For the month of November people tend to focus on being grateful, thankful for certain things, people, happenings in their life. They focus on the good and the positive. For those of us with chronic illnesses it can sometimes be difficult to find the light in the darkness. Sometimes we are thankful for our pjs, a soft fuzzy blanket, our pets, a friend/family member/caregiver who helps out and makes life that much easier for us. Other times we are thankful for a good day. Perhaps we got out of the house and did something fun, or stayed in and got a lot done. Maybe, we even crushed it at the gym. Our lives fluctuate from one moment to the next and trying to live in the moment helps remind us that there is always something, even if it seems small and insignificant, there is always a piece of good. There is always light to be found amidst the darkness, no matter how small. This month we asked our members in Divas & Dudes what it was about having an illness that they were thankful for. Who did they meet that they otherwise would not have met? What did they learn or what can they do that otherwise they couldn’t do?
These are their responses:
“The intelligence to help myself when doctors struggled or made mistakes.” -Elsa C.
“The work I do in the advocacy field has led to some of the best friendships of my life. The purpose I have discovered in my sickness provides more fulfillment than my illness does suffering. I have drown deeper in my relationship with God and my fellow man.” -Reanna D.
“I’m probably more empathetic because of it.” -Amy A.
“I’m grateful for my naturally positive attitude (most of the time) and perseverance despite losing my career and most days being a struggle to just function, I still manage to smile. The overwhelming support I have from family is immense and I’m so grateful for that.” -Nicole C.
“Grateful for a diagnosis. My entire life I complained of fatigue and a ton of other “strange symptoms” and have been told it was nerve or just ignored.” -Becky D.
“Grateful for a diagnosis and the support of my family even if they don’t always understand.” -Becky B.
“I’m thankful for the empathy it has taught me and how drastically it has changed and informed my views and opinions on disability and self care. I saw this on a bumper sticker once and almost had to pull over because it hit me so hard and had me in tears: ‘Disability is a natural part of the human experience.’” Kelliann G.
“I’m thankful for all of the wonderful people i have met because of my illnesses. I have made some of the best friends I have ever had. I think having these chronic illnesses have taught me to be more empathetic and compassionate, be able to laugh at horrible situations, advocate for myself and others, and slow down. I had always lived life in the “fast lane” and was gearing up to spend my entire life that way. While learning to slow down was excruciating I am now glad that I am forced to put myself first, listen to my body, and give it what it needs instead of the next project/goal.” -Emi D.