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In Life With Chronic Illness, There Will Be 'Those Days'

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To the person who has just been diagnosed with chronic illness — there are a million things I want to tell you. The same million things I wish someone had told me a few years ago. Someday I hope I can share most of them with you in a way that makes sense — one blog post, one Instagram caption, one heartfelt word at a time. Here goes nothing; here’s the first thing I want you to know based on my experiences with chronic illness.

I want you to know there will be those days.

There will be days when you wake up ready to face the world with renewed energy and motivation.

There will be days when you are vividly aware and appreciative of all the blessings that surround you and your situation.

There will be days where you are surrounded with loved ones and feel like you have everything you could ever need.

There will be days when your happiness and joy is apparent to all those who see you.

There will be days when you find yourself in awe of all you have accomplished despite the hand you’ve been dealt.

There will be days when your strength is an inspiration to others.

There will be days when you feel unstoppable.

But there will also be those days.

There will be days when out of nowhere you feel hit by a truck with no explanation whatsoever.

There will be days when you wake up and start to question if this is all worth it.

There will be days when despite the support you receive, you’ll feel like you’re completely alone.

There will be days when your anxiety convinces you that you are a burden to the people who love you most.

There will be days when you catch a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror and realize you hardly recognize the girl looking back at you — merely a shell of the girl you used to be.

There will be days when you resent the amount of time your treatments take, when you long for the freedom you once had.

There will be days when you wonder if you’ll ever claw your way back to how things were “before.” Before you were diagnosed, before you were on a strict medication regimen, before your weekly schedule included 10+ hours of IV infusions.

There will be days when you’ll wonder how much longer you can keep this up, how much longer you can keep treading water in a sea that has no bottom.

There will be days when you don’t feel strong enough to weather this storm.

But you will.


Hannah posing for a selfie with an IV.

Piece by piece, moment by moment, you will pick yourself up off the floor (proverbial and sometimes literal) and carry on.

You will dig deep and rediscover your courage.

You will continue to make appointments you don’t want to make.

You will refill medication you wish you didn’t have to take.

You will swallow your pride, accept help and get back out there.

You will keep on keeping on, someway, somehow.

You will learn a lot about yourself and about the people around you.

You will learn the true meaning of friendship and love.

You will learn how to be vulnerable, because for you, for us, without vulnerability there is only true isolation.

And somehow, as a result of all of this, you will find a kind of strength you didn’t know was there within you all along.

The kind of strength that will get you through the next one of those days.

The kind of strength no one wants to need and many don’t ever have. And maybe, eventually, you’ll even be thankful for that.

This story originally appeared on Sarah’s blog.

Getty image by SbytovaMN.

Originally published: May 29, 2019
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