my illness. Or work with it I should say. I knew the limitations I had to live with but I thought I could achieve my goals anyway. One thing you just do not expect however is that your health will get worse and so that simply is not the case. You have to keep making further adjustments and compromises.
I simply do not like the fact that having the chronic illnesses I have compromises my financial stability now and in the future. I don’t think I will ever come to terms with that. I always had the desire to have a certain comfort zone financially, which was not even that special, just that sense of security to know I could pay my bills and have a little extra left over for whatever and for investments. That is all. I like to live simply and the main spending I have is on books, to be honest. However, chronic illness takes away that surety. And you live pay cheque to pay cheque. In my case I know I cannot work or I can only work part-time and neither of these options is sufficient. However, the long-term leave I am on now is better than government disability in Canada which is substantially lower. I would be hard-pressed to live on that. How the government can even comprehend people can sustain themselves on that I do not know. And that is what people with disabilities (and some seniors) get to look forward to. This is not the lifestyle we wanted or chose. This was chosen for us.
I think sometimes about working full time just for the financial stability. Yet I fear it due to knowing what will happen with the pain, stress and sleep deprivation. It is simply an impossible state to maintain. I know people who do it and they feel the same way I felt. It is a horrible existence to live in when you have to, which some of us do. I call it an existence because there is no life in there, just pain and surviving the pain. In my case, I had a lot of suicidal ideation in there because in no way would you want to live like that. Despite societies expectations. Despite the expectations of your employer. They can expect you to become healthy all they want, it does not happen. And you just yearn for an end to the pain.
So we are left mourning the lifestyle we could have had. This alternate life had we not been afflicted with this pain and illness. What would that life have been like anyway? How different would it have been? I imagine it would look entirely different. Ifs… are nothing though. Just dreams within a dream. They do not exist. We have to deal with the lifestyle we have.
And that lifestyle is the one we have to improve any way that we can. Fit some life into it. Lift our mood any way we can. Get out of the house at least once a week. Do something for ourselves. Reduce our stress any way we can. Don’t feel guilty for being ill, you are doing the best you can with what you have. Make small changes in your life to make your life a little better.