The feelings behind an autoimmune disease/chronic illness when diagnosed, well even before the actual diagnosis, is one that can’t be explained well enough. How do I know? Well because I was there.. not once, not twice, but three plus times. Whether you have an autoimmune disease or not, this is good insight for you… You might understand that family member or friend a bit better. So, please keep reading.
From dealing with my own diagnosis and now helping others on their journey I see the same common feeling. A feeling that is totally normal for ones either newly diagnosed or someone that has been diagnosed for while is that they feel they have lost themselves. That they have to say goodbye to their former life and the way things were. A diagnosis, no matter what it is, can stop you dead in your tracks and leave you feeling lost, alone, scared, confused, frustrated and many other emotions.
What I want all of you to know, please, is that you may have well been diagnosed with an autoimmune, one or a few of the many out there BUT that is NOT your name! Your diagnosis does not define you! You are YOU. Say your name out loud, yes, I said out loud…. right now.. THAT is your name. Better yet, drop your name below in the comments.
~Little back story so you can understand where I am coming from~
I remember when I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune-EBV, Epstein Barr Virus/ CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at 19- it was weird, but I kept going. I went on with my life best I could. I worked, I partied and had fun, and at times paid for it severely ending up bedridden. Being “sick” at a young age isn’t really normal, so I tried the best I could to ignore it… mistake, yet I learned.
The car accident at 24 didn’t help matters as it made me spiral downhill. The accident left me with many injuries resulting in multiple surgeries, broken arm, being fired from my job with a law firm, not to mention the mental and emotional scars. However, I still lived my life best as I could. I always held a job in the legal field and I truly loved what I did, just wished I felt better of course, but didn’t take the time to get to the bottom of things.
Then the next kicker was a subsequent incident after moving to Florida from New York and being diagnosed with CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome at 27. What a messed up one that is! That diagnosis is the one that really made me lose it. Actually, I did lose it. Let me be completely honest here. I had never experienced pain like that before. I started thinking my life was over at 27. I went through a series of nerve blocks, was on several prescription medications… pain killers, anti-inflammatories, high blood pressure meds, muscle relaxers, nerve meds.. the list goes on.
My life was starting to feel like ground hog day… I worked and kept stuffing my feelings down and to the side. Day after day I would come home from work, and take my pills, plop on my couch in the same spot, watch TV and drink til I passed out on my couch… yep that was my reality- yuck now that I look back. I felt like I didn’t have much to live for.. well that is how I felt anyway- it was my reality at the time. The doctor said I needed the pills, so I took them and well I needed to function. With the mix of pills, I wasn’t even thinking properly.. who can on all those pills?
Fast forward to now, 10 years later, I presently am pill free, symptom free and do not define myself by what I was diagnosed with. It was a long road, but so worth it. Which is why I now help others on their journey. I got so caught up in what I had, I was slowly losing myself, and its normal for that to happen when your life and things change.
With that being said, you can’t give in. You can’t let something take over.
I work with so many amazing Warriors and I feel you! When we are diagnosed it is as if our lives stop.. our life as we knew/know it stops and it’s like we must change who we are. NO! That does not have to happen. So please stop that right now.
I am here to help show you there IS light and hope. Do NOT let what you have been diagnosed with take over. You are probably thinking, “Ok, yea Nicole.. whatever.. there is nothing I can do.. it is what it is and this is my life now.”
And I’m saying, hmm nope, nope it is not… well, it doesn’t have to be. That is ultimately your choice.
Now, is getting better, healthier and keeping it all together easy? No! Is it possible? YES!! I am living proof of that. There is a feeling of loss and uncertainty. But just know YOU can get better with work, determination and help. YOU are still amazing and loved no matter the diagnosis.
For those that want to make a change for the better, I am here for you! What I have committed my life to.. helping YOU. So please, say your real name loud and proud and kick that diagnosis to the curb and tell me YOUR name.
Please grab your free copy of my ” Top 10 Tips to a New You” on my website. It is a free resource I created, listing the top 10 things I did to get to where I am today to help you along your journey! I also have two other free resources there as well.
Sending love, light, strength and hugs always!