Dictionary.com defines Desire as:
- longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment:
a desire for fame.
- an expressed wish; request.
verb (used with object), desired, desiring.
- to wish or long for; crave; want.
- to express a wish to obtain; ask for; request:The mayor desires your presence at the next meeting.
When it comes to chronic illnesses I think desire is a double edge sword. Of course, we all desire to be better. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. However, does this desire fuel our determination or have us wallowing in the unachievable?
I believe I have been at both ends of this spectrum.
From the time I was fifteen, I had problems with my right knee. I fell learning to ski and tore all the cartilage as well as tendons and ligaments. I was told I would have been much better off breaking my leg. I ended up having surgery to remove the damaged cartilage and repair as much as possible. I spent the next several years not knowing that the little fragments of cartilage that the doctor missed were acting like sandpaper, grinding down the knee cap and joint.
I then went on to have a few accidents that damaged other parts of my body. I felt pain, but was dealing with other things and just ignored it. Since by this time I was also suffering from mental illness, that seemed to be the more important focus.
Through all of this, which was probably 30 years, my heart’s desire was to be “normal” and live a “normal life”. Other than taking medications I tried to deny that I had any health issues. But the more I craved to be well, the worse I was getting.
So, I changed gears and started grieving the fact my desires of a perfect life with a husband, children, and a white picket fence as being unattainable.
Now I think I have found the perfect balance. I am admitting that I have health issues (both mental and physical) to myself and others, and I am learning what my boundaries are. At the same time, I am making decisions to push those boundaries just enough to see if I can.
On the second try I got an amazing, loving, and caring husband who accepts me warts and all (and had a few for me to accept too! 😉 . We have no children of our own; however, God has filled our lives with His children and we couldn’t be happier. As for the picket fence (and the house to go with it), we are still working on that one.
One of my desires has always been to write and you just happen to be reading the evidence that it came true! It took a long time, and ironically I started writing around the same time I had to really face that my illnesses were getting worse. Writing has helped me to deal with everything I have had to deal with.
So while it may be hard for those of us with chronic conditions to attain some of our desires, we still need to have them to keep us going in the fight. And in the process, we might find things we weren’t expecting at all!