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My Feelings About Having a Chronic Illness Are Valid

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Ever since my first chronic illness diagnosis in my adult life, not a day has gone by where I haven’t asked myself “why me?”

I’ve mentally struggled with why these diagnoses have happened to me for years, trying to find something I did to cause these conditions to happen to my body. On the flip side, in the back of my head, I also felt bad for complaining because I knew my condition could have been worse.

Finally, after starting psychotherapy and talking about my feelings of anger, sadness, frustration and confusion about my diagnoses, I realized it’s OK to have these diagnoses and the feelings associated with them. It’s OK now and it’s going to be OK in the future, too.

It’s OK to be angry, sad, frustrated and experience any other feeling. What’s not OK is to let those feelings eat you alive forever and discourage you from living your life. It’s not selfish to feel bad for yourself at times, or put your needs and feelings first; it’s called self-love.

No diagnosis is too small to bring mental anguish and an array of emotions. It’s OK to feel bad. Your feelings matter and are valid. But lean on your friends, family, medical team, therapists and whomever or whatever else to make sure these feelings do not consume you. You still have a life to live, even with a chronic illness.

Getty image by Max Kegfire.

Originally published: June 3, 2019
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