I first learned of the concept of “a new kind of normal” at a Women of Faith conference several years ago. A speaker said something along of the lines of “Sometimes things happen in life – sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren’t. We can’t go back in change it instead we must move forward. In turn, we must find a new kind of normal.” It truly resonated with me and has been my life’s goal since my illness diagnosis which took place almost eight years ago.
But the thing is, I’m not there yet. This blog has wore the name “A New Kind of Normal” for almost 4 years but honestly I don’t quite have a grip on it yet. I still catch myself looking over my shoulder longing for the old me. The healthy me. The me that still had hopes of running a marathon and sporting a cute baby belly. The me that no longer exists. The trained counselor in me recognizes my loss and realizes that I will still experience sudden temporary upsurges of grief (aka STUGS – take that Dr. D!) The perfectionist in me wants all of that to be behind me permanently. The realist in me knows that its just something I’ve got to come to terms with.
Honestly, I’m ok with the grief part of it. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of fertility. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of health.
What I’m not ok with is my longing to be the old me. The thought that if I can just get back to this or do that like I used to, I will be ok. I want to be rid of that. I want to be rid of the guilt of not being able to do everything I think I should be able to do. The guilt that somehow I am letting my family down by not being healthy like I once was. I want to be rid of the shame that I am sick and that sometimes I have to say no and that sometimes I have to cancel plans. I did nothing to cause my illness and honestly nothing short of a miracle cure is going to take it away so I know that I have no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. I know that but I just don’t feel that.
The new me is something I should still be proud of. I may have lost my ability to run a marathon but instead I’ve gained a heart of compassion. I may not have a rock hard body like I’ve always dreamed of but I have a body that hasn’t given up on me yet (and have managed to lose and keep off 35lbs!). I may not be a social butterfly and live it up on the town but instead I have gained meaningful and cherished relationships with others experiencing chronic illness through the magic of social media. I may not have gotten to experience pregnancy but now I have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to those who are traveling a similar journey.
So this is me letting go of the old me and embracing the new me and my new normal:
It is not how I would have planned it but every day is a new gift and a new adventure and when I think of all of the good that God has created out of a desperate situation, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This post was written as a part of the SITS Letting Go Series over the Women on the Move Channel! If you are looking for motivation or inspiration, definitely check it out and link up! You can follow the Letting Go discussion on twitter using the #SITSLettingGo hashtag!