Friday, June 24, 2011

The Identity Crisis

A few of us "spoonies" put our spin on a recent article published in The New York Times ('You Look Great' and Other Lies' by Bruce Feiler)

I think all of us were drawn to this piece for various reasons; the people I interact with were bright, outgoing, strong-minded people prior to their illness and remain stong in the midst of their illness. (Some people would say I'm stubborn in lieu of strong minded, but I digress.)

Learning to mange life with a chronic illness has been challenging; learning to adjust to this new "broken down body" has left me in an identity crisis: people tell me, "Well, you look good..." but I know I don't look the same, I don't feel the same, and sometimes, I don't act the same.
Things that used to take a few minutes now take a little longer: using different make-up tricks so I don't look like a zombie, putting more thought and consideration into where I'm going, what time I go, and what I'm doing so I can wear the proper clothing or bring a change of clothes...most likely my infamous track suit! 

And of course, the mental prep:

"You have to go _______ and you'll be there _______ (minutes, hours, days.)"
"You may run into ______, she knows you don't feel well/he doesn't know about your illness. Brace yourself for questions or looks of pity/ be ready to brave a smile and pleasant conversation, positioning yourself so you look comfortable."
"Don't forget to eat and take your meds and bring some type of pain reliever, just in case."
.....and so on

So when people say, "You look good", they're truly seeing the end of a long production!

I have semi-jokingly said I'd like a new, nausea free, pain free, "Beyonce'-like" body (hey, if I'm going to get three wishes, I gotta make them count!!!) To be honest, this new body/identity I have is a challenge of strength, patience, courage, wellness, and inner peace. So I'll accept this new identity, flaws and all.

Lesson: I gotta work with what I have! (Can I still get Beyonce's body?!)

No comments:

Post a Comment