Erasing or Embracing your life

Erasing or embracing your life?

If you could give up your disease, would you? The answer seems obvious doesn’t it? “Of course I would,” you may be thinking, but I’m not so sure, myself.

We were with some friends tonight, joking about taking a time machine back to 1995, before I got sick, and stopping it from happening. (I could theoretically prevent myself from getting mono and nothing bad would happen medically). When suddenly, I looked at my husband, listened to my daughter splashing in the pool, thought of my nephew, who is like my son, and had a major realization: I am who I am, where I am, because of the changes my disease brought to my life 20 years ago.

That means that I have made pivotal decisions, met my husband, had my daughter, brought my nephew into our home, chose my path, made connections, and did any number of 1000s of things I would have done differently if I was well – which have led to a completely different life. A life that otherwise, it is safe to say in 100% likelihood, would not have included this husband, this daughter, this family, these friends, and surely not this career. I would have become a high-stress, power-driven attorney instead of a spirituality author. I would have chosen to be making high dollar deals instead of volunteering my time to this organization. I would have been jetting around the world in pleasure-seeking adventures instead of seeking to help heal people’s pain through my writing. Alternatively, because of physical limitations and my inability to work in the typical American job I have embraced the emotionally richer things in life, homeschooling my daughter, sharing my story of perseverance and overcoming obstacles, and inspiring and teaching others.

I can say, unequivocally, I wouldn’t give it up for anything, no matter what the future holds, because I know giving up Myositis would mean erasing my life and my family, as I know and love it. I’ve seen movies with that plot twist. They are echoed in my worst nightmares. No, thank you! I’ll keep my Myositis and, in return, enjoy a happy, fulfilled life with a loving family.

If you are recently diagnosed you may not have these same feelings, but for those who have lived with it longer, do you ever feel this way?

What decisions or positive circumstances can you attribute to your Myositis? What would you change? What would you keep the same?

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Emily A. Filmore is an author, speaker, and is one of the founding board members of Myositis Support and Understanding Association. She wrote "The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well with Autoimmune Disease" about her experiences with dermatomyositis and other chronic illness (Central Recovery Press 2015), the "With My Child" series of children's books about family bonding (Withmychildseries.com), is the co-author of "Conversations with God for Parents" with Neale Donald Walsch and Laurie Lankins Farley. (Rainbow Ridge, 2015), and co-author of “Parenting through Divinity” with Laurie Lankins Farley (due for release in 2018 through the Waterside imprint).

View more information: Emily Filmore

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