Two years ago, I began the most unwanted and unexpected journey of my life. I was 34 years old and was in what I thought was the best health of my life. I had lost over 100 pounds and made lifestyle changes that I never would have believed possible for me. I was training for a 5k run when I got a case of bronchitis, which led to the autoimmune diagnoses.
For the first two years after my life-altering diagnoses, I was in a dark place. I was mean, nasty, resentful. I was angry and hateful. I was riddled with grief… grief over the loss of the life that I had. Grief over all of the things I might not get to see like grandchildren or graduations. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with and honestly I’m almost surprised that I’m still here to tell my story. The depression was the scariest part of the process. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
Two years later I’m still alive and I’m in a much better place mentally. It did take me getting therapy to get through some of the healing process. I still have lots of work ahead of me in that area, but now I can see the progress that I have made and I am ready for the journey ahead. If you’re going through something similar, please consider it.
When I started this blog two years ago today, I wasn’t sure how far I would be able to take this new project. I have never continued on with a project for more than a couple of months. I lose interest or motivation quickly, and I assumed that this would be the same. What I quickly learned was that there is a community of people here that are going through the same or similar situations, and in the hope of being a beacon of light in a dark world I carried on…. and I’m so glad that I did. Soon after starting this blog I realized the therapeutic value of writing about my autoimmune life and now I recommend it to all of my spoonie friends. So far at least two of them have started their own blogs.
At this point in the journey, I find it appropriate to stop and reflect on all that has been and all that is yet to come. I have survived so much mental anguish, but what’s more is the level of pain that I have become accustomed to. I have faced many challenges and health crises during the first two years of this journey, and so far I have overcome every single one of them. I realize that this is just the beginning of what I hope is a long journey ahead, and I welcome everything that comes my way.
The autoimmune life is lonely and scary. I had no idea what chronically ill people went through until it happened to me. The cycle of grief never truly stops for us. There are always new limitations or symptoms appearing in our lives. We suffer through everything we do with constant, chronic pain that never really stops. We deal with everything that life throws at us and get good at faking being well just so we don’t miss out on life. Having a good support team is crucial to surviving the autoimmune life. I have an amazing support system and I am so grateful to have the few people that I do have in my life and on this journey. Two years into this journey and I can now see just how blessed I truly am.