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The delicate art of balance is something that I really stink at. I have always been an all or nothing person, who not only expects to do whatever I do perfectly, but I expect to do it perfectly the first time I try it.

A fault…I know.

Having a disease like sarcoidosis is difficult for anyone but when you have this particular fault, it is at first devastating and then a challenge. It is very difficult to accept that you can’t do what you could once do and that you once did it with ease. It’s overwhelming to know that simple chores like getting laundry done, going grocery shopping and cleaning the house are now major tasks worthy of celebration for their completion.

I took for granted that I was an all or nothing person and once this served me well. It doesn’t now. Instead, this attitude actually gets in my way. It brings me down, fills me with guilt, shame, frustration and anger. I am no longer good at a lot of things. I am okay at best.

Gone are the days when I could juggle multiple tasks. I have to do one thing now and see it through to its completion before I move on to the next. I also have to think every job through before I start it. I have to gauge if I will have enough energy to complete it. Sometimes I don’t time things very well and I have to stop in the middle of a task and rest which is utterly annoying.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time being frustrated by my limits. I’ve beaten myself up. I’ve kicked and screamed and cried. I’ve physically hurt myself by trying to do more than I should. I hate it. I think I’ll always hate it but slowly and without any grace at all, I am learning to abide by my limits.

The delicate art of balance is one that I stink at but it is an art that I must continue to practice for my sanity’s sake. It is one that I must continue to practice so that I can find ways to still appreciate who I am despite how this disease has changed me.

Maybe I don’t multi-task anymore and maybe I can’t think as well or have the physical strength to accomplish as much as I once did but if I stay focused on the “can’t” then I stay stuck in the guilt, shame and anger. Somewhere in this imperfect body, is me. I am still me.

I think the most important part of learning the art of balance, is accepting that while parts of me have had to change, the core of who I am, the key parts of the person that I am, cannot be changed, damaged or abused by this disease. Balance is learning to accept my limits without guilt or hesitation and still know that I am me.

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