It is hard having a chronic illness. It is difficult dealing with the daily pain, the numerous doctor appointments, the fatigue and endless doctor bills. The sheer number of symptoms that accompany your disease is mind-boggling at times. Having a chronic illness is emotionally and physically taxing. You know what the hardest part is? It’s admitting that you have a chronic illness!
Do you miss the old you? The energetic, athletic, healthy person you were. Do you miss your career, your friends, your family? Do you miss the joyful outings you use to attend and the close relationships you had? Me too.
You have to realize somethings will never go back to how they use to be, you have to grieve the loss of that life, of that person you use to be. As you grieve, you may find you feel such a sense of guilt, even shame. You missed that office party, your kid’s baseball game, your mom’s birthday party because you did not have the energy to go. Exhaustion is the only friend you really hang out with anymore.
Are you anxious? Afraid of what will happen if you leave the house? Will you have a physical or mental break? Get lost, break down crying? These things have happened to me. Have they happened to you? I was always almost in full panic mode every time I THOUGHT about leaving the house, it still happens, some days.
A disease that is chronic means forever. Admit it, accept it. You are allowed to grieve for a while, take the time you need. But then, get back into this game we call life and realize it doesn’t have to be all bad.
There will be days that feel normal enough. Days you look normal enough. Days that are good enough! Admitting to yourself, what you have is the hardest part. Forgive yourself for getting this disease because it is not-your-fault! Once you do, you will begin to learn the skills necessary to continually improve and manage your symptoms. I promise!
Every single day is like getting on a Ferris wheel. You can never tell where the cart on the wheel will stop, it is random. How many times will you gloriously ride to the top? Random. Is the operator in a good mood or bad? Are there people waiting impatiently for their turn or is no one in line? Random, random! A day with a chronic illness is just simply random!
Here’s the deal, admit what you have and forgive yourself. Get on that Ferris wheel and strive for a good day. Prioritizing the things you want to do, let the rest be. If those things were important, they will be there when you have the strength to deal with them.
Live your best life!