Change, probably the hardest word in the world. Just the word is enough to send some people into a flap and believing that there is no way they can do it. As an Operations Manger managing change was part of my job, I saw many who struggled with the smallest change in there otherwise maintained position, people who would be almost in tears as they were informed that something simple in their daily routine had to change for the efficient running of the company. If you have ever been faced by an entire call center and watching their faces while the center manager is explaining why the shift system has to change. Some people say OK without waiting to hear what it really means, some say OK and add a but, other without detail of any type react as if the end of the world has happened at that second. The group that I found really did deal with change the best were the middle group, they were logical about it and listens in a level headed way, ready to here the reasons and open to even suggesting alternatives. I think this group would also be the ones you find stepping into a world of chronic illness with a greater ease.
I am one of those people, I remember crying when I was told I had MS, crying a lot, I am not superwoman or made of iron, I was scared and all the other natural reactions. Once the tears stopped I then started the questions and the offering answers. When I became housebound, I didn’t really remember crying, this wasn’t to me an emotional point it was a point to manage my change and to find the good and bad points logically, as I have continued to all the way though. Loosing my job last year was again an emotional point, but again I moved into the question and solution phase. On the surface some would argue with me over me being in the middle group and the reason they would argue with me is simple, the damage I have due to the lesions mean that I cry when it means nothing and I shouldn’t and it is so hard to explain that when you have tears rolling down your face. So ignoring that, I am in the middle and I believe that if you are, you too will find adapting to almost anything easier. To manage your own illness and your own life with it, is not really different to managing your career and what changes in that. Illness controls your life just as your boss does or did, so you plan around it. Setting your goal, arranging your progress and adapting daily to what is possible. For someone like me that is the logical approach and one that for me has actually worked. People in that middle group don’t giving in when there is another option, but comply when there isn’t.
The final group, well they make things difficult for themselves as they jump to conclusions, convincing them that what they think is wrong, getting them to listen and actually engage with the situation is really hard. They instantly made a decision and they don’t believe what they are told because of their decisions. Should they decide that life once chronically ill will be unbearable, then it will be, they make it unbearable for themselves. I have found myself spending more time with them than others. Finding the reason they think what they think is always the key, find that and they find it easier. When their barriers are high then the problem can be almost impossible to over come. I have met others with MS in this group and they are the ones who don’t even want to consider that there is a way though, they are normally the people who say they will try something and normally don’t, as they had their fingers crossed behind their back when they said it, and actually don’t even try as they don’t believe it will work. Belief is the key and that is individual to each of them, once they do believe thought they progress quickly it is the initial belief that they have to find.
Back to front I know but I have left the first group to last, as they have always worried me, no one cares that little, no one just shrugs their shoulders and accept everything that happens to them without any question or reaction. I didn’t worry about them as employes, they made my life easy, but I worried about them as people, I worried that they were just shoving everything into a corner and locking it there. I worried that one day they wouldn’t be able to lock them in there anymore and all of it would tumble out all over the place. We all know these people, they are actually normally fragile, their packing into the corner eventually explodes and they find they didn’t cope as well, as they tried to tell everyone they do and what does it matter anyway. Even as a friend I have never known how to advise on anything and they leave me at a lose. I always find myself caring for this group and I turn into a mother hen without meaning to.
Three groups which if we are honest, we can see ourselves in one or occasionally in two, there are always boarder liners. Three groups I found through my working life and I believe are the same groups when it comes to dealing with illness and being housebound. If you know your group, well I think you can then use that knowledge to understand yourself and how to manage your situation so you still have as good a life as possible, because when it comes down to it, it is our own personality, our own strengths, our own weaknesses that dictate how we live and find happiness.