You fight the takeover of an illness. You don't want to give in. If you give in, then you loose not only yourself but you loose the battle. You can't give in. You have to fight the fight. It is an exhausting fight. You can't fight it alone. You have to have a battalion at your side, ready with swords and spears. Ready to fight to the very end.
The beginning of my diagnosis was at first, a battle of wills. Only one of us, was going to walk out intact. I thought that I would walk away. Perhaps, I would be battered and bruised but I would walk away and into the future. Even the best of generals and fighting men have plans that go awry. And so I fought but I lost. I can say that now. I lost that fight.
I lost moments. I lost friends. I lost myself.
I remember when I decided to change the battle plan. It was the summer of 2007. Oh, a beautiful summer it was. I felt better that summer. The enemy retreated and I took that opportunity to boldly march forward. I had moment of clarity. I had to change my battle plan. I had been fighting the wrong battle the entire time. Instead of learning to live with my illness, I was trying to force in into retreat. It wasn't going away. Ever.
I had to learn to live and thrive with this unwanted enemy.
I had to learn to find new moments, new friends and a new self and I would have to learn to take Dysautonomia along with me.
I couldn't let the enemy win a moment longer.
It was easier to make that decision when I was less symptomatic. It was easier to push on and move forward when I was actually physically able to do so. I am so thankful for that moment. The moment when I decided that I wasn't broken. I was just a different version of myself and that was okay.
It was okay to say, "Hey, I am different. I have to live differently. I have to think differently."
That school of though didn't mean that I was giving in or giving up. Far from it. That was acceptance.
That was learning to live this new life.
Now, that is not to say that it is easy. No. This is the most difficult journey. I still have moments when I think, "Gah, what a loser!"
But learning that acceptance wasn't giving up-that living side by side with the enemy was okay, changed the way I live.
Some days I thrive. Some days, I barely get by. But that is okay too.I am okay. I am going to be okay.