I’m coming up on my two year diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. I’ve had two years of feeling broken as I waded though the long haul from being bedridden to now being reasonably healthy. But I’ve yet to let go of the feeling that I’m broken.
Being a productive worker has been a part of my identity for my entire work life. To experience two years of not contributing financially to anything nearly broke me. What value did I have? How could I ever recover?
But I’m not broken. I’ve got more limits on my time as I just focus on health and wellness to avoid a repeat of my medical leave. But I doubt most people would know or care. I’ve been doing some of the best work of my life recently. So why does this feeling of brokenness persist?
Some of it is tied to me making some mistakes as I transition back to workout full time. I feel I owe people my time and work as I let them down. I feel I have a debt to pay off (not a literal one but more emotional for having stuck with me when I wasn’t useful). So I’ve been tolerating some people and work that I should probably let go. It takes as much energy to work on small potatoes and worry oneself about as it, as it does to aim for the big projects and goals.