by Stacy Stone
Monday, November 12, 2007
1. Do what you love -- a lot.If you don't have something, get something. Try new things, you never know, you might find a hidden talent. Take a class, volunteer. Like children? Find a school and read to the kids. Like animals? Volunteer at the Humane Society. Find something that makes you happy and makes you feel useful and wanted. It helps to take the focus off of yourself.
2. Make sure you keep those you love close. Relationships are hard work, and even more so with a chronic illness. Try to put yourself in your family, friends, and significant other's shoes. They too are effected by your illness. They feel guilty when they can't help when you are feeling awful. It is important when you do feel good to include those around you.You don't have to stop dreaming when you become ill, you just may need to tweak those dreams a little. Don't stop making plans for the future.
4. Continue researching and asking questions about your illness. New technology and science is advancing everyday. The more knowledgeable you are, the more secure you will feel with your doctors, your treatments, and ultimately, your prognosis. Knowledge is empowering, and doing the best you can to educate yourself will help you feel more secure with your chronic prognosis.
5. Slow down when you need to. Ever notice how people say, "I'm so busy!!!"? Well, what's so great about that?? Whatever happened to stopping to smell the roses? Respecting your body's limitations and boundaries is a big part of managing your condition. There is nothing wrong with taking a step backward in order to go forward again
6. Sometimes the "pity party" is a comforting place to be. Just don't call it your home.
7. Remember what you have gone through and help others. Very few things are as therapeutic as helping other people get through rough times in their lives. Being able to actually use what you have learned to help others is immensely satisfying.
8. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. I think you will be very surprised at the number of people who are there for you. Remember, it is not a sign of weakness
9. It is okay to take medication when you need it. Do you think people with diabetes feel guilty when they take their insulin?
10. Chronic pain is real. It is not "all in your head," and it's not just going to "go away." You deserve to be heard and to be taken seriously!
In talking to people who thrive with chronic illness and/or pain, I have found that there is a major difference between resignation and acceptance. Remember, my normal may not be your normal. Normal is different for every person.Negative energy creates negative results. With positivity, it is possible to thrive with a chronic illness.
Today, I am thankful for: having a fun celebratory night last night for many reasons, having another one tonight and for family, friends, hope and God.