Thursday, June 27, 2019

Finding Peace

     When I first learned how devastating this illness would be to me, I crumbled.  I practically gave up.  That's a raw part of the grieving process. Grieving for everything you can never do or have again.  Grieving for the lost "you".

     This isn't an easy disease. COPD often robs us of our energy, light, hope and of course, our breathe.

     There are so many more things it takes from us. But there is something people don't talk about... what it gives.  For everything it takes, it gives back courage, wisdom, fortitude, emotional strength and the love to make connections more meaningful.

     I don't take a single thing for granted.  Not the air I breathe, not the last song I heard. Not the last person I spoke to. Definately not the love I have for my fellow human being.  We are ALL connected.

     This transition wasn't an easy shift.  I was miserable and angry. I'm still miserable, but I'm not angry anymore.  Life is too short to be burdened with being mad at something that we cannot control.  We can manage this disease and slow its progression.  We can not conquer it. There is no cure.

     However, by connecting with others who have COPD I have found a vital part to finding my acceptance of the limitations of COPD.  I never want to see another person suffer,  yet knowing I'm not totally alone makes it easier to deal with.

     Finding empathy within myself for a plight that someone else is going through takes some of the weight of it off.  It also gives purpose and meaning to my life.

     It isn't the end yet.  There is still time for me to make a difference. Being there for someone else who is going through the same thing pulls me out of my own misery, in a way.  It gives me a reason to fight... if not for myself, then for them.  No one wants to feel alone in a battle like this.

     I can't tell you how many times I've cried over what I'm going through.  It's frustrating waking up knowing every day will be more of the same. But in reality, it's not.  Every day is another chance to reach out to someone else who is suffering.

     I may not be able to do very much, physically,  anymore.  I still can do something emotionally.  If I help one person deal with this battle without feeling alone, I've found my purpose for this part of my life.  In the end, it's not about the monetary gains in life... not the cars or houses... not the vacations... not the new shoes.
It's about the connections we make.

      I find peace in that.

     FOOTNOTE: My encouragement for you today is to find a support group for others who are suffering with the same thing your going through. Face to face support groups are ideal, but not always possible for a COPD patient.  There are many wonderful support groups online where you can have the kind of connections I speak of.  If you use Facebook,  the groups section is a good place to begin your search.

#COPD #emphysema #copdawareness #cantbreathe #lungs #lungdisease
#chronicillness #chronicdisease #breathe  #justbreathe #ipf #bronchitis

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