After being diagnosed I remember my mind racing and feeling lost. I had built my life into one large plan, everything being somewhat expected. I made plans to go to school, to travel, get married, have kids… I have to laugh at that now, because yes we live for what is expected but what changes our lives is what is unexpected. And it takes one thing- one small fraction of time, to change your course completely. There was a lot I went through in between then and now. Overall, I had four stages I went through. It started in slow motion as I watched everything I took for granted slip through my fingers and ended when I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
The first stage I went through was denial. I didn’t want it to be true. It couldn’t possibly; out of the billions of people out there, why me? I ignored what my body was doing; I went on like nothing happened, like it was not affecting me.
The second stage was anger. You’re angry with your family, your friends, strangers who look at you on the street, and even angry with yourself. It felt like I had entered a battle that I was not prepared for, one that I did not want to fight.
The third stage was bargaining. I prayed that it would go away, that I would never do a bad thing again; I took back all the awful things I had done and said previously. I offered everything I had in hopes it was enough.
Then, the final stage happens when everything else has failed. All the anger has subsided, the bargaining has failed and you’re left to think about your feelings. So the fourth stage can be nothing else but acceptance. You accept that you did everything you could and let go.
Throughout our lives, many of us will face circumstances that seem unfair, painful, and traumatic. And, in the moment, that is true. But as we grow and evolve, we get to see that once we accept what happened, we have the power of choice to be able to redefine the meaning of it- to turn it around.
There is always something to be found in what we have lost. The goal isn’t to ignore what is happening to you, it’s to become strong enough to live and eventually thrive through it. Sometimes the reality of life is a hard pill to swallow. We don’t want to experience the bad or go through the hardships we are brought to. But I would not have it any other way. I guess I had to go through those stages, to lose myself in them, so I could finally find out who I was. Yes, in the beginning I realized that I may have lost something, but in the end, I knew that I had not lost everything.