Day 15: How has your life been effected by your illness (es)?
It’s difficult to know how exactly my life has been affected by illness since I have had them as long as I can remember. I can only knowingly write about how my life has been changed by becoming aware of them.
Since discovering that I am influenced by depression and anxiety I have learned much about myself. I have grown more stubborn and resistant to going along with the natural instinct of my moods. I know to not trust my rapid heart rate and nervousness in everyday situations but instead to learn to calm myself and breathe deeply in order to enjoy a day at an event with my children instead than avoid it completely. My girls have discovered that we are our own cheering section and that being brave in the face of obstacles and holding on to each other when things get tough is the best kind of medicine. My life has been significantly impacted in that I have never appreciated my family and friends more than I have in the last year. This has been a process; a tearing down and building back up of my being. I doubted myself in every way once. I don’t doubt myself at all anymore. I know how to identify a low mood and anxious moments.
There isn’t a doubt that the illness has had negative effects on my life. Life is hard enough without having to take medication everyday or worrying about not being able to go into a crowded mall without feeling stress and anxiety. I have learned so much about biological causes and heredity as well as the possibility of head trauma and childhood trauma causing such conditions that it is impossible to know the ‘whys’ but I have also learned the best strategies to live successful lives with such conditions and that is what my focus is at this point. Having my children see that managed in a positive way is its own reward.