Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Declaration of Independence

Believe me, you want to hang onto your independence as long as you can.
i have lived in my folks' house after being out on my own, and while i was grateful to not be on the street, it made me feel like a failure, not to mention the total lack of privacy.

Then, i lived with a relative who sucked the life out of me with daily 4-hour rants recounting everyone who had ever wronged them. Then i lived in a friend's computer room, and couldn't go to bed each night 'til he was done surfing porn. i'm not kidding. And that was often 3am. I really like the guy, we got along great, but I really needed my own space. But that was not an option because i couldn't work enough to pay my medical debts, and also pay rent. It really sucks to be dependent on someone else once you're no longer a child.

i also have friends who are on disability. a couple of them could go back to work, but they instead dig in their heels and spend a lot of time justifying loudly to everyone why they need to be on disability. they, too are dependent, just not on an individual. SO if you can work and not make your condition, work. You will be happier, and way better off in both the long and short run.

Even if you can't work, or you can only work part-time, it's just so important to have a life other than your illness.

It's also important to actually deal with your illness, though- it's such a balance. You have to face whatever reality there is to face and get the thing under control (by whatever means), so that you *can* have a life. The temptation for most of us is to just plow through, nose to the grindstone, and hope it will go away. It won't. Trust me, I know, I tried it this way and it didn't work. I just got sicker, and thinner, and paler, and more anemic, and closer to death, til I was a walking ghost who couldn't get out of a chair on my own, at 25 years old.

Once your body has gone autoimmune on you, you need some kind of intervention, either with drugs. or lots of acupuncture, or faith healing, or whatever method works for you. It's not a cold, or an annoying person- it's not going to go away if you ignore it.

The good news is, you can- just about guaranteed- get it under control.
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