The Mighty Logo

Learning to Be Positive and Embrace My New Life With Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

When I look back over the last seven years and all the awful things my body has put me through, it almost seems like it all happened to someone else. But then I rub my hand over my stomach and neck scars and suddenly it feels very real again.

Sometimes in the morning I wake up and for a split second I forget, until I try to move. Then it comes flooding back, like someone pouring an ice cold bucket of water over my head! Yet despite it all, here I am, surviving!

My body fails me daily. I’m debilitated most days, with a deep constant nausea, which in my opinion is the worst symptom of all my illnesses. I have swells daily – where they are in my body generally depends on the trigger.


You see, just to survive on a daily basis, I have to think about not standing for too long, not sitting for too long, not being in an atmosphere that may make me react. Not being around other people who may have a bug, what I’m eating and when I’m eating! The list is endless. And that doesn’t begin to cover the pain and constantly draining fatigue that goes along with living with multiple chronic illnesses.

If someone had told me even three years ago that I’d be living this life now, I wouldn’t have believed them in a million years! I don’t think I would have understood the mental and emotional drain it’s had on me either. Personally, I don’t think I will ever come to grips with that. I’ve tried this acceptance thing and quite frankly, I’ve decided it’s not for me!

I don’t want to accept it. I’m scared if I do, I will roll over and give up, and that’s never going to happen. It’s taken me a long time to realize I don’t need acceptance. I’ve been seeking it for such a long time. But I’ve been able to come to the realization that I don’t have to accept. I need to keep fighting to be able to move forward.

I will continue to try every herb and natural supplement on the market in search of some relief, I will continue to try alternative therapies, healthy living, etc., because as much as I know they will never cure me, they do help me to function on a day-to-day basis.

I feel like I’m in a better place with my illness now. A year ago I had lost my job and my whole life it felt, but slowly I’m beginning to build a new life, which, granted, is around my illness and not one I would have chosen, but it’s still my life.

I’m determined to live life to the maximum my body will allow. I’ve started listening to music again. I’d not done that for a while. I wasn’t in the right place. Too busy feeling sorry for myself! I’m learning to be kind to myself again. But most of all, I’m learning to spread love and kindness. It really is one of the most important things you can do in life. Being positive amidst a load of crap is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

These last few years have taught me so much about living. The last thing I’ve wanted to be is positive at times, but I have two boys that just needed their Mummy. So I had to be a big girl! And I’m so glad I did. It got me through the worst days, and it’s given me the drive to rebuild a new life, something I thought I would never do!

And you know what? I’m feeling pretty blessed. Maybe this new life was where I was meant to be all along. Everything happens for a reason – maybe I was meant to become ill to set up the support groups and help others. If that’s the reason, then I can live with that!

I shall keep moving forward and learning about my body, in the hopes that the nausea and chronic fatigue will eventually piss off! So my advice to anyone living with a chronic illness would be to research, research, research and be kind to yourself. It does get easier, I promise.

woman smiling and giving a thumbs up next to her laptop

This post originally appeared on Carly’s Crazy Chronic Life.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Originally published: July 5, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home