Allowing yourself to be helped by others is very hard when you are used to doing everything for yourself and others! Independence is a strange concept, we don't realise how important it becomes or how much we really have taken it for granted, until we lose a large percentage of it. For some, like myself it can literally be gone overnight! One day I could do it all, then an injury occurred and by the next day, I couldn't do even the simplest task! It became very hard to get things done, because I had to depend so much on others, and they couldn't understand how I wasn't able to things!
Being chronically ill has made me very aware of when others are not completely grateful for their freedom, independence and abilities. Obviously, I have become aware of these characteristics because of the affliction I have faced in my health. I feel like preaching how life can change in an instant, to be grateful for every little thing they are capable of at this moment in time, yet I know you never truly realise how lucky you are in the smallest of ways, until you are put in a situation that makes it clear!
On a more positive note, I feel that I have been able to regain different areas of my independence! I will always feel incredibly grateful for the smallest of things, because I have gone without it! Those with a chronic illness or disability have an awful lot of pride, we don't like to burden our friends and family with having to care for us! I have recently had to buy a walker and cane, that was a huge reality check for me! Knowing that my illness has gotten that bad, that I needed those to aide me in walking! Some days I was wishing I had a wheel chair, since my legs were paralyzed! I honestly hate using that term, but have no other way of describing what is happening! There are periods of time which have gotten longer with each episode! I literally cannot move my legs, it does travel up to my arms occasionally! I mean I can still feel pain, and the pain gets very intense! But I literally cannot feel my legs or move them!
I have occasions where I am forced to sit and watch everyone have fun, and work! I am so used to doing everything! It is hard to watch and not participate! Even working in the yard and cleaning sounds fun when you aren't able to do it! People often take working for granted! I used to, we complain and call in sick when we aren't sick! I would do anything to be able to leave home and work again!
It is very important that we remember we are not our illness or disability, we just have one. We can't help the fact that our illnesses have had a drastic impact on our lives, we can only try to adapt currently and be optimistic for our futures. I am quite stubborn towards my illness, I like to think I can do things like any other young woman my age yet in reality, unfortunately I can't complete the task at hand more often than I can.
There are many days where my body feels like it's working against me and this is when I acknowledge the reality of my current position in life, but it might not always be this painful or disabling! There are days where I tell myself to push through and do something, in order to feel like an adult who is as capable as she feels in her mind. Normally with the comprehension of being someone without the limits that pain can present to me on a daily basis. I tend to think I would like to be treated as normal as possible, so whatever everyone else enjoys doing our age, I think people should try to help us be a part of it too. It's horrible feeling left out and isolated, it's a feeling that is far too common in chronic illness. It is very good to have an outlet or community of support! I refuse to accept I am disabled as I feel that mindset will personally make me too hung up on my circumstances.