With the diagnosis of a chronic illness comes the acceptance of a reality you may have never planned for. A life of energetic pursuits, and few physical limitations might no longer be what the tomorrows hold. This may hit especially hard if you are of an extroverted nature, enjoying tireless socializing and lively interaction with friends and family. Or you may have actively participated in sports and physical hobbies before the onset of your illness.
To say it can be hard to face a future knowing life may never be the same as BCI (before chronic illness), is an understatement. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, it can be a major blow that may have to be mourned and processed before coming to terms with what life will now be.
But life is seldom the perfect picture of what our ‘ideals’ would have us single-mindedly pursue. More often than not, that turn or twist in the road we hadn’t planned on traveling down, leads us on a surprise journey of previously unknown revelations and yes, even unexpected joys.
These may include:
- Finding or honing hidden talents and gifts that may never have been developed~
- Gaining a sense of empathy and compassion that would otherwise have never been nurtured into maturity~
- Discovering new ‘community’ and expanding your sense of belonging~
- Growing in knowledge of your illness in order to bring awareness to a cause, and help to those in need~
It may be tarnished and smudged a bit, but the wonder and beauty of life is still there underneath the shaded coloring of ‘chronic illness’. Let’s let perspective be the water that helps to wash away the grime, and uncover the amazing, wonderful life that is still waiting for us around the bend.