themighty logo

Adapting to My New 'Simply Special' Lifestyle With Chronic Illness

Living with chronic and disabling disease requires a complete change of lifestyle, a complete change of thinking.

Gone are the days of waking up in the morning and jumping out of bed to have a quick breakfast, get showered and dressed, head to work or some fun planned day full of anticipated activities.

It’s not the end of the world though. Those days just need to be replaced with a different kind of lifestyle. A more simpler, easier and less planned approach.


A happy life with severe chronic disease can still be full of special days and activities but they need to be a different kind of special. They need to be “Simply Special.”

Over the past four years my life physically has become more and more disabled but my joy, my purpose and my love of life have actually increased. I value everything. Every moment, every conversation and interaction is special. I enjoy food more. Really enjoy it. I used to eat for necessity, always flat out working or dashing here and there. I now savor every mouthful, every flavour and texture.

I enjoy watching TV in an entirely different way. I really listen to the words spoken, I follow the plot and I analyze the script writing and the scenery. I love documentaries about nature. I never used to watch them in my past life. I love travel shows that are not about advertising holidays but are about travel through countries with amazing culture and history through the eyes of adventurers. I soak it up.

I love learning. Something will spark my attention and I now have time to research topics of interest and really learn about them in depth.

It’s no secret I love writing. I’ve always written in a journal but now I can indulge in blogging and writing articles whenever I feel inspired. As a result of my blog and online support forum I have connected with people from all around the world.

It’s all “Simply Special.”

My life is full and my days speed by in a blink of an eye. I’m never bored and mostly I feel like I need an extra day in the week.

So gone are my days of physically running around, but those days are well and truly replaced with “Simply Special” things I can manage lying on my bed or sitting in my lounge room. They can be done at 2 p.m. in the afternoon or 8 p.m. at night. It doesn’t matter. They are not agenda or time driven.

If you have found yourself severely disabled by your chronic illness and are still trying to live a semblance of your “healthy days” life, stop. Stop what you are doing and think about how you can find joy in “Simply Special” things. They might be activities that are very different to mine but they will be unique to you. They need to be special to you.

I hope you can find joy and purpose in a “Simply Special” life. It might take time, but it can happen despite chronic disease. Don’t lose hope.

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

Thinkstock photo via darkbird77.