I Grieved for Both My Past and Future After My MG Diagnosis
When I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG), it took me a few months to accept that my body would never be the same again. It took even longer to understand what that really meant.
I went through stages of denial, anger, sadness, and every other negative feeling a person can imagine. I knew there had to be a name for the feelings I was experiencing, so I looked up my emotions on the internet. And one after another, the search results gave me the same word: grief.
For a long time, I thought grief was something a person felt when they lost someone they loved. But after doing more research on the topic, I realized it wasn’t limited to the loss of human life. Any kind of major loss could cause a person to go through the stages of grief.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness like MG can cause a person to go through a period of grief. In my case, I grieved for the life I’d had. Before MG, I never gave a second thought to my daily activities. I did whatever I wanted to do without fear of weakness.
I also grieved for the life I thought I would have. Everything from vacations to grocery store visits now had to be thoroughly planned out. The out-of-town college I wanted to attend? It was completely out of the question now that I could barely walk on my own.
Grief ran both ways for me. I had to say goodbye to the life I’d lived and the one I wouldn’t know.
That isn’t to say grief took over my life. In a weird way, my grief led to a clean slate. What fresh opportunities were possible in my new life? What had I taken for granted that should be celebrated?
When I looked at my grief in this new light, all I saw was a chance to do things better than before. Yes, I had MG, but I wasn’t dead. I still had a shot at a fulfilling life.
So maybe I had to plan my vacations a little more carefully now. Maybe I had to get a bit better at remembering to take medication. In the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t any worse off than anyone else in the world.
We should allow ourselves time to grieve what we’ve lost. It’s a part of life we all go through at some point, so we must let it run its course. I try to see it as a period of transition. And isn’t life all about change?
Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to mean the end. It’s simply a time when we move from one stage of life to another.
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