It's OK If Your Chronic Illness Story Isn't a 'Feel-Good Story'


The media is full of feel-good stories. The stories of those who have overcome adversity in some way. We watch these 30 seconds of video and our world is better because of it. We need these stories. Our world hasn’t enough of positive things, in my opinion. It’s why I obsessively watch baking shows. I crave something sweet in more than one way.

Those with chronic illness and disabilities overcome great challenges every day. What we don’t talk about are the days where we don’t overcome. Where the biggest accomplishments are the smallest of tasks to those without illnesses. It is not discussed, the isolation both from circumstance and that from choice. The sadness that comes from the feeling of no longer having a purpose in life other than getting through the day. Other than being sick. Other than wishing and hoping that one day this is not our reality.

I used to have a job. I used to contribute to the world, to my family, to the idea that having a purpose was my identity. It is lonely, this life.

Most of us see the blessings and beauty in each moment, at least the moments we are not asleep or drugged. We see the blessings because we sit so often in quiet reflection. Some days, that is all we can muster.

So, while it isn’t talked about much because there isn’t a feel-good ending, it is important to acknowledge the spoonies and the challenges each face with every vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, walking of dogs and making of dinners. These may not feel so exciting, or make for great stories or videos on the internet, and may not seem worthy of sharing. But I am here to tell you that today I got up, put on all parts of my clothing (even though one of the pads fell out of my workout bra and I wore one boob padded and the other one not), and have been chasing a puppy since then. I kept him from eating the carpet so far, but have missed the dog bed. It may be all I do today but if that be the case, it’s because it’s honestly all I can do and in that lies the story of overcoming.

What did you do? Whatever it is….it is enough. Whatever it was, you are my hero.

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