When Your 'New Normal' With Chronic Illness Feels Not So Normal

If I could go back and tell myself one thing when I first got sick, it would be to find a new normal. And to try and accept the new normal.

Sleeping all the time? That’s OK, that’s your new normal.

Can’t walk without limping? That’s OK, it’s just a new normal.

Using a wheelchair? New normal.

Recently I was told to look into a new disorder as a possible answer. I wasn’t phased at all, started doing research, and then it dawned on me… after almost three years of constantly being sick, this is my normal. And I’m OK with that.

So if you’re just getting sick or are struggling with something, find a new normal. Don’t forget the old one, but try not to expect your body to be capable of it. It’s impossible when everything changes, especially when that change is drastic, healthy-to-sick in a short time. I could have never imagined three years ago my normal would involve researching rare diseases and administering meds through a feeding tube… but it does. My normal is not what I would have wished it to be, but it is one where I can live and thrive and be happy. “Normal” is after all, a very relative term.

And if your new “normal” feels not so normal at all, remember you are not alone. And remember that things do get better.

After all, I’m certainly still here.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could go back to the day you (or a loved one) got a diagnosis, what would you tell yourself? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

3 Ways to Thrive With Chronic Illness Amidst Despair

How does one become a thriver? You know, someone that thrives despite unfortunate circumstances. Thrive: to grow, progress, succeed, flourish regardless of any diverse situations. When you are not thriving, I believe you are wilting. Stagnant. Lackluster. If you are in the midst of a chronic illness, recovering from one, or just dealing with daily [...]

6 Ways Chronic Illness Has Changed My Life for the Better

1. Having a chronic illness brings out the fighter in all of us. It forces us to be stronger than we ever knew we were — or thought we could be. We inspire others, and we inspire ourselves to keep fighting the good fight. 2. You have to grow up a lot when you have a [...]

Why I'm Thanking Both the Supporters and Disbelievers of My Illness

I feel as if I don’t say this enough, but thank you. Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for being there for me no matter what was going on. Thank you for motivating me when I am weak and feel like giving up. Mostly, thank you for believing in me when others lost [...]

In One Statement, My Dad Revealed Why It's OK to Be Open About My Chronic Illness Battle

My dad told me something quite startling a few years ago and I haven’t been able to forget it. He looked at me as we were getting in the car for the hundredth time that day to run to yet another errand and quietly said, “Sometimes I think about how you feel. How you are [...]