It is hard to hang on to hope when you have a chronic illness. It is equally hard not to spend your days wishing things were different. And it is especially hard to not confuse the two.
I know that when I am feeling especially terrible, as I have been the past week or so, I tend to spend a lot of time wishing I could be doing anything but laying on the couch. Wishing I wasn’t looking like death, freezing, wearing a hat and gloves, under a down blanket, indoors at the end of March. I wish I could be cleaning or doing laundry even. I wish I could declutter the house. I wish I could go out and run errands. I wish I could accomplish something. I wish I could sign up for that 5k. (Not that I would have ever considered running when I wasn’t sick.). I wish I had the energy and strength to lift this body up and do something, anything, physical. The problem with all of this wishing is that it comes with the knowledge that these things are impossible right now. Which is depressing. And being depressed about my current state of being only makes matters worse.
But how is having hope different? I think having hope means that I can rest in the thought that there will be good days ahead. Not all days, but some. I can rest and not get caught up in what I can’t do right now. I can let things go (for today) and believe that someday, maybe, I will be able to do some of those things again. And this hope is backed up by the fact that when I have listened to my body in the past, and rested like to needed to, I (usually) have had some good days after. Maybe not as quickly as I wanted or even when I expected but they have come.
So I am going to try to rest in hope and not get caught up in wishing. I am going to let go of what I want for today and believe that tomorrow may be better.