Five years ago, I was on a high-powered biologic drug called Remicade. Remicade is extremely effective at blocking TNF-alpha, part of the signalling mechanism that causes inflammation. It’s also extremely, extremely expensive. The only way I could afford it (even with really good health insurance) was through a subsidization program run by the big pharma company that makes it. It was also magic for my chronic illness.
I had a dream that someday, maybe I could stop taking Remicade.
I thought that I was crazy for dreaming that dream. Seriously, it was difficult for me to fathom a way of living and managing my disease that would create a future where Remicade was unnecessary. Still, I had a goal.
It was a soft goal, not a SMART goal. I didn’t keep it in mind every single day, and it didn’t drive every decision that I made. Yet the idea of being free provided the fuel to move forward with exploring different options to take care of my health.
My specific goal wasn’t to get off Remicade, but I did want to explore the effect that diet had on my health.
My specific goal wasn’t to get off Remicade, but I did research and align myself with doctors who would be receptive to that kind of change in my treatment plan.
My specific goal wasn’t to get off Remicade, but I did pursue alternate theories to why my disease exists in the first place…
…which led me to discovering and treating Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth…
…which led to me getting off Remicade.
Rather than setting myself up against a specific objective with a deadline (which would have stressed me out, thereby triggering my illness and nullifying any attempt to be free of drugs #Catch22), I chose the path of obliquity.
This was completely inadvertent on my part, but it worked.
I have some goals now, new ones. Goals that seem absolutely, crazily unachievable. Goals that I’m not quite ready to speak in public.
Sometimes I wonder if they’ll ever happen.
Then I look back at my journey off Remicade, and realize that I’ve done it before. I can do it again. I just need to make the direction of the goal a priority, and pursue it doggedly.