I’m sure this quote resonates with all chronic illness warriors no matter what their diagnosis is. It certainly does with me! From speaking to a few fellow autoimmune disease warriors, it would seem we have the same type A personality!
We have set dreams and plans. We get anxious when someone, or something, messes with those dreams and plans. We have a tendency to get very stressed about the little things. We care what others think far too much. We are people pleasers to our detriment. We keep everything that bothers us bottled up, again to our detriment. We worry A LOT. Have I described you yet? I’ve certainly described me! BUT there is something beautiful about our chronic illness. Maybe you’ve experience this beautiful thing, or perhaps you’re still grieving your life pre-diagnosis. Whatever stage you’re at, please be certain there is something amazing about our diagnosis, I promise!
It teaches us to forget those set dreams, plans and goals. They are replaced with new ones. The truly amazing thing is, they may turn out to be completely different from anything you ever imagined. I’ve met some people who have completely changed their lives. They may have changed where they live, their hobbies, their stance on children, whether they climb the work ladder or maybe their career entirely. While this is extremely scary, it is amazing and most look back at how much better their life is. Overtime we also learn to let go of the little things and stress less. We become more patient, empathetic and kind people. If you have children, you may notice this in them also. I get lots of compliments that my eldest is very gentle and caring with her younger sister and other children. We slowly start to learn to put ourselves first (ok, this one is extremely difficult!). As a chronic illness warrior, you’ll find there are times you must refuse things you may desire to do, like social events or more effort at work.
But the one thing I can promise you is, that at some point, you will realise your diagnosis has changed parts of you, your character and your life for the better. And you are never too old or too sick.