These Lessons We Learn…

Symptoms, medications, doctor appointments, and living the “new normal” are what living with a chronic illness entails. While we are busy surviving each day, we also are learning pearls along the way; some raw and emotional, some silly and others that are heartwarming. Here are a few that I’ve come up with; I’m sure that I will have many more in the future.

  • Life before illness is a memory, you have dreams of going back to that, but it doesn’t happen. You are forced to grieve the loss of your previous life and reminiscing is painful and gut wrenching at times.
  • You have two lives. The one that the public sees and the one behind closed doors where you’re allowed to cry with frustration, scream with anger, and have pity parties occasionally.
  • There are times when you feel so alone. It isn’t that there is a lack of support, but on really bad days it would be so nice to have someone next to you and holding your hand.
  •  Until you meet someone else with a chronic illness, nobody truly understands.
  • It’s okay to give yourself permission to not feel strong, as long as you keep fighting.
  • Anyone who says that everything is going to be okay has never had a major illness. Don’t tell me it’s going to be okay; just be there for me.
  • Sometimes the best therapy is just sitting in complete silence with someone. You don’t have to say anything even.
  • You despise going to a new specialist who hasn’t reviewed your chart yet. When you get done with the consult, they say, “I had no idea your case was this complex!” Well maybe next time they will read the records ahead of time.
  • It takes more energy to worry about life than it does to live in the moment.
  • We cannot be afraid of what hasn’t happened yet.
  • As long as we are living and breathing, take advantage of the gift of life in whatever capacity that may be.
  • Make your bucket list and start working on checking things off.
  • There are more cheerleaders on the sidelines that you could ever imagine. They are all rooting for YOU!
  • You know you have a chronic illness if you keep the local pharmacy in business with all of your prescriptions.
  • It is possible to meet your out-of-pocket maximum for insurance in one day and within two weeks of when the calendar year starts.
  • Sometimes going a day at a time is too much to handle. Break it down further. Go one moment, one second, one minute, one hour, and eventually you will have made it through one day. Find something positive everyday to focus on. It can be as simple as the sun shining, or being able to take a shower.
  • Set small obtainable goals because if you set a big goal, you will feel like you are failing.



lessons learned

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