A solution is what we seek. Diagnose the condition, and prescribe the cure. Black and white. Case closed. A temporary disturbance, a minor annoyance in the grand scheme but please, not this. Not a problem that has no “fix”.
Our sweet Emma has been plagued with eczema or atopic dermatitis since birth. Months after she was born, we confirmed a dairy allergy, among a host of other things I was eating, while she nursed. As soon as I omitted them from my diet, her skin resolved. A short-term sacrifice on my part, I felt relieved that I was at least able to provide her relief from her discomfort.
Fast forward two years, and Emma is once again battling skin rashes all over her body. We know dairy is not the issue, so what gives? We’ve seen specialists who all agree that it is a “chronic condition” that must be managed. We will likely never know all of the triggers that cause her skin to “flair”. In the meantime, we regulate her diet and lifestyle, lubricate her delicate skin, and medicate when absolutely necessary. Inwardly, we agonize over our inability to fix her. And isn’t this the case with many things in life?
Difficult cases at work, fragile relationships with family, friends and significant others. As much as we want to identify the issues and clean up the mess, it’s not always that simple. Multiple factors, including cooperation from others, are at play. We search for answers and do everything in our power to make peace only to be met with impassible obstacles. It is here that we are forced to swallow the difficult pill that some issues, some chronic illnesses cannot be cured, rather they must be managed.
Our motto becomes, “try this”, until it stops working after-which we regroup, brainstorm and try again. As uncomfortable as it is and as unnatural as it feels, we are forced to accept this grey area, home to imperfection and no precise, right answers.
And as sad as it seems, the sooner we surrender the assumption that we have found a “fix”, the less apt we are to be met with supreme disappoint when our fix unravels and lands us scrambling to find a new remedy. Instead, we become masters at adaptability. When life throws us in the back seat, we clamber our way back into the driver’s seat, finding peace in what we can control. Confident managers amidst the chaos.