It’s very easy to focus on all the negatives that come along with having a chronic illness. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve been struggling with the limitations fibro has placed on me recently. The main catalyst for this is that my return to work last month did not go as planned; I did not foresee being unable to manage. It’s made me think too much about all the things I have had to give up due to this illness. So I wanted to take a few moments to instead focus on the positives and talk about the ways that my life has changed for the better:
1. I have met some truly wonderful people
Being the only person I know with this condition made me reach out and connect with people online. I have met many inspiring, amazing people. Not only are they super supportive, but seeing all the things they manage to accomplish also fills me with hope. There’s something great about talking with other people who completely “get it” and can empathise with your situation.
2. Fibromyalgia made me slow down
This was initially met with resistance and, truthfully, it only happened because my body gave me no option but to. However, I am now able to see this as a positive. People in the modern world are so unbelievably busy. We work, work, work and often lose sight of what is important in our lives. We forget to appreciate everything we already have and focus too much on the future and what we want to achieve. Fibro has made me live more in the moment and appreciate each day for what it is. I appreciate the little things I am able to do and celebrate small successes each day. Who knew being able to wash your hair would be such a victory!
3. It brought me closer to my family
I know that I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing and supportive family. They are honestly my own personal cheerleaders who encourage me and give me strength when I need it. It’s absolutely true that when you are caring for someone who is ill, it brings you closer together. That is exactly what has happened with me and my family. My Mum is a superstar who is always there for me and helps me out in every way she can. My Dad is 110% there for me too and I wouldn’t be without him. My husband has had to take on so much and care for me in ways neither of us would have ever anticipated. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him.
4. Fibro made me find new passions
Had it not been for this illness I wouldn’t have this blog. I enjoy writing it so much and it gives me a great focus. I also may have not thrown myself into photography. I probably would have never found the time for sewing and I doubt I would have made the time to learn Spanish. All of these are things I really enjoy and I try to do them as often as possible.
5. I learned that I enjoy Indian food
This one amuses me as I never liked Indian food! I couldn’t even stand the smell of it. It was always a shame as my husband’s family loved it and I would regularly miss meals out with them. Since cutting out dairy, wheat and a few other things from my diet, I have been open to experimenting with food more. Turns out my husband is an amazing cook and I actually love homemade Indian cuisine. To top that off, I’m now eating healthier and my diet includes a better variety of food than ever before. Many people feel that restricting what types of food you eat is limiting but for me it’s kind of been the opposite.
I challenge you to think about the ways chronic illness has changed your life for the better. Let me know in the comments below.
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