Day 6: If you could have told yourself something when you first remember these symptoms arising, what would you have said?
My experience with myself, and talking to other chronically ill people, is that when we get first get sick many of us have several thoughts and feelings that we experience.This is especially true after months of testing without any answers. First and foremost, I think many of us think that we are crazy or that others think that we are crazy. Unfortunately many of us have conditions that are difficult to diagnose, or simply that many physicians have never heard of, let alone diagnosed or treated. To get diagnosed with dysautonomia, for example, I had to go to the Cleveland Clinic to a special syncope clinic. During this process of getting sick, going through test after test, and feeling like you’re crazy it’s normal (and certainly something I have experienced even after diagnosis and meeting others like me) to experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, and helplessness.
Now I know that none of this addresses the actual question being asked. The previous paragraph was used as a way to set up my answer to this question. If I were to go back now and tell myself some things, I would tell myself that you’re not alone; that there are answers; that there is hope; and that I’m not crazy.
I think that these, and many more, are all important things for all chronic illness warriors need to remind themselves of regularly. So, if there are any other warriors out there reading this, I want you to know that no matter how much you have come to terms with your illness, there are always going to be times where you feel alone, helpless, and isolated. But know that you’re never as alone as you think you are. There are millions of us like you out there. Never give up hope.
Lots of love,