Sometimes I sit and wonder just what is the worst part of what is happening to me, or that has already happened, I try really hard to find an answer, but I never find one. I can find and name a list umptin times the length of my arm, that other might say must be the worst thing that has ever happened, or the most dramatic, or even the most painful or unbearable, but they are all other peoples lists, not mine. Everyone’s lives are all of those things at time and although I have had many tell me otherwise I just don’t see my life as that different or that odd. How can I, when I am the one living it? I understand how others see me, but I can’t see myself truly in their eyes, as they are judging me in comparison to their lives, lives I haven’t lived. I know one thing about myself that does seem to be different from others, I have no comprehension of hate, or a desire to blame anyone for anything and I don’t understand why?
I think I was born a content person, someone who just accepts what happens and adds it into the knowledge I have of the world. My mother even says I was the most content child she ever knew, I didn’t need entertaining or anyone with me, I would just entertain myself, something I also saw in my daughter. As a teenager, I would describe myself as a seeker, my parents called it disobedient and many other things, but I, well I was just out there wanting to know why and who? Where ever I found myself, the right side of the tracks or the wrong, I was still content, not scared or worried or anything else, just there absorbing as knowledge everything around me. A fair statement really of the rest of my life, where my parents got it wrong wasn’t that I had gone off the tracks, I was only visiting finding out and returning every time with that bit more of an understanding of life. Where ever I have lived, from mansion to bedsit and on, I have always been content, even now when housebound I am content, accepting of my situation and making it daily the best day that I can. What I can’t work out is do I have something missing in me, or something extra, that makes me just happy to be, happy as I am right now?
I constantly come across people who are clearly finding life with their chronic illness extremely hard to live with, they can’t find a way forward as they can’t let go of the life they had before and have no interest in work on building a new one, as they refuse to accept what has happened. Some have actually become really angry with me for just saying that it is possible to be housebound and happy, others totally understand and have achieved it themselves, what makes the difference I think is that ability to be content in life. We have all met people who seem to never be happy with their lot in life, they want the bigger house, bigger car, more fancy holidays, some are angry at life for not giving them just what they want, just because they are them. I have never expected anything from life, it is what it is and I have made the best out of what I have, that includes being housebound.
For me to sit here and simply say you have to learn to be content is like asking ice not to melt, I actually do really believe though that there are people who will always take illness in their stride, they are the ones who are prepared for it. Something I have noticed across the board is that the more varied and the more extensive someone’s life experience is, the easier they seem to find making the step required to making their own life happy with illness or without it. What sort of person you are clearly makes a huge difference, but I honestly think that our medical profession could and should, start to prepare people from the day they have our diagnosis. I am lucky, I did it for myself, but no one once sat with me, even when I asked them to and painted a picture of what my future might be. Through out those first years all I was ever told was that no one could tell me what would or wouldn’t happen, I understand that they don’t know totally, that they probably didn’t know I would be housebound so soon, but I don’t care what they say, they knew it would happen eventually. Having time to prepare, not just your home and lifestyle, but more importantly your mind, would make a world of difference, especially for those who aren’t able to make that mental step alone.
I can’t teach anyone to be content, I was lucky, I was born that way, but I still didn’t just accept it without any impact at all when it happened, I found my way through. My blog is filled with so many things to help, but nothing I could write can make up for that missing step of the years of preparation that I think we all have a right to, rather than doctors who just smiles and tell us nothing. It’s time that when someone is diagnosed with a progressive condition that it is made clear by the people who know, just what might happen in the future and those who need it, get the help to make those steps to something we are all entitled to a happy life.