The Importance of Adapting to Your New Lifestyle With Illness

No one is ever going to fully understand what you are going through, but I’m pretty sure you have figured that out already. People are going to surprise you in the best and the worst of ways, but you’ll grow from it. You have unfortunately been dealt a harsh hand of health, and you’ll have to learn how to deal with it now. There is no shame in mourning – it is a big loss, but there are bigger things awaiting you. There are bigger things changing inside of you. You are going to be fine, I promise.

You cannot protect your loved ones from what is happening; you don’t need to spend so much energy trying to save them from some minor inconveniences. If they love you, helping you will not turn you into as big of a burden as you feel you have become. Allow them to help you, at least every now and then. Asking for or accepting help does not make you weak – it makes you human. You are still very much human underneath all of the medical stuff you have going on. You are allowed to be human.

There are very few things self-centered people will ever understand about others. It is not your responsibility to teach people how to be decent. Yes, your existence has placed them in a situation unknown to most, but that is not your fault. You should guide them in situations that are very overwhelming of course, but good manners are not something you are required to teach anyone just because you are sick now. Everyone should take responsibility for themselves; that is what being a grown-up is all about. You are a person before you are sick – it’s important to remind yourself of that.

Do not mess around with your medication. You have to take responsibility for your health now. There are certain things your body is struggling with, and it has become your responsibility to fulfill those functions by taking your medication. Do not take this responsibility lightly – you do not want to learn the hard way why your medication is so important. It’s important to learn to take responsibility for yourself, even if you feel you are too young for these things. This is your life now; accept the responsibility and you might flourish. Your life is not only important to you.

You are allowed to feel angry, sad, annoyed or hopeless. You do not have to be ashamed of these feelings. If you speak to any other chronically ill person you will soon learn that what you are feeling is perfectly normal. You are not “going crazy.” You are not losing who you are. Your life is changing and if you do not adapt, you might always feel lost or stuck between two worlds. Start by taking baby steps. There is no rush, but you will feel much better as soon as you start with the process. No one likes being a novice at anything, especially not at their own life.

You are not weak just because your health is. Your life has taken a different turn than most, but the beauty you will experience from the amazing people who will enter your life is unimaginable. You will get to see exactly what it feels like to have your faith in humanity restored, thanks to your loved ones. I have had tears in my eyes from messages people have sent me from all around the world. Distance means nothing when someone is really interested in your well-being. That goes both ways, so try to remember not to get too lost in the ocean of your health and completely neglect your friends. Do not forget to thank these people. You will soon learn that they are few and far between, so realize their worth as soon as possible.

You will be fine. Remember, life is beautiful. Never stop fighting.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Tay Jnr.

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

Related to Chronic Illness

circular ripples in a lake

The Ripple Effect of Chronic Illness on Our Loved Ones

No one gets sick alone. We are each a part of a vast network of family, friends and humanity in ways only George Bailey truly understands. Our lives have a ripple effect that moves forward throughout our individual webs. One of the hardest parts of a chronic illness is seeing the pain my illness can [...]
White smartphone with a headphones on crumpled soft beige blanket and text 20 songs to listen to when painsomnia keeps you up at night

20 Songs to Listen to When Painsomnia Keeps You Up at Night

Each person who experiences “painsomnia” has their own go-to coping methods – things you do to help you relax, keep up your morale and remind you to keep fighting (especially when you can’t sleep). For some, music is an essential part of dealing with painsomnia and the difficult emotions those hard nights can bring up, whether [...]
Confident mature woman standing with her arms crossed

The Words Your Chronically Ill Friend May Want to Hear Instead of 'You're So Strong'

I am a childless senior living alone with mold illness, severe hearing loss, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. I’m many states away, or across the country, from my closest friends and the little family I have left, and haven’t seen most in many years. It’s difficult to cope with nearly everything alone. Every day [...]
woman facing sun with text 21 things that happen in warm weather when you have a chronic illness

21 Things That Happen in Warm Weather When You Have a Chronic Illness

Longer and hotter days, for many people living with chronic health conditions, come with changing symptoms. For some, the changes are welcome (warm weather and higher humidity can do wonders for some types of chronic pain), but for others, it can mean more fatigue, overheating, or even symptoms brought on by air conditioning. We wanted to know [...]