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22 Things People With Chronic Illness Won't Say They're Thankful for Out Loud

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As families and friends gather around their dinner tables this Thanksgiving, talk will likely turn to what you’re thankful for this year. Perhaps you’ll talk about your kids, the fun things you’ve done this year, your achievements, your home or your pets.

But as everyone living with a chronic illness knows, there are so many aspects of life that aren’t easy to talk about, especially with healthy loved ones — including things we may be thankful for but wouldn’t necessarily discuss at the dinner table. So we asked our Mighty Facebook community to share what they’re thankful for this year that they might not bring up with their loved ones. We’re honoring the things spoonies celebrate in their lives, from the care of a good doctor to a great new TV show to binge-watch on the tough pain days.

Here’s what our Mighty community is thankful for this year:

1. “I’m thankful I had the courage and ability to finish my bachelor’s degree after having three brain surgeries while in college!”

2. “Is it wrong to say ‘Westworld’?! It’s not that important in the scheme of things, but I love having a good show to look forward to, especially at this time of year.”

3. “I’m thankful I began again the search for help for my migraines because although we’ve still not settled on a preventive, I have both a genetic test result and a neck MRI that proves my pain. Doctors are willing to help me now!”

4. “I’m thankful for doctors who not only understand what I am going through but work with me to get the best course of treatment.”

5. “I’m thankful for painkillers, caffeine, and epson salt… because sometimes the only thing that can help is a hot soak, some morphine, and a cup of hot tea.”

6. “Learning to live with chronic pain and striving to be better each day regardless of the pain and daily struggles our family faces. Learning how to truly live for today, making the best of it and not worrying all the time. Being happy with myself!”

7. “I’m thankful I received a blood clot from taking medication to control my endometriosis. Without the blood clot, I would not have realized how precious life is and that you take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way. The worst situation can become your best situation. It’s all on how you look at life.”

8. “I’m thankful for finally leaving a job environment that was affecting my mental health to the point where I couldn’t even walk through the door. I have now found a job in a wonderful, less stressed environment.”

9. “I’m thankful I have a doctor who prescribes me opioids. My pain is so bad I can barely leave my bed or on my good days barely leave the couch. With my pain medication and other forms of therapy, I can now function and have some normalcy back for at least a few hours each day.”

10.I’m thankful I can sit at this dinner table, thankful my pain is manageable in this moment, instead of having to stay in bed or curl up on a couch.”

11. “My fellow spoonies. They’re the only ones who understand what living like this is like and that I’m never going to be cured, ‘get well,’ or be my old self again.”

12. “[I’m] thankful for my loving wife who takes such fabulous care of me and doesn’t make me feel like I’m overreacting to my pain, and thankful I have a support network online who understand me.”

13.I’m thankful I survived this year. It tried really hard to kill me physically and mentally, but I’m still here. I’m thankful for that.”

14.I’m thankful for the perseverance my pain and chronic illnesses have given me. I’ve grown an awful lot in the last few years.”

15.I’m thankful for my own strength to tell people to back off when they judge my condition.”

16. “I’m grateful for the courage I’ve found to be flawed — in public. I now find it easier to believe I am lovable.”

17. “I’m thankful for medical marijuana because I don’t know how I would get by without it anymore.”

18. “I am so thankful I have more tests coming up so they can find out what is causing my pain.”

19. “I couldn’t say this out loud over the fear of getting too emotional. But I’m thankful that even though I fight every day of my life with a chronic illness, I’m able to stay home with my three babies and watch them grow every day. I feel that it’s a fight worth fighting for myself and for my family. Bittersweet!”

21. “I am grateful for my illnesses. They have made me a human being I’m proud of.”

22. “I’m thankful to wake up each morning to see another day despite the pain and problems I have.”

What are you thankful for that you may not say out loud? Share in the comments below.

Originally published: November 17, 2016
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