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5 Gifts My Chronic Illnesses Have Given Me

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Before my diagnosis of a myriad of syndromes and diseases, I was a busy professional and mother. I had the career beyond my wildest dreams, two little boys and a lovely husband. We holidayed, had a sailboat, nice cars. Life was good.

But I was sick and I was unable to see it. I thought all modern, working mothers were this tired. My lab work proved otherwise.

Since then, I have learned that there are gifts to be found in my journey with chronic illness.

1. Time

Not being able to work has provided me the gift of time to heal. I can take the nap in the afternoon, naps that I used to sneak in my car in between meetings and daycare pick ups. I can just be.

2. Simple Joys

I now really enjoy the luxuries that I use to ignore. The fancy face cream is now gently smoothed into my skin. I smell the fragrance. I feel the consistency of the cream. Same with candles, sunshine, flowers…my kids.

3. Reflection

Illness takes away life’s noisy distractions like “keeping up with the Joneses.” Instead, now I spend quiet moments of rumination on what brought me to this point. Who do I want to become? What kind of life do I want for my family and I? The list of questions go on and on.

4. Friendship

I never had a wide circle of friends in life. I was too busy! But now, in illness, the true friendships have stuck around or have come back. The “frenemies” are no longer in my tight circle. It is liberating.

5. Getting Back to Basics

My days are now focussed on preparing healthy meals to aid in my wellness. I wear only the most comfortable leggings. I am focused on getting healthy again. It is now my job. It is pretty straightforward.

Illness has robbed me of many things and I grieve for much of it. However, I am reminded of the many gifts in being chronically ill. What are yours?

Getty Image by Guasor

Originally published: April 3, 2018
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