It’s been a hot minute since I’ve published anything. Mostly because life has a way of taking over – passions take energy, putting words to paper can be cathartic like it can be draining. I read my past posts today with a sense of humour, they seem incredibly naïve five years later…it made me laugh.
So much has changed since I first put this blog up, not only has my life changed immensely – my outlook, my patience — my self-worth is no longer dependent on the outside world. My passions have changed, my career and circle have also…Dave is still here though.
I’ve learned to be OK on my own, to appreciate the silence that comes after a hectic days work and the importance of self-preservation. I used to measure my value from others words or actions, now, I value myself regardless of the noise that surrounds me and have worked my tail off to ensure I make meaningful contributions when possible and though my mind is sometimes still the equivalent of ADHD on MDMA — I’ve learned to embrace my quirkiness, my sensitivity and strength and most importantly cleaned house of anyone who didn’t also embrace those attributes.
A little over two years ago I was an atrophied human being, constantly in hospital or on a waiting list for treatment and surgery with very little patience left for anything really. I had lost any will to value myself, partly because of my circumstances and partly because I felt I was outgrowing my tendency to question everything – let me tell you, having high-functioning anxiety and a penchant for everything or everyone emotionally torturous was no longer an option…it wasn’t sustainable and I had to ask myself some hard questions. Did I even want to sustain or was I going to take accountability for my choices and my shortcomings.
The first step was finding calm, as best as possible and as often as possible, I started engaging in meaningful conversations that contributed to my growth and happiness as opposed to avoiding them. I learned to ask when needed something and most importantly I let go of trying to change who I was at my core – highly sensitive yet incredibly resilient with a twisted sense of humour and a need for passion, transparency and improvement.
When I was first diagnosed, I saw it as a life sentence that no matter how hard I tried – I’d be stuck in forever. I won’t lie — when it get’s tough (because it does and always will) I still have trouble vocalizing and engaging and do have a tendency to retreat into hibernation.
Speaking with a constant lack of confidence because I was playing a track of set-backs in my health and life – ignorant comments and insensitive remarks in my mind on repeat. I was fragile and hated every second of of it – this was not who I aspired to be. I felt branded by my illness and could not accept that it was permanent. It wasn’t until I recognized the value of understanding and setting expectations — even when it isn’t pretty or what you would have wanted that I gained perspective on what I actually need in my life or rather what I’m willing to allow in my life.
Being sick is hard, it’s unpleasant and it can play on how you engage with those around you and how you allow others to treat you. I’ve lived through every emotion from blind rage to complete impotence — I allowed myself to visit these emotions without them consuming me, by recognizing that they are normal and human and letting them run their course without self-imposed judgement or criticism I somehow felt them less and less. By choosing to protect myself from ignorance and surround myself with meaningful challenges and concrete goals outside of my diagnosis — I found that I was proud of what I’d accomplished and decided to live free of self-imposed judgement as often possible — living with good intention and supportive people is as close as I’ll get to being cured.