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Finding New Passions After Illness Robs You of Your Old Ones

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Many of us with chronic illness lose a hobby. Our realities change. We have new lives with new components to learn, understand and contend with. We have to adjust our way of thinking and adapt to the new “us.”

So how do we deal with the loss of our hobbies and passions? It’s hard to go through a life-changing event, as getting ill is by nature, and then to have our escapes, the things that make us happy, stripped from us at the same time.

Whatever our hobby was, most of us will have similar reactions. We miss it. We might think about it, even when thinking about it only serves to make us sad, and we will probably be a little bit angry at the world. We may dwell, and accept that there is nothing else we can love quite as much.

But then, when we are done wallowing, (and however long it takes, that day does eventually come), we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and carry on. We can find new things to be good at, to be proud of, to love and to fight for.

Maybe it’s art or writing or music or acting or something much more simple, like spending time with family or watching films. We can discover, through our new passion, that we can be passionate about other things.

Do we stop missing what we’ve lost? No. We don’t. But do we accept it and understand that maybe we lost it for a reason – to lead us on the path to this other great thing? Yes, I think we can, because we can see a light, because there is something else to make us smile, and because the world is still turning, we are still breathing and there is still happiness to be had.

To have a disability or to be chronically ill is not easy. It is incredibly hard. There will still be struggles, you will still have days when you want to give up and cry – and some days that is what you will do. But you still have the capacity for happiness. There is still joy, and even if you haven’t found any quite yet, you will, and in the meantime, there are others quite a lot like you to remind you it is there and waiting.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 13, 2017
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