When I’m in my sorry for myself mode I always think, “why me, why did this happen to me?” Lately though I’ve been thinking more and more “why not me?” When I’m in a positive mood I think why shouldn’t I have a chronic illness? So many other people have bigger problems to deal with and maybe my life would just be too perfect if I did not have this huge problem effecting every aspect of my life. I won the lottery in a lot of other ways, I live in America, I have a great family, a great husband, two great kids, so what if I have a chronic illness, I have so many other things in my life that are going well.
And then come my less than positive moods when I think “why not me?” I see so many other people who have so much more than I do. They get to have a career and kids. They get to have real accomplishments as opposed to my “I walked on the treadmill for ten minutes and didn’t die” accomplishments. They get to win awards and receive recognition for the things they do. They get to go on adventurous vacations to the far corners of the world. They are treated like they are valuable instead of being treated like they are just in the way. Sure, people have problems, but many of their problems are of their own making and I think “why not me, why can’t those be my problems?”
I’m happy to report that most of the time I can manage the thinking in the first paragraph, but every once in a while the thoughts in the second paragraph sneak in and I start the process of grieving for what I’ve lost all over again. I thought I had finished the grieving process a long time ago, but the truth is that every once in a while it comes back and I have to go through the process all over again. Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. I think I will have to go through this cycle many times in my life. I’d love to say I’m happy all the time and I have fully accepted my lot and that I never get upset about it, but that is just not true. This week I’ve been angry, really really angry. An incident happened a while ago where I felt like I was treated like crap and dismissed because of my health problems and it brought this cycle back on. I don’t get angry often but when I do it’s not pretty and it doesn’t go away easily. I used to feel guilty about this anger, but I don’t any more. Sometimes anger can be a good thing if it releases your feelings and helps you move on. Hopefully I’ll hit that stage soon, in the mean time I’ll just vent my frustration by throwing oranges against our back fence (We have an orange tree in our back yard that produces tons of the most beautiful oranges. Unfortunately they taste like crap so my kids use them as softballs. We have all sorts of orange based games we play. It makes our backyard smell really good. No sense in letting oranges go to waste.) We all have our ways of coping, right?