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My best today is not what it was before I got sarcoidosis. Things have changed. The way I once coped, the way I once tackled the world doesn’t work anymore. I can no longer go headlong and hard charging into my day. I can no longer expect to solve my problems with shear tenacity and I cannot throw myself at life’s challenges with wild abandon, certain that determination is all I need to tackle the difficulties that befall me. I used to be physically strong and mentally astute. I used to be able to conquer life’s obstacles with stubborn resolve. I simply believed in myself and was able to will my way to success.

These old habits, ones that truly served me well once, no longer do now that I live with a chronic health condition. Instead, I now have to use a different kind of courage. I live with a more deliberate state of mind because I now have limited reserves from which to draw. I have to live a smarter kind of life now because unpredictable pain could strike at any time. I have to acknowledge my limits and plan ahead. I have to accept the unexpected without embarrassment and I have to know when enough truly is enough.

I get frustrated sometimes that my old habits no longer work for me. I still want to be someone who can plow through the tough times or problem solve on the fly but I am no longer that person. Because of my sarcoidosis, I am physically weaker and mentally slower. I have to say goodbye to these old habits and in turn say goodbye to a very real part of myself. I have to grieve the loss of who I used to be so that I can now embrace who I have become. I have changed. I need more time to think and more rest than I would like but, since these things are out of my control I have to accept them.

Today, I do my best when I prepare. I never used to have to prepare but now I do. I have to think ahead and figure out what I think I can handle and what I am sure I cannot. Occasionally I miscalculate and end up paying a heavy physical price for it but, when I plan ahead, a very new habit for me, life tends to be far more manageable and I have a better day. And, when I can do this more consistently, which I am still learning, I know I will have a better tomorrow too.

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