For so long I was focussed on “getting back to my old life” before I got sick. My mind had not yet come to terms with my new reality or even processed the traumas I had suffered from. At the time, I was determined “getting my life back”. But I soon realised that this perspective does nothing for us.

You see, change is unavoidable with a chronic illness. Some of what you lose is gone for good. You come to terms with them and mourn the losses, the same way you grieve the passing of a loved one. You go through this cycle of denial, grief, acceptance, growth and search for identity. You crave a part of you that no longer exists. You set yourself up for failure before you begin, aiming to become your “past self” which is unattainable because you’ve changed mentally and physically. Because you’ve instead evolved into something positively different – you’ve not stayed as a caterpillar, you have fought on to become a butterfly.

So why crave something that we “once” were?

Why focus on “going back” to our past?

Feeling like you’ve “lost” your identity is just one part of the whole process.

I’ve found that redirecting your focus on today and your future; reflecting on who you’ve become and what you are becoming, is the most important thing. Because if it wasn’t for our traumas and times of reflection, we wouldn’t be evolving into the unique beings we are growing into day by day, trauma by trauma.

So if you feel like you’re walking into an “unknown” part of your identity, you are in fact discovering a part of you that has been there all along – you just haven’t been aware of its existence.

So please don’t be afraid of exploring the “growing you”.

Instead, have the courage to believe and trust in yourself and your potential. Trusting yourself and your decisions will only bring you closer to your true self, your identity and your purpose. Choose growth 🦋🌻💫

• Laura Lee •