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Looking at the Past with Rose-Colored Glasses

Raise your hand if you have ever uttered the words “I want my old life back” or “I wish my life was what it used to be”. My hand is high in the air. Soon after receiving my diagnosis of psoriasis, fibromyalgia, and psoriatic arthritis, I found myself longing for the days before physical pain became a part of my everyday life.

Glorifying the past

My ultimate goal was to return to the life I used to have. The problem with this way of thinking, at least for me, was that the past I wanted to return to was far from perfect. The only thing that was better in comparison to my chronic life was that my body wasn’t in a constant state of distress, and I didn’t have to spend my time explaining diseases and symptoms that didn’t make sense to my healthy friends and family. My desire to live pain free was so strong I failed to see any negative aspects of my pre-chronic life. I am in no way suggesting that anyone give up hoping for a cure or trying new treatments to improve their conditions, rather I am recommending that we stop looking backwards. When I solely focused on returning to my former life I prevented myself from moving forward. Instead of looking for new ways to do the things I used to I would become frustrated in the fact that I couldn’t do them like I used to. The desire to return to my past blinded me from different treatments that could at the very least improve my life.

Taking off my glasses

My past was not perfect and my future won’t be either. I had a choice to make; either continue wearing my rose-colored glasses and wait for my former life to return or toss them in the garbage and move forward by doing what I can when my body permits. By removing my glasses I was able to remove the blockades that were hiding simple solutions to what felt like impossible dilemmas. I tried and continue to experiment with different treatments. Without my glasses on, I was finally able to find joy in the smallest of victories. I still hope and pray for a cure to be found for all of my chronic illnesses, but I also acknowledge that I have to live with them until then. A cure may never be found during my lifetime and the last thing I want to be feeling on my deathbed is regret for not living while I waited.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Nan54
    3 years ago

    Good read, thanks for sharing this. I am right now having a hard time not being able to do things I have always done on many days. It is also hard for family & friends to understand this is how it is. It’s frustrating & I will try to look at it another way when I can.

  • Cynthia Covert author
    3 years ago

    Hi Nan54! Friends and family that don’t understand or even attempt to will never get it unless it gets them. Some of my own friends and family thought they understood but were in total shock when they were hit with a chronic illness. I hope that you can find different ways to some of the things you used to enjoy! HUGS!!

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