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The New Year’s Resolutions of a Chronically Ill Person

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Every year I make resolutions for the new year, and I am proud to say that I keep over 90% of them. Today, I thought I would share my resolutions that are related to my life with a chronic illness. I’m sure many of you have similar goals in mind; for me, putting them to paper solidifies them. Every day I achieve them — success! And some days, I need to rely on the joy from those successes quite a bit. Other days, it’s just another feather in my cap. So here goes!

1. Pace: I will pace. Period. I will not try to, I will not do it when it’s convenient or when I feel a flare approaching, I will just do it.

2. Self-Care: I will put me first. I will not sacrifice my health to make it easier for others. I will not feel guilty for saying no.

3. Yes: I will start saying yes to offers of help rather than a polite, in denial, no.

4. Rest: I will not consider resting, even for the entire day, a waste. I obviously needed it and my needs are not valueless.

5. Medical Care: I will not be afraid to ask the questions I want answers to. I deserve to know the details of my diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan.

6. Comprehensive Medical Support: I will not accept less than from my medical care providers. If I know more about my illness than them, they are not the doctor for me. I will seek providers knowledgeable on my conditions and who can optimally help me.

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Spoonie Life Hacks group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Make life with chronic illness a little bit easier. Join the Spoonie Life Hacks group to get tips from other spoonies for tackling everyday tasks — and share your own hacks! Click to join.

7. Celebrate: I will find something to celebrate every day. Every day brings new opportunities, big and small. I will seek them out and make the most of the ones I can.

8. Challenges: I will not back away from new opportunities out of fear it will trigger a flare-up. I will make decisions based on balancing the facts, not based on the fear of a possible (but perhaps not even probable) flare-up.

9. Support: I will find ways daily to support my fellow chronic illness warriors in big and small ways. They are an amazing group of friends that deserve the best I can give them.

Most importantly:

10. These will not be my only resolutions because there is so, so much more to me than my illness. I have a lot to contribute to the world around me and the people in my life. Myalgic encephalomyelitis is what I have, not who I am.

I hope that some of these resolutions resonate with you — most importantly, I hope you keep #10 in mind. It’s so easy to get caught up in the pain and exhaustion and forget that underneath it all we are still who we were all long. 2021 is the year to be good to you in every way. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire!

Getty image via Anikona

Originally published: December 15, 2020
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