How dealing with chronic illness has helped me find my strength during this time

Missing You...❤️



How’s everyone doing?


I just got off the phone with my friend who’s also my hairstylist and we are both feeling that there’s been a shift from the newness of the anxiety that we were feeling which is now replaced with the anxiety around the uncertainty of what life will look like over the next while.


I’ve alluded to the circumstances in some of my posts that have led me to pursue my passion and create A Styled State of Mind™️however I’ve never really shared the details. The situation we now find ourselves in has, like for others, triggered a very painful time in my life. I’ve debated sharing this as I’m no expert however I do believe that we owe it to each other to share our stories as there’s always a chance that by doing so we can help others who may be going through something similar. So it’s with that in mind that I’m sharing.


The way we live and work has changed overnight. To say that living with uncertainty can create a lot of anxiety is an understatement. When I woke up on June 23, 2017 my life as I knew it changed overnight. I went to bed with nerve pain from a previous severe lower back injury and I woke up with no feeling in my leg and life as I knew it had completely changed. It took over 6 months to regain feeling in my leg. The physical pain immense. My mobility was severely limited and I found myself with a lot of time to think. Looking back I see now that this wasn’t the first time the universe has tried to redirect my life but it was the first time I listened.


I was scared, living in fear of what my life was going to look like and had a difficult time coping with the uncertainty. Out of necessity to cope, I decided to spend the time that it took me to recover to connect with my passion and learn how to build a business. Today, as these feelings of uncertainty and fear are cropping up, I’m taking solace in having something that brings me so much joy to work on and share with others to bring them some joy right now. This is what’s grounding me in these trying times.


That’s not to say that the anxiety and fear is at bay. No, it’s not. But by turning inward during that very difficult time in my life, I changed habits and thought patterns that were no longer serving me, I began working on something that truly made my heart happy and when the acute phase was over and I adapted to my “new normal”I was happier than I had ever been, despite living with chronic pain.


Now, would I wish what I went through to happen to myself or anyone else just to have gotten to that point??? No! It sucked, it was unfair and it was physically painful to the point I had thought many times I won’t survive.


The thing is that I was forced so far out of my comfort zone and had a decision to make. To shut down or to adapt and move on. Both were not desirable options at the time when all I wanted was for things to go back to normal. I yearned for things to go back to normal. It too me a long time to finally grieve my old self and old mobile life because I spent a good amount of time at first being angry then afraid then very sad. I went through all the stages and it took months. So please don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating productivity during a pandemic or giving any advice as to how one should spend their time. I’m sharing my own story in the case that it can help.


The circumstances that we collectively face today are unfair. Our way of life has been ripped from us overnight and the terror of this is real. And even within this collective experience there are those who are more vulnerable and marginalized.

The price in human life, even if it were just one, in my opinion is too high a price to pay so that I can be given the message to slow down. It’s human nature to try and make sense of things and search for answers. The way I thought about my own experience was that I couldn’t accept that it all happened in vain. And now that I’m faced with an involuntary “slow down” again, I want to continue to try and look within for ways that I can be better for myself so that I can be better for my family and ultimately community around me. Because the one thing I am certain of is that we are all going to need to grow our strength so that we can lean on each other.


Wishing you only the very best,


Ilana





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