When you are chronically ill we face the ghosts of our better selves all the time. Even though I have had invisible illnesses all my life, they have not had the same impact as the ones now. The impact increased with time. So I face those better selves with my former productivity and social life.
It does take a huge effort to free ourselves from that because we have to understand that person is a memory and not a reality. That person will never exist. We have to move forward to a better reality of ourselves. That is what we want to aim for. To better ourselves, our real, actual selves. And by doing so we can Never compare ourselves to our past selves in better health, only to our current self. If I make a minor improvement over my self of last week that is a cause for celebration. I have improved over me real self and not compared myself to some image that doesn't exist anymore.
What I also find difficult is that we often have no idea what we are moving Towards. What will be the outcome? It will not be no pain. No illness. Will it be work? Possibly it might. In my case possibly it might be part time work in the future. And this makes me sad, not happy. I lost all my potentiality and I have become this person only capable of holding down part time work which will hardly be satisfying to me in the least or pay any real bills. That is my best case scenario after all my hard work. What I am aiming for. I hope that in the end I am aiming for a more fulfilling life, with other aspects like a social life in there, and less suffering. I hope. I just have to accept I can have no career goals and ambitions now. Therefore not only do I have to free myself from my memories but I have to free myself from the image I have of myself in the future.