Today, I found myself driving a very long distance, to the satellite campus where I teach General Psychology. Since I recently moved, I am driving much further to teach this class. Thankfully, there are only four more weeks left in this spring semester for this lengthier commute.
Since my commute is now much longer, it exposes me to several roads that are in various stages of disrepair. One road was particularly in need of repaving. There were multiple, deep potholes that really created havoc with driving smoothly.
I had to slow down considerably, at several points, along this commute. I actually feared that I would experience a flat tire, or worse, a broken axle.
As unpleasant as this driving experience was, it actually caused me to reflect upon my extended journey with chronic illness. There are so many parallels between the two.
My experience of having multiple chronic illnesses is analogous to experiencing multiple, major potholes throughout the past several decades. Receiving these diagnoses powerfully threatened to derail my original plans.
In some respects, it actually did just that. Originally, I intended to have a career as a physician, rather than as a clinical health psychologist.
With the reception of additional chronic diagnoses, my full-time career as a clinical health psychologist has now narrowed to only a part-time one.
My multiple medical diagnoses have been gigantic potholes that have effectively slowed me down, in every possible sense of the word. Initially, I deeply resented this powerful disruption.
I’ve since come to appreciate that, in all actuality, it has forced me to realize just how very precious life truly is. It has caused me to recognize how vulnerable and fragile we all truly are.
I deeply know that everything that you take for granted can be taken away. In a heartbeat. Without your consent.
Despite experiencing repeated, major upheaval in my life, I am still continuing to travel exactly the road for which I was specifically designed. I only wish that I had realized this so much sooner.