author / blogger


The Future Looks Right

When I was younger I was in a relationship that positively reeked of predictability. Our future was planned to a startling degree and I, happy I suppose to be free from any big decision making, sailed along for the ride without much thought for the potentially stormy waters we were headed into. It was a few years in when I began to long for a little more freedom, a little uncertainty, a little FUN. To me not knowing what the future held was exciting and exhilarating, but for him it was terrifying. That in itself was more than enough to make me want to disembark from our particular ship and find the nearest desert island.

So in those days I craved the unknown. I looked for spontaneity and impulsiveness and I thank-fully found it in the man I now love and share my life and private parts with. But since I got sick my priorities changed beyond all recognition; what I once thought was of vital importance was suddenly resigned to the back of the queue while I fought to just stay alive.  Because life is a cruel mistress, my once rose-tinted future spectacles through which I saw only frivolity and impulsiveness were now looking at a future where unpredictability was the name of the game.   

You’d think I’d be happy then; that my life was about to be more unpredictable than Trump becoming President, but as you can imagine it wasn’t quite the type of unpredictability I’d once bargained for. So now I crave something more solid; security, certainty, and a solid idea of what the future holds. Heartbreakingly, like too much dairy or Jon Hamm, all things I can’t have.

When you have a chronic illness life is an often constant stream of anxiety and doubt. Patients struggle with the uncertainty of whether treatment will work, will we need surgery, will we cope with new drugs, will we get worse, will we get better, will.I.AM etc. We need to know that something, anything is for certain, and sadly the only certainty we do have is that we don’t have a cure. So we stride forward into the unknown looking for some form of reassurance that everything is going to be OK, knowing deep down that no one, no matter how qualified can give us that confirmation.

So here are some things I know for sure:

-          My life is going to be a lot harder than I thought it was but that’s ok because I’m a lot tougher than I thought I was. I opened a jam jar by myself earlier if you need confirmation of that claim.

-          There might not be a cure for my disease within my lifetime, but the strides medical science has made in the short time since my own diagnosis fill me with hope that it will happen in time, and that I’ll be very well taken care of in the interim.

-          Unpredictability is part of life – we never truly know what’s around the corner. If you are unhappy with your lot then change it. Just because life throws a few curve balls from time to time doesn’t mean you can’t catch them and smash them back into life’s face breaking its nose in several places and causing irrevocable damage to its sinuses. Or something along those lines.

-          Life is so, so short. Don’t waste it wishing for something you think you can’t have or don’t deserve; make it happen. Love deeply and be kind to one another, everything else will fall into place. I never got that My Little Pony pencil case I craved in Primary 2, but it’s something I rarely think about. I do think a lot about people I’ve upset, or worried or hurt.

My life might have been better had I had that pencil case, who can tell, but I know for certain it will always get better when I make myself and the people I love happy. Chronic illness may cause confusion and apprehension but I have a solid foundation in my family and friends. So when waters get choppy I can always rely on them to pull me to shore.

(So many water-based analogies today, I apologise and now I really need the loo).

Keep well xo

Kathleen NichollsComment