Understanding the New "Me"

Coping with a chronic illness is challenging. When I got sick, it was as if a part of me was gone and never coming back. I have heard the process of coping with an illness compared to grieving a death. I thought this was stupid, until I looked at the stages:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

It didn't take long to realize that these stages were the emotional states I experienced while coping with my illness. 

Since I got sick, I have learned to be very observant of the things going on in my body. This has been very helpful for me because it allows me observe patterns in my symptoms and recognize when I am about to have a symptom flare-up. The downside to this, of course, is that I notice things about myself that I never would have paid attention to before. If there is an ache or pain anywhere in my body, I note it. Also, as time passes since I first got sick, it gets increasingly difficult to remember what “normal” felt like, causing me to attribute all aches, pains and abnormal feelings to some pathology. I have learned over time that I do this and now I try to remember that normal people have muscle cramps, sore throats, and colds too and I don’t need to see a doctor for every little thing I notice about myself.