Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change,” and I believe that to be true.
There are constant, immeasurable changes taking place everyday, in and around us! In our world, within our family, our friends, in our bodies; where we work, where we live.
Change is inevitable, it’s everywhere and it effects everything.
For the most part, we pretty much acknowledge and accept change without question; except perhaps when it comes to recognising the changes in ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but deep down inside (I like to believe) that I’m basically the same person that I was 20, 30, 40 years ago. Sure, I may have grown a little older (and hopefully wiser) maybe my hair is a bit greyer, perhaps my weight has shifted a bit (Yea, what on earth are my boobs doing down there?) but for the most part, I like to believe I am still that same person. For some reason that thought comforts me, so I hold onto it. However, if I’m really honest with myself, nothing could really be further from the truth.
I am not the same person I was 1 year ago, let alone 40 years ago!
Every second, of every day there has been an unintentional, gradual, barley noticeable, “snail’s pace” of constant change, transforming me and my very essence into a different person.
I’m not just talking about my age, my looks, my body, my health (Although God knows a chronic illness like PMR/GCA will certainly CHANGE the hell out of you!) I’m talking about changes to ME, the REAL me.
The ME who I perceive and know ME to be.
These changes are taking place in slow motion, but they are happening. We are all ever changing, ever evolving; and yes, unfortunately, sometimes we’re regressing and the changes are NOT necessarily for the better!
I know I look different, I have new mannerisms. My perceptions have changed, as have many of my beliefs, because as I acquired new information, my mind was changed! A lot of my preferences have changed, along with my taste in food, music, fashion… even in the types of people I am drawn to (or put off by) has changed over the years… but what bothers me is where I was once open and communicative, I find that I am sometimes intolerant and closed. Where once, I may have been soft and malleable, I notice that I can come across as hard and inflexible. I can also be pedantic and nitpicking, when the mood strikes.
Please know, these are NOT changes that I like!
I’d like to think that getting PMR/GCA had something to do with this… I’d like to be able to BLAME it on the PMR/GCA (or better still, BLAME it on the Pred!) but in all honesty, it’s been happening for quite sometime… before the PMR/GCA.
Some of these changes frighten me, because they are definitely not changes that make me a better me. I am actually less empathetic, compassionate and accepting, than I used to be. When I observe these behaviours, in myself, all I can picture is a old, crotchety, ill-tempered, crabby, judgemental, opinionated fool!
…and I hate that!
Dealing with a long term, chronic illness, like PMR and/or GCA, is hard enough… It’s tough to keep your spirits and attitude up everyday, when you don’t feel well. So it’s even more of a challenge to have to cope with these unwelcome, negative charges in myself!
I see these changes sometimes cloud my judgement and trick me into looking at things from a jaded and narrow-minded perspective. (OMG, just like my cataracts did!!!!!) And I have noticed that I sometimes make rash, biased opinions of people, based on vague, speculative data.
That’s not ME! Why do I do that?
Maybe it’s inevitable… maybe we are all at risk of eventually becoming that person that we really wouldn’t like, if we met them at a friend’s house or at a party, but I don’t think so… I like to believe we have a choice!
I don’t like this new iteration of myself and I refuse to accept it.
Perhaps we all need to be vigilant and fight off these inner demons. I for one, do not want my illnesses, my age, or my brain neurotransmitters unwittingly turning me into a cranky, old, judgemental snide, poisonous, individual!
I CAN and I will recapture (at least to some degree) that accepting, innocent, open minded, empathetic, compassionate youthful soul I used to be…
I miss the old me, but I am confident that I will find her… and coax her out of her seclusion!