I was reflecting recently on life, this blog, Instagram + the community, the charities I work with, the people I've met, countless medical stuff, advocacy, awareness etc. It made me think, "what would my life be like, and where would I be right now, if I was never sick?" Deep - I know!
Before my health started deteriorating, I was still able to go out, exercise, wasn't gaining weight, could clean everything in 1 day, cook, bake, and more. The list became smaller and smaller, and it does make me sad. I've learnt to find new ways to do things but it's not the same.
In my head this is what my life would look like if I didn't have chronic illnesses. A daily routine if you will, based on things I used to do and adding a few more things:
Waking up at 6am, putting on some sort of meditation and doing stretches. Taking a shower and getting ready for the day, followed by making breakfast. I would then leave for school/lectures/work and depending on what age I am at and other factors, I'd take public transport or would be driving. Even if I was still studying, I would have a part time job. Having the job would mean I would have my own money saved up for driving, a car, and moving out. After school/lectures I could complete any work I had for the next day and/or do housework or even work after lessons. On weekends and some weekdays, I would go out, dress all cute, eat, drink, dance, stay out long, and not have any pains or side effects the next day. Generally, I could continue with art, painting, and drawing, without coordination and muscle issues.
I didn't want to make this too long but I hope you get the gist of it - life would be very different. So many questions, everyday, about how many opportunities I would have had. Would I be in Sweden for university (where I originally was planning on going), how much I would have travelled, where I would be living, and so much more. It also makes me think whether the people I lost due to being sick would still be around if I wasn't sick. Maybe there would be a different life event to make me realise those people leaving is best, because who wants people like that around?
Despite it all, I wouldn't change it for the world. I know it's brought a lot of changes, grief, loneliness, anger, sadness etc, but it has brought me so many good things too. I see things from a whole other perspective, have different opinions and think differently because my world is different to that of someone who is my age and healthy. If it wasn't for my health declining, I wouldn't have insight into the lack of knowledge in the medical world or have my blog, writing, rambling to the world about my chronically ill life. The blog led to my instagram and meeting SO many wonderful humans, in similar situations, supporting and guiding each other (yes the online community has its own crap but that's too much to unpack here) and amazing charities, 2 of which I am now a part of! They led me to other new opportunities such as presenting at workshops and writing for other organisations; to gain confidence to speak out about my conditions, my life, advocate for chronic illness, and raise awareness in any way that I can.
I'm rambling again. In all honesty, as weird as it sounds, I am grateful for how my life has turned out and how it is turning out. Yes, I have things to be sad about, but I also have a lot to be thankful for. It's not easy, especially when you've been newly diagnosed or are experiencing a flare up, but I hope you can find things to be grateful for, even if it's tiny like the sound of rain or seeing the blue sky and sun out.