I have repeatedly been asked by people how I ‘accepted’ my chronic illness? Actually accepting and getting to acceptance are two enormously different things! I used to think acceptance was an ongoing process. Now, I’m not so sure. If you are in a race, and you cross the finish line, you are done with the race. Right? When you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and you tell the first person you run into that you have fibromyalgia, you have accepted that diagnosis of fibromyalgia. You may be in disbelief, but you’ve been “tagged” so to speak.
- Accepting our illness doesn’t mean we no longer seek additional knowledge and help.
- Accepting our illness doesn’t mean we stop trying to live a better life.
- Accepting is a verb, it is the action we take when changing our thought process realizing we are not the same person we used to be.
When I was able to say that I had honestly accepted my Fibromyalgia Syndrome, things I tolerated, I no longer could. I used to argue and fight and scream every day at my illness. I learned to become quiet. Instead of despising my situation, I learned to be content in it. I finally understood the value of my energy. Things that are not deserving of my precious energy, time, and focus are gone, removed from my life. Fibromyalgia is not a game I play, it is not a lifestyle, it is not to be a friend or an enemy … it just is.
I had to reach a level of honesty about my illness, and as I dealt with the honesty, I went through a grieving period for the old me and what my dreams were. I systematically said goodbye to the hopes and plans I previously had in my life. They no longer fit me. Honesty brings us the ability to accept our illness, but there is serious work we must accomplish before we can claim the acceptance ticket.
I like my life, and I like this new me. I am kind, have empathy for others, a sense of humor, patience, and I love with my whole heart. I have discovered new things to do that I enjoy! I found a fantastic new tribe of friends and love my forever, best friend Holly more for sticking by me through all of this. I strive to be an even better friend to her. I am capable of being a good partner, and I love my husband. So, this new Kim is not who I wished for, hoped for, or ever thought I’d meet, but here I am. I claimed my acceptance ticket!
Live your best life!