How Accepting My Chronic Illness Gave Me Clarity for the Future

Flipping through articles this last weekend, I came across one that surprised me: my second ever article about my chronic illness. The first thing that stood out to me was how much my writing style has changed since then, but looking past that I realized that the content of the article no longer applied a year and a half later.

I had written that I live in the present because my future is impossible to address, and yet I sit here today planning for my future. I know that I want to go to college, that I want to write and that I have huge plans for my future; I can address my future.

I’m writing this today because I wish someone could have told me this back then: No matter how unclear or impossible your future seems right now, it will get easier. Acceptance and treatment will give you back that clarity. The fog will lift, and you will be able to see your future more clearly, no matter how bleak it seems now.

That year and a half ago, I completely changed the direction of my future. I was lost, feeling as if I would not be able to complete college or go for a degree I wanted, but today those things are not true. Today I plan to go to college for journalism. Today I see myself settling down and having kids. Today I see everything that was so unclear to me a year and half ago.

To anyone who feels like their future is too unclear or shaky, it will gain some clarity. As I said in that article so long ago, there will always be a level of uncertainty in your life. There will be that possibility of car accident – just like anyone else. There will always be that possibility of losing your job – just like everyone else. And yes, there are more what ifs with chronic illness like “what if I rupture my aorta?” or “what if I have a stroke?,” but you will learn to live with these in time. You’ll learn to push them to that little part of your brain where you can just hear them enough to not do something to harm your body.

The day you learn to do this though, you will be free. You will be free to look at your future clearly. To dream. To love. To live. Acceptance takes time, so just keep this thought: You will have clarity, just give it time.

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Thinkstock photo via Zoonar RF.

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