acceptance, chronic illness, disability, guest post, invisible illness, weather
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Do We Lose Our Dreams with Chronic Illness?

Today we have a guest contribution from the lovely Crys Baysa!

***

Chronic illness is hard enough as it is. But even worse, the things we used to do, we can’t do anymore. Suddenly, hanging out with people is hard, doing your job is nearly impossible, and understanding the things you’re trying to study is downright frustrating.

sun-light-dream-catcher-catcher

It is in times like these that it’s easy to wonder if we’re ever going to be better again. ‘Am I going to be able to play my beloved violin again? The pain is too much!’ ‘Will I ever be able to memorize those formulas again? I can’t remember things and I want this degree badly!’

It’s not just the physical limitations that become more and more. It’s the emotional limitations.

What Dreams Really Are

Dreams are not just desires for the future. They’re expressions of ourselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s something like science, speech, or even simply sculpting a statue. It’s very much a part of who we are, and it’s an emotional release.

When you pour your heart and soul into something, you feel accomplished, like your contributing, and most importantly it’s somewhat of a reflection of you. Everyone approaches things differently, so no one can contribute like you can.

But suddenly, your contribution has to stop because of physical reasons. You can’t keep up on the track anymore and you’re slowing down. The pain is too great, and you can’t paint or hold pencils anymore. Then you lament, not because you can’t contribute, but because you can’t express yourself the way you did anymore.

You loved what you were doing. You loved the craft, the art. What’s more, you had plans for it, and you see where you could have taken it if it weren’t for your health.

So, then dreams are more than expressions. Dreams are a way of expressing your worth to the world, what you can contribute.

Emotionally It Can Be Depressing to Stop

Maybe, as a theory, it’s not just the love of the craft and the pain of stopping it that hurts so much. Maybe we feel our dreams are an expression of our worth. It wasn’t just how we could contribute; it’s what we wanted to contribute, what we felt good at.

Now, being unable to contribute in a way that’s familiar, we feel down. We’re frustrated that such a beautiful gift was taken away from us. We wonder why it had to be. And it’s not just because we love what we were doing, because we do love it. There’s more to it than that.

It is common for people to base their emotions on what they are capable of. In a way, it seems to be society’s way to measure worth. How many hours can you contribute at the homeless shelter? How much money can you contribute to the children’s charity?

When we’re more limited, it’s easy to feel of diminished worth, because we feel that we can’t contribute.

Switching What We Do

Some people switch majors in school because they find out that they didn’t like what they were studying for. Still, other people switch hobbies not because they didn’t like what they were doing before, but because they found they liked what they were now doing better.

But when something is taken away from you not of your own choice, it’s hard. Maybe it means choosing a different career that you didn’t necessarily want to have. It’s not saying that you hate the new career (or maybe you do), but you don’t like it as much as what you were doing before.

It’s a harsh reality. It’s that way with hobbies to. Now instead of doing track in field, you have to take up sewing. You have to stay home instead for work instead of working abroad. Or maybe you can’t work at all.

It’s not what you wanted.

How to Deal

By addressing the above emotions, we can begin to find a new perspective in life. First of all, we need to accept that our worth is not determined by what we give or are capable of giving. We’re all of worth and we  all have worth.

We need to learn that it’s not our hobbies or what career we take (or don’t take) that defines us. It’s our character. As long as you’re a good person, you’re doing fine. And, as no one is perfect, we all need to improve ourselves, become better people.

Second, while we may not love our replacement as much, maybe we should see it through the lens of being an opportunity to get us to where we want to go. Yeah, it might not be running the race, but if you like sewing too, even minisculely, maybe you can use it to help fund your treatments. Then,  when youre healed, you can pursue track again.

Thirdly, we can see this as an opportunity. You may not have put as much time on the new gift had you not gotten sick. Now you can develop this gift to. And maybe you might be able to use it to support your previous interset, such as sewing clothing for those who run on track. That way, you can sort of breach into the industry that way there are more opportunities when you go in. People will know you.

Fourthly, we can craft these new gifts to be a reflection of us also. We can still put our heart and soul into it.

Our Previous Dreams

We should never give up our dreams. Never, never. Despite the fact that our illness puts our dreams on hold, we should keep up our dreams. Here’s some reasons why:

  1. It provides motivation.
  2. It gives us reason to look forward.
  3. It can give us fewer to be sad.

Let’s go over this step by step.

Motivation

Motivation is an important thing. It is the engine behind decisions. It takes doing to accomplish something.

By having motivation to pursue our dreams, we are acknowledging indirectly that we can find healing. It gives us more reasons to go out there and find the answers. After all, we realize that we have a life to get back to.

In many ways, motivation is faith because it’s the action part of the formula.

Looking Forward

If motivation is the engine, then looking forward is the ignition. We can’t have the motivation to pursue our dreams if we don’t believe it’s still possible to achieve, despite our circumstances.

I’ll equate this to hope. Hope precedes faith, and it’s the one that ignites the desire, and gets us going in the right direction.

Without hope that we can still achieve our dreams, we may fall into a state of hopelessness and greater depression. We may believe we’re stuck this way for the rest of our lives and that it’s impossible to get a life again, to heal.

Looking forward is essential to finding a solution.

Fewer Reasons to Be Sad

By having faith that we can achieve our goals, that it is still possible to pursue our dreams, we have a greater mentality. Yes, we may be sad, or depressed, but we’re not as sad as we would be if we were without hope.

We’re not resigned to living like this. The moment we resign ourselves to the belief that this is how it’s going to be for us for the rest of our lives, that we can’t pursue our dreams, we’ve given up. And giving up is the opposite of faith.

The moment we give up, we don’t pursue our dreams. Then we’re even sadder because we can’t achieve our dreams. This can put us in a greater depression.

We Have Hope

It’s never going to be easy to keep up the faith. In many instances, it’s easy to give up. It’s hard to see the outcome when illness is all that we can see.

However, with faith, motivation, and a clear eye on our goals, we can overcome this illness.

Disease does not have to stop us. It doesn’t have to be forever. We can still be healed and achieve our dreams.

By keeping up the desire to achieve our goals in life, we can indirectly motivate ourselves to find answers about our health, and ultimately, healing.

crysBio of Crys Baysa

Crys Baysa had to put her dreams on hold because of chronic illness, but she never gives up. She will still become a meteorologist. Download her free brochure 5 Ways to Keep Your Dreams Alive to learn more about maintaining hope for your future dreams.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: We Don't Loose Dreams With Chronic Illness - Pleasant Living Through Chronic Illness

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