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4 Things I'm Grateful for in 2019 Despite Chronic Illness

The year is almost over, and looking back, I have survived so much. I began this year by grieving my aunt, who passed away right before Christmas of 2018. I had surgery to remove the hardware in my leg right after losing one of my cousins who I loved dearly. I lost my longtime job while recovering from surgery, but managed to find another job fairly quickly, and that job was more stable and paid better. I returned to school, got certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and began my career in childcare. I have much to be grateful for this year.

1. Wonderful friends and a loving family.

I have had many of my closest friends around for a very long time. They have stuck by my side through thick and thin and supported me when I was at one of my lowest points at the start of the year when my aunt had just passed away. I felt loved and supported during my recovery from surgery and during my transitions into my new jobs. I am also thankful for my family who has stood by me while I face every struggle.

2. A job I love with a flexible schedule.

I began my career in childcare this year with a fantastic company that invests in all of its employees. Through them, I was able to obtain my first aid and CPR certification. I have more control over my schedule, so I am able to dedicate time to my studies while working doing what I love.

3. A wonderful team of doctors.

I am grateful to live in a city where I have access to top-notch health care and a bounty of brilliant and talented doctors. I have been asthmatic my whole life and have been dealing with chronic pain for most of my twenties. I am particularly grateful for my rheumatologist who actually listens to me and my issues. He truly takes my complaints seriously and helps me to live the life I do.

4. Dance.

I am thankful to have the ability to dance. I am thankful for the lessons I took in 2018 and to have places in such close proximity to me where I can go and enjoy my free time. I am thankful to be able to still have the ability to move and stretch. I am thankful to have the skills and ability to manage my social anxiety while on the dance floor so I can connect and socialize with other people.

I am thankful for so much, this year and for always. I might not always have the spoons to express it, but I am absolutely thankful for all of it. Fibromyalgia is a tough thing to deal with, but I am and always will be stronger than this chronic illness that haunts me.

Getty image by STUDIOGRANDOUEST