There are so many things which are different now than they were a month ago, a year ago, 5 years ago. So many things which have changed since being diagnosed with this annoying illness. Just a few years ago I was blind to the fact that there were loads of things I took for granted and one day things wouldn’t be as simple anymore.
I like to think I’ve adapted well to the new ‘normal’ life that I am living, but of course, there are moments in every day where I have to do something slightly different than what someone else may do. I have noticed hundreds of changes in the person I am now, compared to the person I used to be. Some of these changes have been for the better and some I resent, but either way, they contribute to the person I am becoming.
Here I have created a list of the things which aren’t necessarily the most significant changes, however, the changes which have made the most impact on me.
- I can no longer sleep comfortably – I used to very weirdly sleep face down with no pillows and somehow found this the most comfortable way to sleep. Since sleeping on my back with about 3 pillows to stop me from suffocating, I haven’t had a decent night sleep since. This is definitely something which seems insignificant but functioning on 3-4 hours of sleep per night is less than brilliant.
- I find it difficult to shower on my own- Imagine having to accept help for something as simple as showering. Something which is not at all difficult but somehow feels like running a marathon when you do it. I feel like I have completely lost my dignity and I hate it.
- I am very conscious of germs- since becoming ill, I have been extremely anxious about going to unfamiliar places in fear of germs. Picking up an infection could take months to overcome and sometimes I just don’t have time to be ill.
- Everything has to be planned to the smallest detail – I no longer have the luxury of agreeing to plans without knowing exactly how to get somewhere or what is going to be happening. There is always a risk of the day being too exhausting or something preventing me from being able to go.
- Walking – I used to walk all of the time. I would sometimes voluntarily walk places even if a car/bus was available. Now I can’t really walk for more than 200 metres and I miss being free to wander around as I pleased.
- Giving up on my passions – being unwell forced me to stop my life long passion: dancing. I miss it everyday and one day I will get back to it. It also meant I had to give up my dream university course. Being ill can be very unfair.
In spite of the negatives, there have been some positive outcomes and I definitely believe that I have become more confident and more of the person who I want to be. I no longer hold back from getting a new piercing or dying my hair and I’m much more outgoing and chatty. Life experiences shape you and I think that all of the bad is changing my attitude towards life and bringing out the good.