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The Power of Small, Good Moments for Someone With Chronic Illness

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As someone with a chronic illness, I face moments I know I will dread. Moments like bad doctor appointments, where the diagnosis may be worse than the news I had before. Moments where I overdo it on a good pain day and know the next day will be a day where I don’t have enough energy to get out of bed. Those moments at 3:00 a.m. in a small hospital bed where the nurse is waking me up to take my vitals for the umpteenth time. The moments where I will have to explain to my friends why I can’t make it to another event they’ve planned. Sadly, I even envision the moment where my illness will take its toll and win the fight against my ailing body and the doctor have to tell my loved ones that, despite their best efforts, I did not make it. Those are moments I expect – hell, I plan for them – but then there is that one moment…

That one moment of sheer, pure, unadulterated, uninterrupted joy you could never expect. The joy in the eyes of a little niece or nephew when you surprise them at school. Or the joy in the eye of your man when you finally have the energy to get dressed up and take him on a date. That joy that fills your heart when you get a whiff of the smell of your newborn cousin. There’s a sparkle of joy you can feel in your mother’s touch on that one day you’re able to spend quality time. The laughter and joy you get from listening to your godchildren playing outside. Joy in your friends voices as they catch up with you after weeks of missed occasions. Joy in your puppy’s response when you finally have enough strength to play that game of fetch with him. In those moments, my joy is more powerful and more sustainable than a lifetime of pain.

Those good moments help you get through the bad ones. Although the bad moments are…well, bad, in a way they’re worth it because I wouldn’t cherish the joy in the good without the bad.

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Thinkstock photo via m-gucci.

Originally published: March 24, 2017
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