Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Defining Self- post Diagnosis

Yesterday, I was talking to someone about redefining myself after Chiari.
Thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion here.

I know for me, I had already had to go through that awkward adolescent phase after I came into recovery for my eating disorder 10 years ago. I had to figure out who I was without the anorexia.

So I thought I was fairly confident in who I was by the time the news of Chiari came.

But once it got to the point I couldn't work anymore, I found myself once again, undefined.

Prior to Chiari, I was a student, a therapist, an intern, and strived to be the best at all my roles.

Then in what seemed like an instant, it all faded. I stayed in school to keep my insurance, but my drive was no longer there and my grades went to mediocre at best.

I had no identity.

I was stripped of everything, and left with only two roles in life; being sick, and a child of God.

And believe me, I wasn't like "WooHoo! It's just you and me God! How awesome!!"

No, I was far from it. Even though I clung to my relationship with my Lord, I still could help feeling somewhat abandoned.

How lonely that time was.

Sure I had a lot of support, and people who cared about me. But I still felt alone inside, not sure of what was to be expected.

And I even avoided the Chiari boards online. I didn't want to know what others were going through because I was afraid to know what my future looked like.

It came to the point that I realized that I had to redefine my definition of self.

Who am I?

Who am I with this?

This started a new journey.

One where I had to define myself my God's standards, not the worlds.

And the Christian community was not always supportive.

There are Christians out there that believe that illness is a direct result of sin, or separation from God.

How bogus.

God made this body, with the malformation.

So what do you do with that?

My redefining came from the struggle of life with Chiari.

I found myself in situations where I had to trust God solely to get me through.

And found through it, that my relationship with Him grew stronger.

I no longer felt alone, because He helped me feel the touches of all the hearts around me wanting to help......

Which I balked at first.

Miss Independent couldn't have someone help her with basic self care.

But I had no choice really.

And out of that lack of choice, I found that I had prided myself on something so selfish. I loved to help, but couldn't receive it. Which, when you think about it is crazy!

Anyhow, I babble sometimes relentlessly.

The point is, that through this process I found myself in a new place where I feel more in my own skin than ever before.

My roles, and who I based myself on before, did not give me the satisfaction that I sought.

But I didn't realize it, until I finally let go.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I found this post while looking for other Chiari blogs. I felt led to let you know how much your words touched me, especially about how your experience has brought you closer to the Lord. I know exactly what you mean. I was only recently diagnosed at TCI with Chiari, retroflexed odontoid, tethered spinal cord, and Ehlers Danlos. I had surgery to detether my spinal cord on June 1. I'm having decompression surgery on August 27. The whole experience has been a humbling one for me, too. Best wishes on your upcoming surgery!