I remember being as young as 5 years old, observing that actions of others. I knew from a very young age, what I wanted my life to be like. Of course, back then, I did not know the specifics, but I knew what and who I did not want to be. I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be successful, not with monetary possessions, but with love and respect. I wanted to be nice to everyone, no matter who they were or what they did. When I was old enough to have children, I wanted to be their best friend and their mother. I wanted to shower them with love and gifts, but at the same time teach them the true meaning of life.
As I grew, the more specific my life’s requirements became. This caused me to have a feeling of entitlement for the things I wanted in my life. Looking back, I noticed that I did not pay to much attention to other people or serious life issues. And then I turned 30 years old, with three children and a husband. It’s almost like I woke up, and this was my life. And all of those things that I thought I wanted, well let’s just say, life had other plans.
Not only did I turn 30, but I was diagnosed with an immune disorder. Unknowingly, these two events would turn my world completely upside down. I used to worry about gossip, lose or gain of friends, or even finding a babysitter so I can go out. But then, life threw the fastest curve ball at my head. It is like, life purposely aimed at my head cause that curve ball knocked me on my ass so hard, that I died.
The Ashley that I worked so hard to become, since I was a little girl, started to slowly slip away. At first, I thought, I’ll come back from this. But then, almost everything Ashley wanted to be was fading, eventually floating into the dark abyss. I then realized, that this diagnosis wasn’t just the run of the mill, life problem. This diagnosis is not something that I’ve ever thought about, nor prepared for. Thinking about it now, since I’m such a control freak, it’s probably why I’m grieving so much, because it was unexpected.
So, in memory of Ashley Tara. She was kind soul, and became what she thought she deserved. Which honestly, wasn’t much.
Now, I must find this new person. I’m not sure who she is, but she carries the same hustle mentality and drive that the old Ashley had. This new person has the strength of the old Ashley, plus more. I’m just not sure if I know it yet. They will sing songs about my old identity, about my triumphant win against chronic depression and lupus nephritis.
The best part about this diagnosis, is that this new person is able to enjoy the things that the new Ashley has once forgotten. She can now see the beauty and joy in people who the old Ashley no longer enjoyed; the glow from my kids smile, the wonder of a sunset, and the blessing in hearing a bird sing. My new heart has been opened and my mind has been released.
I used to mourn the loss of the old Ashley, but the more I think about, the more I think a part of her had to go, so that this new person has room to grow and flourish. I miss a lot of the qualities that the old Ashley possessed, and some of those qualities I would like to have back. But I think in order for me to fulfill my duty in life, I have to follow this new journey that has been given to me.
So I say farewell to the old Ashley. It was amazing having that part of myself for the last 30 years, but now there are goals that I need to accomplish. And this path will take me there. Although, things may seem detrimental, it is all for a reason. I have to make all this pain and confusion turn into something that will live on well after my physically body is deceased.
If you are reading this, and you are suffering from a chronic illness of any sort, just know, mourning you’re healthy lifestyle is normal. You will find that you can move forward by getting to know the new you. As you know, once you deal with an illness, your life changes dramatically, and you may find yourself doing or saying things you thought you would never have to. It’ll get better, you HAVE to believe that.