Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Strategies and alternatives for coping with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and other chronic illnesses

My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take

Posted by wendyburnett on June 1, 2010

Chronic illness is a life-changing experience for everyone, and each person’s journey is very different; but there are experiences we all recognize as well. How many of us have lost jobs, friends, spouses, homes, and family members to our disease? No matter what illness we have, we share so much that we can connect on a level that many will never understand unless the journey comes to them. We share symptoms, and losses, and lessons; and we share the understanding that our lives will never be the same because the illness, the journey, has changed us in ways that can never be undone. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow and be healthy again, even if by some miracle we were cured; the experience has changed us in fundamental ways, and the lessons it has taught us can never be unlearned.

My journey began many years ago, and it has changed my life so much that when I look back I barely recognize the woman I was. I was married, and miserable, and convinced that I was too stupid to ever be able to take care of myself without a man to tell me what I thought, what I wanted, and what I felt. I was depressed and suicidal, dissociative, and having flashbacks that I thought were delusions or hallucinations. I was terrified that I was losing my mind, and more terrified to tell anyone what was happening for fear that I really WAS “going crazy.”

I can pinpoint the exact moment that my journey through illness began, too. Not with a time or a date, but with an event; an event so ordinary, so innocuous, that I could never have suspected the effect it would have on my life. Continue reading My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take


One Response to “My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take”

  1. Wendy,

    Wow! Your chronic illness journey is a real eye opener and I’m sure it only scratches the surface of how chronic illness has affected you. Thanks for sharing.

    Chris Paulsen

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