As with all my posts you may read that title and think, that woman is crazy. Well, if you know me well, and many do not, I may just be a little crazy but like I say it is the good kind of crazy not the bad kind of crazy. So it is all good. Plus crazy can be fun and we all love to have fun!
It has taken me the past year to even get to the point where I could say being chronically ill is truly a blessing and not a curse. I have fought the good fight between anger, self pity, and finally acceptance. Of course I am feeling pretty good today so that may be the reason I am writing this today, who knows what tomorrow will bring. The whole acceptance thing changes when you are in the trenches of symptoms that you have no control over.
I do know the one symptom I do have control over, speaking for me personally, is the depression which often comes with being chronically ill. I feel I have been fortunate not to be one of those people who must deal with yet another illness that many with chronic illness deal with on a daily basis. Of course saying that I do not have days that I am down in the pits because I do have those days. I believe we all do even if we are not chronically ill. I have developed ways that help me to stay out of the pit. I try to surround myself with good things. Love, laughter, positive reading materials, art projects, good food, and when my mind wanders to a self pity place I pull myself out of it by doing one of these things that I enjoy.
Before I was sick I didn't take the time to do all of these self-gratifying things because I was always so busy trying to keep everyone else happy that I never really thought about me. It is crazy to me when I look back that I was always more worried about other people than I had ever been about my own mental health and well being. Now I am in a place where I can say no to people, I can think of me and not feel bad if I do so. Plus, honestly? I just don't have the energy to care what others think if I don't conform to their happiness. I have enough to deal with right now than to worry if I am there to solve their problems. It is such a freeing feeling for me! Like I stated before it has taken me five years to get here, a long hall, but so worth the trip.
I love that chronic illness has sent people into my life that I can learn from. People who deal with much worse illness issues than I. People who encourage me on a daily basis. People who understand. I love all of you! I am also thankful that I am able to use my illness to help others. I love it when I get a message or a call and someone will ask me what I think or what is really going on with me. I feel I am here to helps others who struggle or need some advice or need to know what to do in their situation. I hope my story can help others to deal with what ever may be going on with them. I mean it isn't like you go to the doctor for one appointment and they know what is wrong with you. Many times it takes years to diagnose autoimmune disease and the biggest lesson you will learn in the process is patience, something no one likes to learn or have thrown in their lap. It is very frustrating to say the least but when you can talk to someone who has been there and knows it sure does help.
Being chronically ill is very time consuming. It is exhausting. It is a learning process. It is like starting over in school and learning every possible thing you can about all the subject, the subject being what is going on with your body. You must continue the learning process because every week it seems something changes, new medications come out, new studies, new this, new that. I really do feel like I am in school literally everyday. Whether it is from a website, a post on facebook, or something in the news. (of course I try to avoid the news because for me it is very toxic) Bottom line is I believe education is your friend and it can do nothing but help you as long as you are willing to dig into the information that is available to you and make the effort. I have learned no one, not even your doctor, is going to educate you as much as you can educate yourself.
So I push on! I hope you do too. Even if you are not ill with chronic illness maybe you have something else you are learning from. I hope you continue to use what has happened in your life to not only better yourself but to better the world!