Are we really in charge of our own lives?

I have just received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, explaining that they have had a review of my personal health situation, and they consider me to be in the stream of people who will not be able to actively seek work in the foreseeable future.I can’t say that I really consider this to be a letter to welcome, as, although it means that they will continue to hand me the meagre crumbs of money that I am entitled to, it also shows what they believe to be my true health situation.

We are all aware that the Government is keen to get as many people off benefit, and back to work. Rightly so by the way! But it seems to have given up on me, for the time being.This made me think again about my own future. By that I don’t mean will I live or die? I mean, is my future going to be continually dictated by my unreliable health, and it seems, unfortunately, that it is.

Since my diagnosis nearly 5 years ago, my health has been up and down like a yo yo. I can only remember one period of approximately 6 months, when I had very few problems, which enabled me to lead a fairly normal life, and do some relatively short term planning, involving me taking my first foreign holiday in that time.

In the last couple of days I have just developed yet another chest infection, due to my low immunity, which will take weeks to shift. Antibiotics etc have very little effect anymore so I just have to let nature do it’s work. This is all a very familiar picture. Whilst I’m trying to rid myself of one infection, I get another.

It is very difficult to live in this manner, as I never know from day to day how I will be feeling. I make arrangements when I am feeling ok, but by the time it comes round I am not feeling well. But if I don’t make any plans, I will have nothing to look forward to. Sometimes I feel like a prisoner, trapped in my own life by my health issues.

Then I started to think about my life before illness and the way my friends live their lives. Assuming that your health is ok, there are also so many things that might stop you doing what you want, when you want. Firstly finances. We can only live within our means, so we must consider our income first. Linked to finances, is our work, so we have to fit things in around that. Then we have our family and friends to consider. All these things link to time. Sometimes we would like to do certain things but just don’t have the time to do them.

I have some of those things that my friends don’t, mainly time! But they have other things I don’t have, like health and cash! In my experience, it is very rare that you have all the things that you want/need in life. There always appears to be some kind of trade off.

So how many decisions do we take in our life that are solely by us and for us? It seems that with or without health issues our  life decisions are influenced by things that are out of our control?  It really is fantastic that we feel that we are living the life we choose, but are we really??

What do you think, do you agree with me?

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