To quote Mr Charles Dickens “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” And I cant help think that this is the epitome of life with Autoimmune illnesses and chronic pain. He says it with such poetry and much better than I could have.
When I look back at my life I can break it into segments of hard times, happy times, romantic times, depressing times, grieving times, learning times, hard working times and so on and so forth. But when my life changed due to illness it was quite literally the dichotomy of these two things [the best and the worst] that has amazed me the most.
Whilst now I have a very different life than I could possibly have imagined in my wildest dream (even nightmares), there are things about my life now that I value on a very different level than I ever did. Although I live with the worst pain and symptoms I have ever known [and I have had a burst appendix, a shattered tail bone, pop fracture of my ankle and gall stones before] I also live with more gratitude and humility than I have known, and very few others understand. While I once moved amongst many, many people and managed teams all over the world, now I am happy with handful of true friends and supporters that accept me for who I am. While I once dreamed of my ultimate career goals and remuneration packages, I am grateful to be a fur mum and friend to my partner. Doing those things well will be my greatest achievement and I will be blissfully happy with that. When once I wanted a fit, toned, bikini body I am happy with a body that will walk me to the shower and help me write this blog. When I once dreamed of sipping champagne on a beach resort, I enjoy the chance to drink coffee in the sunshine of my back deck. I am really a completely different person now and I am both deeply, deeply saddened and forever grateful at the same time. These really are the best of times and the worst of times, but that’s what makes the best stories and the greatest heroes.