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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Confessions

Today I felt better than I have in about a week.  I was very tired though, because I only got about 2 hours of sleep last night.  So I stayed in bed all day watching the shows I have recorded on my DVR, knitting, and reading a book during commercials.  I like to multi-task, LOL!  I also took several cat naps which helped me to feel even better by this evening.  I am still a little fatigued and running a low-grade fever, but such is the life of a Queen with Lupus. 

I have been thinking about my life and I confess I am not entirely happy with the place in which I find myself at the present.  While I was very happy to get my diagnosis in December, that happiness has faded into reality and I stop and ask myself is this disease going to rule my every move forever, as it does now?  Will my life be so solitary, as it is now, because I will be too often unwell to entertain a social life?  Will my life forever be so crowded with doctor appointments that I can never hope to hold down a full-time job?  Was all that I went through to get my degree done in vain because this illness holds such power over me that I will not be able to use that expertise to have a career?  Will I always feel like a burden to my family and an anti-social to my friends?  How is my chronic illness going to affect the life of my daughter, who so often has to see me exhausted and in pain?  How will my inability to work and have a social life affect my daughter's learning of work ethics and moral codes?  I look at the life I have now, and while I am very thankful to be blessed with the most loving, understanding, helpful husband and daughter a person in my situation could possibly hope to have, I can't help but feel that I should have accomplished more in my life by now.

I had certain expectations for what my life was going to be like when I was young.  Being chronically ill was not part of my plans, but then again neither was being left by my ex-husband to struggle as a single mother working several jobs at a time while going to college full-time for 8 years to get a 4 year degree!  I had to drop classes for health reasons so many times, but I never gave up.  To be honest when I finally graduated, it was so surreal to me, because I never really believed I would EVER graduate.  When that graduation day came, I thought the end to my financial struggles was at hand, because I was going to use that degree to have a career and everything was going to be okay.  Two years later, after working a demeaning job for $500 a month in a school system as a paraprofessional, I quit that job to allow myself the freedom to look for a REAL job that would recognize my education with a REAL salary, and also because I was so sick, there was no way I could work full time.  Six months later, I'm still sick, and unemployed.  I am having trouble accepting both of those realities as MY reality.  Is this really all God intended for my life?  To be a chronically ill stay at home mom and teach a youth group at church on Sunday Nights?  For so long I felt called to work with special needs children, but the state I live in won't recognize my degree or certification testing to allow me to teach (and there is the problem of extremely limited teacher job opportunities because of the economy and HUGE budget cuts to education). 

So I am ashamed to admit that as blessed as I am in some ways, I feel cursed in others.  I feel guilty to feel that way because I know there are tons of people out there with a life WAY worse than mine.  I still feel that there should be something more to my life. I am confused by the messages I felt God was sending me, because I went after certain goals in my life with the feeling that God was leading me there, only to have those doors slammed in my face, time and time again.  I do know the cliche about doors and windows, but I haven't seen either opening in a long time. Part of me feels like giving up on those old hopes and dreams and just living my life day-to-day and accept it as it is.  Another part says I shouldn't give up and maybe I need to go BACK to college (and I REALLY HATED EVERY MINUTE THE FIRST TIME) and get what I need to make this state happy to recognize me as a teacher.  Another part says I should regroup and go after a new goal that perhaps I haven't considered before. 

So now I am going to bed feeling confused, but a little better to have vented all that off of my heart.

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