Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is never a good thing. It’s a problem that you could do without. Not only is it usually physically uncomfortable, but it can also be a bureaucratic nightmare. Interacting with the healthcare system is difficult at the best of times, let alone when you need to make repeated visits.
But there’s a silver lining. As somebody with a chronic illness, there are things that you understand which others don’t – things which ultimately contribute to the betterment of your life.
You Understand What It Means To Be Grateful
Gratitude is something that is lost on many people. In fact, when you’re not dependent on others for your survival, gratitude can be hard to muster. But for those with chronic conditions, it’s ever-present. You feel gratitude towards all sorts of people in your life: from your family who help you out financially to the nurses who provide palliative care. Everybody is on your side, trying to make you comfortable, and you feel glad for that.
The Small Things Are Suddenly Important
When you suffer from a chronic disease, it quickly puts your life into perspective. You soon realize that many of the goals you once had lacked meaning or consequence. Since you got sick, you’ve started appreciating the things that really matter in life.
Like what exactly? What about the giggling of your children as they play or the sound of the wind as it rustles the autumn leaves? Sometimes, when you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s the little things that really help to lift the darkness.
Being Around Others Is Essential
Being ill necessitates that you rely on the people around you for support. As a result, you start appreciating your community more. Communities help to build the bond that helps you get through your illness. Again it’s the little things that make a difference, like your neighbor dropping off your lunch, or your friends calling by to take care of the kids for an afternoon.
The great thing is that you can repay the favor, contributing to your community in whatever way you can.
Time Is The Most Precious Commodity We Have
It’s often said that time is more valuable than money. You can lose money and regain it by working hard, selling products, or borrowing from somebody else. But once time is spent, it’s gone forever, and the moment never returns.
Illness suddenly puts one’s life into perspective. It reminds you that time is limited and that it will eventually run out one day. People with chronic illnesses realize that time is slipping away every minute of the day and so they resolve to make the best use of it possible. They also notice the passing of time, thanks to the amount of time spent doing things like sitting in waiting rooms and waiting for doctor’s appointments.
The times when you feel well are precious – use them. If your disease goes into remission, start making plans to enjoy the time you have, before it comes back. If you’re feeling better today than you were yesterday, find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.