This post was featured in [ChronicBabe Blog Carnival #6: Passion].
When we talk about passion, we generally talk about being passionate about something. Here’s the thing about a chronic illness though: sometimes being passionate about the things we used to love to do doesn’t cut it. We just don’t have the energy or the physical capacity to do them anymore. Does that mean we aren’t passionate about them? No. It just means we can’t act on that feeling anymore. But it sure feels like I’m not passionate about them anymore.
Eventually, this gets awfully depressing. So we come up with new hobbies that we can handle. Knitting, or reading, or blogging, or whatever it may be. We become passionate about those hobbies too. But I, for one, feel a lingering nostalgia for the old hobbies. I still feel a little lost without them, as if I’m not quite complete. Perhaps this is really just the general feeling of loss I feel for my former life.
What I’ve only just realized though, is that those hobbies aren’t the only thing I’ve developed a passion for. In truth, those of us who are battling chronic illnesses have developed a passion for LIVING, whether we realize it or not. Now I realize that “a passion for living” is a phrase usually used in conjunction with or in place of a “zest for life.” Both of which are generally used in the context of people who are often off exploring…. bubbly, ENERGETIC, adventurer-type people. Which, I think we can all agree, we generally are not.
I contend, however, that we DO have a passion for living that extends beyond that basic definition. After all, in order to get through our day-to-day existence, we must REALLY WANT to do it. It takes an enormous amount of willpower to get there. If we didn’t have a passion for life, we’d stay in our beds. We’d never leave our rooms, let alone our homes. We would never find new hobbies or make friends in the community or learn how to deal with our incapacitations and interact with the world.
Mountain climbers and the like have nothing on us. We may not climb mountains, but it takes just as much energy to climb out of bed. We may not explore uncharted territories, but we explore new ways to be a part of the world we live in. We may not walk around with hiking backpacks, but we do trek around with all our meds (which may weigh just as much)! We give having “a passion for living” a whole new meaning.