Fearing The Future

Last updated: May 2019

There was a period of time in my life where the only things I thought about in my future had to do with being sick. During a long journey of needing different surgeries for a wide range of endometriosis issues, I was having trouble focusing on the things everyone else was.

Planning for the future

Friends of mine were thinking about where they would be in 5 years and what they needed to do to get there... I was thinking about how to make it to the three doctors appointments I had that week. I guess it just becomes hard to even see that far in the future sometimes. Living day-to-day almost becomes a form of survival. If we think too much about the future, it’s easy to panic about what type of pain we will have or what we will be able to do physically. But as humans, we are bound to think about what’s ahead and we are even more susceptible to fear it.

A long road ahead

When you live in a daily state of pain, it’s hard to imagine a life without it. It’s even harder to imagine still being in pain years down the road. When I stopped having surgeries back-to-back, I began to have more space in my life for planning what’s to come, though being in pain was still something that lingered over my head. I found myself really scared of making long term goals out of fear that my body wouldn’t be able to stick to them. The unpredictability of being chronically ill can be terrifying. From something as small as having to cancel plans for a movie, to taking a job where you have to be on your feet and then realizing that it might be too much for you, it can all be hard to accept.

What we CAN control

What I’ve found that is easier to accept is the control we do have. For those of us who are sick, it can feel like we have hardly any, but really there are a bunch of things we do that are pushing us into a positive future without us even realizing it. By thinking day to day about the foods we consume, the yoga and exercises that are good for us, the medications or treatments that are helping us with pain management, we are already planning steps ahead. We are constantly fighting for a future with less pain by simply just living with a disease. Recognizing this has helped me realize I can put more energy in what I’m doing each day, rather than worry about where I’ll be in 5 years.

Letting the future unfold

At the end of the day, we are only human, and worries and fears are completely normal. I think all we can do is continue to fight each day and know that how we feel today does not determine what we will be capable of in the years to come. We have to remind ourselves that we do everything we can and to never limit ourselves to what our future’s can hold just because we are chronically ill. Our future will be great for the simple fact that we have survived so much to make it there, and I believe the rest will just unfold as it goes.

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