I am breaking this topic about 'The Emotional Roller Coaster We Go Through' up into several different posts.
And for some people who find out later in life about being sick, grieving the loss of their once normal life happens. Someone asked me once, if I ever had to grieve about my illness, and what it has taken from me. Not in a big way, like some people. But in some ways I have.
See, I have known from a young age that I was not normal and that my life would never be normal. I didn't like it, in fact I hated it. I had convinced myself that God hated me and I had done something wrong to have this happen to me. But I never knew anything different than that. I never had anything to miss. I didn't have a normal life to remember or to grieve over losing. But I did grieve over the fact that I would never know what normal was. I grieved over the fact that my body would never look normal.
Now I'm going to admit, I love roller coasters. I am a thrill seeker, an adrenaline junkie. But one day, that was taken away from me. I was thirteen years old. I knew I loved roller coasters. So this was something new to me. Before, the things that were denied me, like being able to have my own child or being able to walk up a flight of stairs easily, I never experienced, I never knew. So I didn't have anything but an idea to miss. But this, I had the real experience to miss. So when my doctors said, no more roller coasters, I grieved the loss of that. Yes I understand in hindsight that it is nothing compared to what so many people have had to grieve over and I have gotten past that sadness in my life.
I'll be the first to tell you, in my process of grieving, I got angry, I got depressed and I did bargain with my doctors. I was angry at them at first.
It was their fault I couldn't go on roller coasters.
They should've done more to make me healthy enough to ride them.
I took it out on them, not gonna lie. I was rude, I blamed them and I let them know that I was not happy with them. And I got depressed. As a young teen, I saw it as the end of the world. And then I started to bargaining. I'd ask, 'Well why don't you just give me the transplant now so I can ride a roller coaster?' even though transplants is just trading out one problem for another. Then I'd ask, 'What if I only rode roller coasters that I've been on before, since I know they haven't killed me yet?'
They didn't budge and I got angry at them again.
But then as I matured, I realized that roller coasters weren't worth losing my life over. And I realized that just because they were the bearer of bad news, doesn't mean it's their fault. I, and I'm sure many people when they get sick, want answers. We want something or someone to blame. And I blamed my doctors for this loss, even though I knew it wasn't their fault.
If you're a parent of a child who has a chronic illness or a terminal one, and they are going through this grieving processes, I want you to know that therapy, camps for people who have similar illnesses, support groups and counseling, are out there that can help you and your child get through this. I can personally say though, it would always bug me, as I'm sure it does others; when someone tells me to just 'Get over it'. Remember, what might seem minuscule to you, may not be to someone else. Like me losing roller coasters, may not seem like a lot to you, but it was to me at the time. So please remember that on top of dealing with doctor visits, taking medicines, going through procedures, dealing with statistics and then trying to go about daily life, someone who has a chronic or terminal illness is allowed to have moments of grief over things that may not seem all that important to you.
Hope and Love,
What have you had to grieve over?
How did you deal with it?