The “new normal” a phrase that has become as in use as “selfies” and “vlog” something the media is using to describe this space we’re in where we’re not quite back in the original format but not quite living in HD either.
For many the new normal is a space to find themselves, to realise where they were missing out before and rectify this gap by doing the stuff they always wanted to but didn’t have time.
For others it’s a space of waiting, waiting to be able to get going again, to live their normal life once more
And for some it’s the acceptance of what life is going to look like now life has changed.
My new normal isn’t created by the pandemic that shut the world down, it’s not created by the fact that I suddenly got time, and it’s not created because I don’t feel ready to go out again.
My new normal would have happened anyway, it’s be created due to my body deciding that actually life was a bit too much, and now I need to change.
Whilst every one was focussing on the pandemic, I have spent the last few months struggling once more with my health, new symptoms coming up as well as old, causing me to spend about a month sofa bound and leaving me with another diagnosis of a second chronic illness.
And this diagnosis randomly seems to have enabled me to truly accept, and come to terms with the fact that I will have to live my life differently to how I used to, and to how others do.
The first diagnosis that came when I was 19 was something I never really accepted, I look back now and see that, I was always looking for a way out, maybe they’d missed something, maybe if I just ate a certain way I’d cure myself, maybe if I did.......it would go away.
I even found myself clinging onto the final possibility, that pregnacy would turn a switch and I’d be “normal“ again! No; I didn’t get pregnant for this reason, but yes, I did deep down hope that I’d be the one in a million that found once she’s had her baby, well all that illness would disappear.
Up until pregnancy I’d been in remission/managing my illness quite well that I did feel normal, which also led me to not plan to “not” feel normal afterwards. I didn’t look into pregnancy with a chronic illness, I didn’t put extra measures in to help me afterwards and I didn’t consider that I may need to do things differently. It didn’t even cross my mind.
Now with the benefit of hindsight I may have done it differently, I may have made a few more plans....but we live and learn.
So, no, my illness didnt disappear, and just like changing my diet, and doing.....I didn’t manage to cure myself.
Infact, I’ve ended up with two illnesses now, and so instead of being free I’m now well and truly in my “new normal”.
This new normal to me is something that won’t change, I won’t get better, I may manage it at times so well that I’ll forget, and then I’ll remember because I won’t be able to stand. This new normal means I will be putting everything I preach about into action. But I also won’t be trying to cure myself, ive come to the conclusion that if scientists who have a billion qualifications and a lot of money still can’t find the cure I also won’t.
So I ask kindly, please reframe from telling me about certain holistic cures, because I reckon I’ve tried them, and I know they cause me to fall into a place of non-acceptance. A place where I have to beat the system, rather than accepting.
And I’m aware that accepting sounds like giving up! Trust me it really isn’t, accepting is the hardest deeest journey I’ve been on, it’s about showing up, and really allowing my body to do what it needs.
My new normal, will change my life, I will be less sociable, less able to show up for others in a way that is known for me so far, I will be less reliable, less able to be there come what may, I will be much more boundaried around my energy and time.
My work will be secured in slots and not just all the time, I will work smarter and not harder, I will prioritise the things my body needs for health over others needs in order to be there for my biggest need, my daughter.
I won’t be teaching in person a lot, I won’t be driving all over the place, I won’t be working late or up early, and I won’t feel guilty about it.
I will ride my horses, because I love it and also because this illness requires me to have strong legs and core to keep it in check, and the quickest and easiest way I can get that and maintain that is by sitting on my horses. And because Im riding my horses doesn’t mean Im fixed, well or able to go back to the old normal. They’re just part of my medication and one of the things I place in a boundary that isn’t negotiable.
My new normal is a deep acceptance that I must live my life in a way that works for me and my family, without comparison to others, or fear of being left out, or fear of missing out of letting people down.
My new normal is messy at times, beautiful at others and deeply mine.
Accepting this has been hard, letting go of the expectations I placed on myself and I felt others had of me has been one of the hardest. But by doing this I have found a peace inside of me that I’ve never had before.
My new normal has been formed from illness but it’s been created from love.
I now ask of you, are you showing up totally for all the reasons I have to not because you’re ill, but because that’s the way life should be led, or are you still living your life for others?
Don’t wait time get I’ll before you start getting strong with your boundaries and soft with your heart, don’t wait for it all to crumble before you realise you don’t need any of it to be who you are, ask yourself this......if there were no rules, stories or expectations, what would I eat, what would I do, who would I be?
And create your new normal from that