Special Articles - Lydia's Insight


I always considered myself an optimist. The glass was always half full but then the day came

when that analysis was put to the test.

Life had become one big struggle to just get through each day. Mornings, which were always

my favourite time, only meant the day had begun and I had to face another day of dealing

with a chronic illness and its limitations. I stayed in my nightgown but to dress up a bit, I

would put a housecoat over it. I was now dressed for the day.

I discovered that a day of 24 hours was the same as travelling on the road of ridiculous. A

waking nightmare. 24 hours with a mind that won’t quit thinking. You’re depressed my doctor

said. That was the understatement of the day. I told him I was depressed because I was ill.

Not ill because I was depressed Apples and oranges.

I had taken my health for granted and everything I did was as a result of being healthy. I had

no experience dealing with me as an ill person. The other roles you grow into but being ill

was almost overnight. No time to prepare although I doubt it would have made any

difference. Preparing for illness would be like preparing for death. Sure you can make a Will

and your funeral arrangements but then what? Lie down and wait to take your last breath?

My life was on the edge. On hold until it would get better.

Then one morning I got up facing another long day ahead and it all of a sudden occurred to

me that although I had overcome other obstacles and challenges in the past, why was I

treating this one differently from all the others I had dealt with? Was it really so different? I

decided it was not. It was just an episode in life.

I wish I could say that from that moment on I miraculously started to lead a productive life. I

had many setbacks but as bad as they were, they were never as bad as when I did nothing. I

discovered that I had to go through the stages of loss in order to move on. Close the door to

what used to be and start anew.

I thought acceptance meant giving up. It is not. It just means you face the facts and move



Lydia E. Neilson, MSM