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I Took a Day Off From My Chronic Illness by Going to a Demolition Derby

It can be easy to get lost inside your chronic illness. I think it can become a part of who you are whether you want it to or not. But chronic illness does not have to define you.

It’s important to get up and do something for yourself. Go beyond the normal self-care and dress up. Include makeup if it makes you feel better about your appearance. Then show up to an activity you wanted to go to but thought about skipping because of your chronic illness. You’re allowed to have a day off from being chronically ill. Enjoy your time out of your secluded house. You are not your illness.

I decided to get up, dress, up, show up and never give up this weekend. My boyfriend, Luke, and I went to a demolition derby. I felt beautiful again for the first time in months despite the prednisone weight gain, moon face and chronic swelling in my hands and feet. I was able to be the old me for one day.

Was it difficult? Of course it was. Just because I decided to partake in an activity doesn’t mean all of my pain went away. A chronic illness cannot be wished away, but it can be managed.

With the right medication and the perfect company, I was able to enjoy my time out of the house and watch some trucks get destroyed! The demo derby was a great success. I had so much fun. This experience has prompted me to make a lofty goal for myself. I want to get up, dress up and show up to one extra event a week. One fun event with friends or family or even by myself.  Will that always happen? Maybe not but it’s a goal that I feel could be attainable. 

While facing a chronic illness, it’s important to remember you’re not losing your identity do the illness. You might have to make some changes to your life. Maybe everything you used to do isn’t possible anymore, and that is OK.

It’s important to keep trying to have a normal life, whatever your definition of normal is. My normal is date night with Luke. This week was the demo derby. Next week we’re going out with friends on Friday night. Who knows what the weekend beyond that will bring! I am excited to keep pushing forward and find out.

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