Self Identity

when a person loses part of their physical ability it's a rather difficult situation to continue identifying with things they were once able to do.  in some cases they heal over time and are able to return to those activities.  in less fortunate cases, no matter how much they want to, they simply are not able to anymore and may never be able to participate in that particular activity ... whatever it might be.  when this realization or acceptance happens, it does a bang up job on one's identity.

when a person is unable to return to work due to illness, disability, etc. and their career is what they lived for ... yet another bang up job on one's identity.

since my accident, i have learned to walk again.  however, i've been unable to return to my 'regular' workout routine as well as my career.  i've had to begin redefining myself.  i only wish i knew what direction to go in with all the limitations i now have.  it's frustrating that i'm no longer that girl.  i accept the fact that i'm no longer 'her' but it sure is difficult trying to figure out who i'm supposed to be now.

between the RSD, bursitis, arthritis, and all the other symptoms caused by these 'itis's' (thyroid and pituitary gland problems - most recently had to have my gall bladder removed in emergency surgery) i'm unable to keep a schedule of any sort.  then add in the depression caused by all the physical impairment ... it makes it nearly impossible to dig out of and is much more difficult to think through ... i feel lost ... hopelessly lost in my own personal h3ll.

i don't look sickly which really bothers people.  evidently if you are disabled you're supposed to 'look' a certain way.  but i don't fit that image.  i'm too young, too pretty, too this and too that!  it's kinda like profiling of sorts.  and it's frustrating.

i walk with a limp.  8 months out of 12 i use either a cane or crutches and during those 4 good months, if it's going to be a good distance or for more than 20 minutes of walking then i have to use a cane.  i have the most insane sleep disturbances!  i generally sleep 2 four hour shifts in a 24 hour period but they're never during the same time each day.  however, there are times when i can't sleep for days.  when i finally drop from those periods i generally go to sleep for a couple days.  i have to keep my legs propped at all times.  the pain is excruciating most of the time, especially when i'm more active or don't keep my legs propped due to the edema.  i have audio and visual disturbances.  sometimes i can hear lightbulbs humming in another room and sometimes i can't the person next to me.  my eyes blur and jump about when i try to read.  it's real fun when they do that while you're trying to drive to the doc's office!  lol  :-o

basically ... what it all boils down to is that i'm going to have to be able to work as an independent contractor (in some capacity) from home if i'm ever to go back to work or be employed again.

i wish i hadn't identified myself so much with my career earlier on.  when i started my career i wasn't sure who i was yet as i was in my early 20's.  i now know who i am but it seems my identity is confused due to the lack of career.  if that makes sense...  i have been told it's quite normal but that doesn't make it much easier.

if you had to completely start over and redefine yourself, you could no longer be the person you once were - everything about you changed, where would you begin?

AbbyNormal AbbyNormal
31-35, F
1 Response Jun 25, 2007

I hope you are recovering :) It sounds like you we're in a hell of a wreck!