I often wonder what it would be like to not be in pain. Every day is exhausting. Every day different. Every day a question mark. I don't know if I'll wake up and be in agony and have to cancel plans. I don't know what kind of mood I'll be in. I can't guarantee that I've had a decent nights sleep and have the energy to get dressed. It's not reliable, I'm not reliable, and it's because my health controls my life.
If I wasn't in pain my life would be different; I've accepted that. And although I'm very happy with what I've accomplished, where I am now, grateful for the people I'm surrounded by, there's a strange sense of grief of what I could have been.
Would I have been a teacher, like I'd wanted when I was younger? Would I have gone to university when my friends did at 18? Would I be married? Have children? Live abroad? Would I go on roller-coasters, sky dived, bungee jumped?
I know a lot of disabled people live active, adrenaline-fuelled lives but when you dislocate as easily as I do, a lot of fun (or what I consider fun; sky diving, guys, I'd love to) activities are simple no-goes. My doctor wouldn't sign off on any of this; I'd end up more broken than I already am.
If I was healthy, if I wasn't in pain every single day, I think I'd be a completely different person. I'd live a completely different life. This isn't a 'woe is me' post, it's a natural thing for someone to feel this way and I want to articulate it because it's okay to grieve. It's okay to mourn a life that you could have had.
Who knows where I'd have been or what I'd have been doing if I didn't have a long list of chronic conditions; I'm sure I'll always occasionally fantasise about it but I'll never dwell on it as it's something that simply can't be altered. I guess I just want to tell my fellow chronic illness warriors; don't feel guilty for thinking about your 'could have been.'