all Chronic Fatigue/M.E. Fibromyalgia Mental Health

Grieving The Loss Of An Idea ~ { 4 Unexpected Benefits Of A Life With Chronic Illness }

January 22

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.

coping

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8 Comments

  • Reply Robin Pack January 24 at 5:58 am

    I must admit that it has been super hard for me to realize that I have to slow down and listen to what my body is telling me. But, thanks to having to do that, I have re-kindled my passion for writing and discovered my new love of crafting! Now most of my friends are online, which allows me to socialize without having to get out of bed or off the couch on those days that it is just next to impossible to do so! Thank you for sharing such truths Kristine!!

    • Reply kristine January 24 at 10:20 am

      Thank you so much Robin! It truly is about genuinely accepting the place you never envisioned you’d be (not ‘positive thinking’!), and finding the value in the new reality of your life. Have a wonderful day Robin, thanks so much for stoppin’! 🙂

  • Reply Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood January 25 at 9:02 am

    I used to work for the National MS Society and this was a huge thing to accept for the newly diagnosed. We had a lot of different support groups to help people find acceptance and a community that understands.

    • Reply kristine January 25 at 9:58 am

      I bet Morgan! With a life changing diagnosis, some type of support group and community is essential. Thanks you so much for stoppin’! I hope to hear from you again soon 🙂

  • Reply Emily January 25 at 9:14 am

    This has been something I’ve had to struggle with… Really realizing that God’s plans for me are perfect, that He directs my steps, has been the most comforting thing when I have to let go of an idea. His plan for me is perfect.
    Emily recently posted…Bruised and BrokenMy Profile

    • Reply kristine January 25 at 9:58 am

      So true Emily! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Ketutar October 30 at 1:05 pm

    I’m glad if you have found these things in your life and they make you feel there are benefits to this condition, but I’m not that lucky.
    I knew my gifts and talents BCI, I was highly sensitive and empathetic even BCI, so no change there, on the contrary, being in pain makes me impatient and grumpy. I don’t have much energy to get active in internet communities and awareness work. I suppose I have managed to enlighten some people in my environment of what I’m going through, but the truth is that one cannot imagine it unless one is in the hot spot oneself.
    People can’t understand why I find my pain funny. Why I find “kill me now” jokes funny. Why I laugh at “chronic illness cat” memes. So I suppose my sense of humor had widened some because of this.
    I was a voracious reader BCI, now I can’t concentrate enough to read much. It takes me months to read a book I used to read in a day or two.
    I love to write, but typing hurts and holding a pen hurts. I wonder if I should learn to write with my toes. Though I suppose that hurts too.
    I used to craft, now my fingers hurt too much to do much anything.
    I was physically very active and was really fit. Not anymore.
    I miss people, and since last April the only visitor in our home was the plumber who fixed our leaking faucet in August. In April was my birthday, and I prepared for the party for two months, cleaning and baking… I am good at baking and I love it, it’s just really tiresome now. Only three people arrived and they stayed for 2 hours, and I got the feeling that they would rather have not come at all, and even two hours was a stretch. Really nice birthday.
    Anyway, I’m sorry I sound bitter but I am a bit disappointed by this post. It sounded promising.

    • Reply kristine October 31 at 12:22 pm

      I am sorry you did not find anything positive to take away from the post Ketutar. When I write a post, it is from my heart and my honest experience. Unfortunately, everyone’s story will not resonate with everyone else all the time. I hope you can find something to bring a bit of joy to your life. God’s blessings on you~♥
      p.s. I have an idea for your writing. You mentioned you can’t write anymore because of the pain, but that you love to do it. I would check out ‘Dragon Speak’. It is a program installed on to your computer that types the words you speak out loud onto a type of ‘word document’. It’s not an ideal situation, chronic illness never is, but with a little willingness to adapt, and using our ‘problem solving skills’, we can often times find a way to continue to do what we love. Good Luck!

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