What I'm Thankful for This Season Despite My Chronic Illness


I am by no means a very positive person. I have many days where I feel sorry for myself, and complain non-stop. To take the time to think and write about what I have to be thankful for during these upcoming holidays can be a truly cathartic experience. Even if it takes a little stretch of the imagination, and forcing myself to see the bright side of my situation, I will always be glad I did.

During the holidays, I will be positive and thankful. Instead of being sad when I feel too sick to eat my Thanksgiving due to gastroparesis, I will be glad I’m well enough to sit around a table with people I love. Not everyone with an illness has this luxury. I may not be able to run up and down an icy hill, sledding in the snow for hours like I used to, but I’ll be up and moving to the best of my ability. I have an amazing son and getting to be here to watch him do the things I can’t is good enough for me.

My joint pain will hold me back in many ways, but it can’t stop me from giving love and thanks this holiday season to the people who have stuck around. The wrapping my gifts come in may not be aesthetically pleasing, given as they were wrapped by my arthritic and uncoordinated hands, but all the love is still there.

I’ve lost a lot at the hands of my illness. An autoimmune disease has weeded out the people I don’t need in my life, but I have also made great new friends along the way. For everything it has taken from me, it has given me something even better. Whether it be a life lesson or just new appreciation for things I never thought about before. I will be thankful for everything that has stayed constant and steady in this unpredictable life of mine with Behçet’s disease. It takes a great deal of being bitter and unappreciative to reach a point of being thankful for what you still have left.

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Thinkstock photo via Comstock.

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