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Yes, I am Thankful for Dysautonomia

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I never thought I’d say that. The road I have traveled the past year has been incredibly challenging. But if we don’t have the opportunity to walk a hard road, how do we know we’ve been successful?

I have spent most of my adult life in corporate America. I’ve been a supervisor of staff for about 20 years and loved what I did. I had the opportunity to teach young people perseverance in the face of adversity. They looked at me as that older person who had their act together. “Hey, she drives a nice car” or “Hey, she lives in a nice neighborhood” without seeing the person who had to trudge through the same mundane tasks as they did when I was their age. The person who had no money for Coach shoes or Dooney bags. Heck, I could barely afford diapers.

But what does that have to do with dysautonomia? Like the job before my life with autoimmune disorders, I had to walk the walk myself to understand what others are experiencing. Only  then could I reach out a hand to help those who are learning. And I am thankful to those who are reaching back to help me as I learn.

So yes, I am thankful. I’m thankful for a family who is willing to stand behind me no matter what. I’m thankful for the fact that my doctors and therapists are willing to learn about dysautonomia to be able to help me. I’m thankful for having the ability to work through this invisible illness at my own pace.

And I’m so thankful for The Mighty. I hope as our relationship moves on, I am able to get help from those who are ahead of me in this process and I am able to help those who are coming along behind me.

Right now, my gift to you for this Thanksgiving holiday is this: Be patient with yourself. You are not to blame for your body not working properly. It’s nothing you did. But it is the hand you are dealt. So play it at your own pace and enjoy the game.

Happy Holidays!

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 24, 2016
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