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The Importance of Adapting to Your New Lifestyle With Illness

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No one is ever going to fully understand what you are going through, but I’m pretty sure you have figured that out already. People are going to surprise you in the best and the worst of ways, but you’ll grow from it. You have unfortunately been dealt a harsh hand of health, and you’ll have to learn how to deal with it now. There is no shame in mourning – it is a big loss, but there are bigger things awaiting you. There are bigger things changing inside of you. You are going to be fine, I promise.

You cannot protect your loved ones from what is happening; you don’t need to spend so much energy trying to save them from some minor inconveniences. If they love you, helping you will not turn you into as big of a burden as you feel you have become. Allow them to help you, at least every now and then. Asking for or accepting help does not make you weak – it makes you human. You are still very much human underneath all of the medical stuff you have going on. You are allowed to be human.

There are very few things self-centered people will ever understand about others. It is not your responsibility to teach people how to be decent. Yes, your existence has placed them in a situation unknown to most, but that is not your fault. You should guide them in situations that are very overwhelming of course, but good manners are not something you are required to teach anyone just because you are sick now. Everyone should take responsibility for themselves; that is what being a grown-up is all about. You are a person before you are sick – it’s important to remind yourself of that.

Do not mess around with your medication. You have to take responsibility for your health now. There are certain things your body is struggling with, and it has become your responsibility to fulfill those functions by taking your medication. Do not take this responsibility lightly – you do not want to learn the hard way why your medication is so important. It’s important to learn to take responsibility for yourself, even if you feel you are too young for these things. This is your life now; accept the responsibility and you might flourish. Your life is not only important to you.

You are allowed to feel angry, sad, annoyed or hopeless. You do not have to be ashamed of these feelings. If you speak to any other chronically ill person you will soon learn that what you are feeling is perfectly normal. You are not “going crazy.” You are not losing who you are. Your life is changing and if you do not adapt, you might always feel lost or stuck between two worlds. Start by taking baby steps. There is no rush, but you will feel much better as soon as you start with the process. No one likes being a novice at anything, especially not at their own life.

You are not weak just because your health is. Your life has taken a different turn than most, but the beauty you will experience from the amazing people who will enter your life is unimaginable. You will get to see exactly what it feels like to have your faith in humanity restored, thanks to your loved ones. I have had tears in my eyes from messages people have sent me from all around the world. Distance means nothing when someone is really interested in your well-being. That goes both ways, so try to remember not to get too lost in the ocean of your health and completely neglect your friends. Do not forget to thank these people. You will soon learn that they are few and far between, so realize their worth as soon as possible.

You will be fine. Remember, life is beautiful. Never stop fighting.

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Thinkstock photo via Tay Jnr.

Originally published: April 28, 2017
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