Dealing With the Ordinary Seasons of Life When You Have Chronic Illness
September marks the start of a new season. A time of change. A reminder that nothing is stagnant. Life in particular has twists and turns, both good and bad.
Whether we have good health or chronic illness, life has seasons. Things will happen that are not connected with our chronic disease. They are just normal life events.
However, living with chronic illness adds a complex layer to these normal seasons of life. The good times can seem intensified as we know what it’s like to experience the depth of pain and we also so often have to miss out on special events because of our illness. So when life is good, it feels extra good. It can feel euphoric.
However, when life throws curve balls at us (not health-related) we can, if we are not careful, make them feel larger than they really are. We are already experiencing health battles with constant pain, fatigue and niggling concern about our health and the impact it will have on our future. This can easily make us less tolerant of even the ordinary difficult seasons or events that interrupt the smooth flow of daily life.
An argument with a loved one, the inconvenience of an appliance breaking down, someone on the phone being less than helpful, etc., can quickly become catastrophic in the life and mind of those battling chronic disease.
If you are experiencing a season when you feel like everything is against you, just take a step back for a minute. Sit quietly and think about the issue that is distressing you. Is it as bad as you think?
Is it that it just feels like the last straw but in actual fact the main issue is that you are just too tired to deal with it?
By taking time out to stop and think calmly about your difficult day or season, you might surprise yourself and find you are actually able to think of a way to handle it without it being blown out of proportion and without it causing you undue health repercussions.
On the flip side, if you are experiencing a season of joy and good times, enjoy every minute. Those times are priceless and deserve to be celebrated, especially for those battling chronic disease.
I hope and pray this new season brings you much joy, even with the challenges that chronic disease will always bring. Just remember to try to keep everything in perspective and stop and breathe. The title of a well known book comes to mind… “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”
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Thinkstock photo via evgenyatamanenko.