Everything changes but you

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted anything! The last few months have been full of change for me and life feels very different to when I started this blog.

Lots of the changes have been positive – my health has been relatively stable so I have been more able to take on new things. I now have a part time job which I am really enjoying. These days my lovely children are not so Tiny and not so Small! And as they become their own people, I feel I need to be more careful in what I write about the challenges and joys of parenting.

If I’m honest, for a while I felt I didn’t fit in the chronic illness blog space anymore. My conditions definitely still affect life every day, but they feel less dominant. They seem somehow disconnected from the ‘new’ parts of life. I have spent the past few years making peace with limitations, so now they are restricting daily life less, I don’t feel like those two experiences can belong to the same person. I don’t know whether that makes any sense – it’s difficult to describe!

But a couple of weeks ago, I had a rheumatoid arthritis flare, and it was bizarrely helpful. As the pain and swelling ramped up, I found myself thinking, “Ah there you are, still here.” In a strange way it made me feel grounded. It made me realise that I am still the same person, in the same body, on the same journey.

I think I am coming to understand myself more as a whole person – not defined by my body, but not trying to escape it. My body hasn’t changed, but getting a job and having new responsibilities has grown my confidence in my ability to deal with situations. For example, if I am sick on a work day, I will figure out how to deal with it.

Although at the moment life is easier than it was a couple of years ago, I do believe that I still belong in this space, and that there is still value in sharing this journey. Whatever turns life may take, my health conditions will continue to be my companions for the journey. At the moment they are relatively quiet and compliant, but they will start shouting at some point, and I will slow down and listen.

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