WHY Is This Happening To Me ? When dealing with the shock of learning of our chronic condition, either through diagnosis or an acute episode, the universal question seems to be “Why is this happening to me ?”. It can be all-consuming, diet, stress, not enough exercise, too much exercise, to much alcohol, too much coffee, the things that go through our mind in seeking the answer are almost endless. It’s partner is the “If” question both looking for an explanation for our condition.
Very often the Medical profession cannot answer this question, they might offer some suggestions but will admit that is often impossible to tell. What has happened has happened and we need to adapt our lifestyles to obtain the best outcome. I know from personal experience that this response just deepens the internal search for a definite reason.
It’s only when we accept we’ll never get a satisfactory answer and put the question behind us that we can move on with recovery and consolidate all those lifestyle changes we should be making. It is not so easily done, but when you can consistently starting looking to the future and not staring backwards, life can start to offer so much more.
Why Me ? As soon as we have managed to stop looking for the reason, we start looking for a reason. It’s a different sort of reason, a meaning, a psychological crutch to make it all seem worth while. It is an existential crisis.
With the body physically fixed, this is where some input and support helps as we review our past life, see where we are and what the future holds for us. It’s at this point exposure to the inspirational stories of other patients and involvement in positive projects shapes the road ahead. An illustration that through the negative process we can strive and find positives that didn’t exist before.
Being involved in something meaningful rebuilds our self-worth as we can see we are adding value to the world through our efforts.
Discovering Why ! At some point we will turn and look back at our journey from that fateful day when our disease managed to get hold of us. We will have that date etched in our psyche but what will be the big surprise is how far we have travelled since then and what we have achieved. We will also look around and see the big community that we are now part of, and that so much remains to be done for others still on their path to this point.
The is the moment when you feel truly empowered, that you can make a real difference, but what ? and how? These are minor details, what you need to find is your why, the vital drive deep within you that activates you and gives you fulfilment. You might call it your mission.
Armed with a purpose you can then decide what you want to achieve, and how you might go about that. If your why is to help further medical research, you might decide to go out and fundraise for the national non-profit. Your why might be to help people in their hour of need and you might do that through joining a Patient Support Group and getting trained to help out there. The list is endless and you will find your place when you discover your why. Armed with your why you can think of creating a positive future. And making a small change to the world in which we live.
Author’s Note: In January 2019, I was selected to take part in the Bakken Invitation run by The Medtronic Foundation. It took 12 patients from around the world and brought them together to participate in workshops developed to help us tell our stories and to help others along the path from diagnosis.
Earl Bakken, the joint founder of Medtonic Inc, who himself had overcome several medical issues, wanted the Foundation to encourage those who had gone through similar medical events to give back to their communities and to do good works. He felt the world would be a better place for this. The Bakken Invitation was established in his honour. The motto of the program is #LiveOn #GiveOn #DreamOn.