I have been thinking a lot lately, about the past four years of my life, since diagnosis (in my mid-30s). It’s pretty crazy to go through that process from the inside, and then look back at the journey. When I remember some of the things that were normal for me four years ago…and even throughout my life…I just can’t even believe it sometimes. Some things were easy to change immediately, but a lot of them were gradual processes that I had to experience in due time. Things that I could not have speeded up if I’d wanted to. So many of them were unanticipated, because there was no way I could have anticipated them.
It’s not the same for everyone, of course…but I can definitely say that I have had significant improvements in my emotional stability, my ability to take real responsibility for myself and my own actions, my accountability to others…my ability to declutter my life in so many ways has improved…my general tolerance for chaos (especially manufactured chaos) has gone down exponentially…I’m sure there’s more things but those are some big ones. This whole thing is always an ongoing process, but my point is this: It has all been SO worthwhile.
If you are just starting on this journey, post-diagnosis, stick with it. Keep going. Dig in and really take this as an opportunity to learn some new things. And remember that it will ALWAYS be an opportunity to learn new things. It is always an ongoing process. You may hit an occasional plateau, but then something will jolt you out of your comfort zone and you’ll realize you’ve learned something new again, or you’ll realize you need to work on something. Do it. Try new things – and stick with things that work for you.
Remember that reflection is valuable – but that rumination will probably not help you.
Remember why you started on this journey in the first place.
Remember that you’re worth it.
Remember that your partners and your families are worth it.
Remember that nobody is ever perfect and that perfection shouldn’t even be the goal.
Remember that you must center yourself within yourself.
Remember that you alone, are accountable for your actions and decisions.
Remember your best attributes and use them for good.
Remember that everyone struggles – you are in good company.
Remember to keep an open mind.
Remember to keep going.