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3 Things You Can Do When Chronic Illness Feels Like Too Much

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We’re told to be strong and that it will all be OK. We’re told to keep our head high and learn to deal with it. While I don’t doubt the importance of learning to deal and not having life be one big pity party, it’s important to remember that it’s also OK to not always be OK.

It’s OK to feel hurt and broken and angry and sad. It’s OK to feel like you are falling apart. It’s so tough to constantly smile and tell everyone things are OK. They’re not OK. What you’re going through is awful and no one should ever have to go through that. What you’re dealing with is unfair, because few will ever understand.

When you feel like the world is crashing down, here’s what I think you need to do:

1. Cry.

Find your relief. Get the anger and the sadness and all those emotions out. Vent. It’s not healthy to bottle it all up. Let’s not pretend that having a positive attitude fixes everything. Sadness is not something that needs to be avoided. Embrace the emotions.

2. Self-Care.

Take yourself to your happy place. Play a jazz album or read a book. Have a warm bubble bath with the candles lit. Do what you need to do to center yourself and forget about the troubles you’re facing. Often, being told you’re strong makes you feel like you need to be the superhero taking on the world with a brave face all the time. Let this be your opportunity to strip yourself of all the labels and expectations and just be.

3. Just get through today.

There’s no guarantee that tomorrow will be any better. The reality is we never know what’s coming, or how we’ll feel on any given day. The best you can do is just make it through today, and make the most of tomorrow. You are your own success story. Go out and flourish. Not for anyone else, but for you. You deserve it.

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Originally published: November 4, 2016
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