How often do you utter the words or think “I just want my old life back” or “I wish I could do what I used to”? Do those thoughts comfort you? They didn’t comfort me; in fact they did the opposite.
We often romanticize our past. It is easy to see the good in our lives before our chronic illnesses entered, because let’s face it things were easier before our bodies went wonky. But was your life really that different or less difficult? If I am to be honest I would have to answer NO. The only difference is that I wasn’t battling multiple chronic illnesses. I was just as haggard back then as I have been for most of my chronic life, just for different reasons. Nobody’s life is perfect, if they aren’t dealing with a health issue they might be facing financial or relationship problems. I cannot compare the present to my past. First of off, I was 20 years younger!! Even if I were to be completely healed tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to keep up the same pace I did 20 years ago.
The past is just that, in the past. We can’t go back. Every time I would think or verbalize thoughts of wanting my life to return to what it was before my chronic illnesses entered it, I robbed myself of the joy I could be experiencing in that moment. The time I spent wishing for what couldn’t be wasted time I could spent on embracing each current moment, finding solutions, and looking for different ways to do what I wanted. Five years ago I said goodbye to yesterday. I stopped wishing and dreaming for what could never be and began living the life I had. No longer looking into my rearview mirror I have been able to focus on the here and now. When focused on the past we isolate and hold ourselves back. We can’t function in the here and now or even begin to plan for our future if all we ever think about is how our lives used to be. When I stopped obsessing about how I used to do things I was able to look for and find alternative solutions.
Life will continue to change. We may get sicker or we may improve. But one thing is for sure, if we spend all of our time pining for our past we will never enjoy what is right in front of us.