Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Is Change Possible?

1986, Hua mountain in China. It is
one of the most dangerous places
in the world. I wish I could that now. 

Change is not an easy task, especially when we talk about the changes of our life styles. And if the lifestyles are directly related to our personalities, changing them would take a life time to accomplish, or, it's simply a mission impossible.

The reason I bring this topic is because it seems like I need to do some serious change in my life, otherwise I may forever live with my chronic illness.

Just a while ago, I discovered some Chinese herbs that made some tangibly positive effects on me. I am very certain about the effects and very happy about the discovery. However, my progress has not been a straight up line, but up and down. This, I realized, was caused by my personality: I always "overestimate" my condition, overdo what I am actual capable of, so at the end my actions overdraw my energy, lead to "crashing" down, for days, some time weeks. Unfortunately, this would happen even more often when my condition was improved.

Had I not taken all these risks would my condition be different? I simply don't know, because my condition is so weak that the "risks" I am talking about here were literally nothing by normal standards, such as walking 10 minutes more, or shopping one more store, etc. Also, the line between "able" and "not able" is extremely blurry during recent years of my illness. However, I do remember many time, when I reached a point that I hesitated about doing or not doing, continuing or not continuing, I usually choose former, and then suffered consequence later, almost without exceptions. So the question is, why couldn't I choose the latter?

There is a Chinese old saying: "changing the world is easier than changing a personality"(江山易改本性难移). I now have full understanding of this adage. I guess for all my first half of life I have accustomed to this "toughness", fearlessness or even recklessness, and fully identified myself with such character: this, is who I am and without being like this, I am nothing but a living dead. But now everything seems just opposite: I am half dead by being "myself". I even realized how lucky those people who do not need to change their personality are, because adventurous spirit is a quality so enjoyable to possess. Yes, I like to be adventurous, and I also had fun for 30 some years in my life when I was able to be like that, but now, the reality I am facing is, being myself, or suffering consequence. The truth is, I had already changed in a great deal, people who knew me 20 years ago (even 10 years ago) would hardly believe who I am now (of course, the "change" still is just physical wise, inside I am exactly the same person). But it seems not enough. My physical condition requires me to act like a complete reserved and "timid" person who must always choose not risking, always tell people and myself "no, I can't", instead of "yes I can!" (NO MATTER HOW TERRIBLE IT SOUNDS TO SOME "POSITIVE" PEOPLE).

Can I do that? I am not sure, but I like to try (guess I already made progress here :-), because this is by far the last hope I've got, if I wanted to live healthily, if I wanted to be that "original self".
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  1. Change is never an easy task, you are right, Yun Yi, and that old Chinese saying is so true. Nothing wrong with taking risks and trying. I truly admire your “toughness” of character and that you continued trying even when it was the more difficult choice. I am so sorry the illness has caused you to not be as “able” as you once were. That you have continued trying shows a real strength of spirit. I’d like to suggest that you keep taking those Chinese herbs that have helped, and maybe there will be other remedies to be discovered too.

    I love that picture of you climbing the mountain! Even though you may not be able to do exactly that again, bravo for having done it in the first place. That is something to be proud of!

  2. Madilyn, your comment brought tears to my eyes! I am in quite "low" spirit so I am a little fragile today. I just want to say that you are such a wonderful kind person that words cannot truthfully express my appreciation for knowing you.

  3. That's such a cool picture of you on the mountain, Yun Yi. You can never go wrong by honoring what your body's telling you, even if it means slowing down or limiting certain types of activity. I do think that one's individual outlook has a lot to do with how they navigate chronic disease, and that keeping focused on enjoying what one can of each day helps a lot. At least, that is what I've learned from having sons with cystic fibrosis. Glad to hear about the herbs working for you. Therapies like that typically can't hurt and may help, and there is such a wealth of good info on nutrition and chronic disease on the internet that the possibilities for designing your own treatment plan are endless. Hang in there, girl!!!

  4. yunyi, I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well. I know all this must be very discouraging to you at times. It's hard to accept a diminished sense of oneself. I don't think you're any less the person than you were before, only different. I think accepting change is the difficult thing, not changing. That's why getting old is so depressing for so many people. They just can't let go of the person they used to be.

  5. @Kris, thanks for your comforting. I am trying my best to hang in here. :-)

    Thanks Marty for your encouragement. You are right, that accepting change is the difficult thing. I tried my best to accept all of this, however, I am still going to try my best to get better.