Looking Toward the Future With Hope After Graduating With Chronic Illness


Graduation. It is a wonderful and beautiful thing for everyone. It shows that your hard work has paid off. That you did it. You finally have that piece of paper that states you know your subject. I am speaking of college specifically in my own story, but high school is a huge achievement as well and congratulations to everyone who is graduating! I send my best wishes to everyone!

But then you have graduation and being chronically ill. The questions of what are your plans? Do you have a job lined up? How about this one? Then there is the problem of actually landing the job and the thoughts of will this be possible with my condition(s)?

I just recently graduated from my university with a degree in Music Interdisciplinary Studies. It would have been Music Education, but with the state of my health, my advisor and I thought it would be best to change my major and receive my teaching license through a master’s program or a provisional license with my state. I brought up the conversation so the decision was all mine and I wasn’t forced into changing my major.

With graduation, the questions of what do I do now have, of course, come. I do have a plan of becoming a substitute or being a teacher’s assistant for the next year as I figure out my health and become more stable, then I would go for my teaching license. It’s the plan, but of course, there comes landing said job. Along comes the worries of insurance as my school insurance runs out soon and keeping up with my medications, appointments and any medical procedures I would need to go under as I am still working on figuring out my health. I have most of it solved, but not all of it because there is always something new coming up.

There is still a good amount of uncertainty about my future as I tackle numerous doctors and post-grad adult life. The one thing I have noticed is that even though I have all these stressors coming towards me I have never felt more optimistic in my life, which may be weird for someone who deals with so much on a daily basis. I feel hope. It may be because I now have the paper that says “you are qualified” or that I don’t have to worry about writing another paper again. Those are reasons for feeling motivated. It could be that I can finally move on in my life with the career I intended to go forth in. It could be as simple as taking in the littlest things and letting that encourage me. A beautiful day or my cats give me enough strength to keep going are examples.

Even though my new diagnosis, which will be spoken about in a different post, is still scary and daunting to me and my other health issues still cause me a good bit of problems, I see life differently and have this hope and want to do so many things and make a difference. I know that sounds stereotypical, but that is OK. I am only 11 days post-graduation when I am writing this and still have a bunch of stressors as do the rest of us in this wonderful thing called life, but I feel strangely hopeful and optimistic about my future despite my challenges. I hope the rest of you are able to find hope in the littlest things and congratulations to chronic and non-chronic graduates of all sorts!

Getty Image by nirat


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Fibromyalgia

A picture of Lady Gaga singing into a microphone from stage.

Why 'Joanne' Made Me Cry When Lady Gaga Opened Up About Her Fibromyalgia

When Lady Gaga first published pictures alluding to her chronic pain on her Instagram, I felt a warm feeling inside. I recognized myself in her tired face. When a few months later, the trailer for her documentary came out, and the first images depicting her raw pain were shown, I found myself in a state [...]
16 'Small,' but Significant Lifestyle Changes That Help People With Fibromyalgia

16 'Small,' but Significant Lifestyle Changes That Help People With Fibromyalgia

Though everyone experiences fibromyalgia differently, one thing most fibro warriors can agree on is that your lifestyle usually changes after fibro enters your world. If you don’t have fibro you might be able to stay out late or get ready in the morning without thinking twice, but with fibro, you may realize making small changes [...]
A black and white photograph of a woman wearing a sunhat.

The Problem That Comes With Thinking of Our Health Problems as 'Unfair'

Sometimes, we don’t know what to say to someone who is facing immensely challenging obstacles, like a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed with it in 2016, after a lung collapse that nearly took my life. I got lucky. Really lucky. And then the pain diagnosis came a year later and didn’t feel so lucky. [...]
An older woman listening to an iPod, dancing outside.

Why I Sing and Dance Through My Fibromyalgia Pain

I was diagnosed way back in 2016, after years of pain and fatigue. My family and I both thought that all I was going through was menopause. I found myself becoming more and more irritable, and frustrated because no amount of sleep made me feel any better, no amount of resting healed my pains. My [...]