Living Life, Within the Limits of Chronic Illness

The Future

It wasn’t until very recently I realised that I don’t tend to think about the future any more. 

People always ask me what I want to do with my life. What I want from it. What my dreams are. And I honestly have no answer. I don’t tend to think about it. 

I guess I dare not to hope too much. To dream of what could be any more. I take everything one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. My health dictates that I do. 

How can I think about the future when I don’t know what my health might be like? Right now I have no solid answers, nothing to indicate whether my health will stay as it is forever, improve at all or even deteriorate. My doctors are still working on finding out exactly how my “system works”, to quote one of my doctors. The truth is we still don’t know a lot about what is wrong and what it means. 

With that in mind, is it really that strange that I find myself unable to think about the future? 

I’d like to imagine it might include finding a partner, moving out of my parents house and living more independently. Much like I always thought it would happen when I first got ill; although back then I always imagined I’d get better too, now I’ve accepted that might not happen. But do I really dare to hope that any of the rest will happen? 

I’m not usually a negative person, I’m always one for finding the positive in a situation. But for some reason when it comes to the future, and what I want from it, I don’t really have any answers; positive or otherwise. The only thing I want is to know exactly what is wrong with me and what that might mean, what the treatment options are, and ultimately what the outlook is. 

Until I know that, is there any point in even taking baby steps towards something which could end up being unobtainable? I’ve had so many hopes dashed over the years; things I’ve hoped to achieve but not been able to, perhaps this is just my way of protecting myself. 

Perhaps I need to chink away at the wall I’ve put up, to try and find a way to see something in my future rather than just focusing on getting through each day. Because at the moment that is all I’m doing. And it’s all I can think of doing. 

I dare not hope too much, I’m scared to do so. I don’t think I could cope with the disappointment if my health meant whatever I hoped for couldn’t happen. And I know that sounds negative, but trust me I do find positives in every day. I’m just not ready to try going beyond that yet, I need to focus on the things I can do before working towards those things I might be able to do. 

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2 Comments

  1. K

    “People always ask me what I want to do with my life. What I want from it. What my dreams are.”

    “Right now I have no solid answers, nothing to indicate whether my health will stay as it is forever, improve at all or even deteriorate. My doctors are still working on finding out exactly how my “system works”, to quote one of my doctors. ”

    Who on earth are these people who ask you the first question, and have the gall to make you feel that answering it factually is ‘negative’?

    • Clare

      I think in a way it’s programmed into us as a society – it’s a question that often comes after “What do you do for a living?”. People often struggle to understand that what I want to do and what I actually can do are two very different things and that discussing what I would love to be doing etc. can be very difficult for me. I’m not even sure they mean to make me feel that answering it factually is ‘negative’ I think more often than not they just can’t imagine being in my shoes and don’t now how to react/respond. Don’t get me wrong I understand that it is difficult, perhaps I don’t react in quite the way they expect when they tell me their happy news either, I mean out worlds are often poles apart because of my health. But I do try and understand it from their perspective & some of my best friends do the same for me – they admit they can only try to imagine how I must feel, but they do try. Whereas others just don’t bother.

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