Moving On-Grieving What Was and Embracing What Will Be
February 12, 2018 | Posted in: Chronic Illness and Diagnosis
Growing up, moving was a semiannual occurrence. Sometimes the news of our impending relocation was crushing. Perhaps, my latest love interest had just professed his affection, or I had secured the lead role in the school play (this was never the case for me, but once was for my older brother.) Other times, a move was welcome news, a reprieve from a town I hated and people I didn’t mesh with well.
As a general rule, moving seemed to be sort of a no-notice event in life to me. It happened so regularly in my sphere, and I couldn’t figure out why others made such a big deal out of it. It required two full-sized moving trucks for our family of nine to pull it off twice a year, so I wasn’t quite sure what anyone else was complaining about.
As an adult, my feelings about moving have changed quite a bit. Now, having lived in homes longer, put down roots, and raised children in them, my attachments run much deeper. Leaving one home to start all over again in another feels a bit more daunting then it did when I was a child, and moving twice a year felt like an adventure. Now, moving feels a lot like loss, adjustment, transition, and intentionally embracing the new.
As I’ve walked out these steps –grieving our old life and home, feeling the loss of what was, adjusting to the idea of what would be, transitioning into our new home, and embracing this new life it’s reminded me of each of my various diagnoses.
Which each new diagnosis has come the need to grieve my old life, abilities, what was, time to adjust to the idea of what might be, a season of transitioning into a new normal, and finally a decision to embrace life and my body, whatever it looked like.
Sometimes the diagnosis was welcomed. I knew something was wrong and I was on a desperate mission for answers. Finding the name at long last was a relief, it meant finally someone might be able to aid me, offer some measure of hope and help.
Other times, I was completely caught off guard by a diagnosis and all that came with it. Treatments meant major life adjustments that were difficult and unwelcome. The grieving period for these diagnoses seem to take the longest. I hadn’t known I had a problem, so knowing the name didn’t feel like the answer.
It took time to step back and realize allowing the disease or illness to run rampant in my body unchecked would only allow for more damage in the long run. After facing this truth, I could fully embrace my new reality, treatments, medications, pains, and all.
Each time I moved as a little girl, I met new people, experienced new things, learned about new places, and grew personally. While I often wouldn’t have chosen to uproot my life or be a new student again, in the end, I looked back and knew that I had benefitted.
It’s hard to look at a disease and say, “Gee, I’ve really benefitted as a result of having this in my life. I’m so glad it happened.” The truth is I wouldn’t have chosen these illnesses for myself (nor would I choose them for you.) However, when I look back, I see each one has stretched me beyond my comfort zone, has brought new people into my sphere, has taught me something new, and has grown me.
Each of them has reminded me I can still dance when the music’s not on. When life is hard, and it feels like all the cards are stacked against me, I can still smile. I can still adjust. I can still find a way forward. Click To Tweet
These days, moving is a pretty big deal. But I know that in time I can embrace the new normal, and so can you, no matter what that new normal looks like.