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What I'm Thankful for This Holiday Season as Someone With Chronic Illness

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It is the holiday season, and we are called upon to think and reflect upon what we are thankful for. I have several things, people and places that I myself am thankful for, and I am honestly never sure where to begin when writing about things like this. Although it should go without saying, I am especially thankful for my family. Without them, I don’t know how well I would be able to keep my sense of humor and cope with being chronically ill. If it weren’t for them, I don’t know how I would fare with coping with the daily chronic pain, the fatigue or the brain fog. I would be totally lost if I didn’t have my family, both blood family and the family I chose for myself. What else am I thankful for this season?

Wonderful friends. I have had the same close friends for years now. They make coping with the fibromyalgia, migraines, scoliosis and arthritis a little bit easier. I have days where it is incredibly difficult to get out of bed, but they share with me things that happened throughout their days and weeks. They share with me photos of their kids and the things they do with them. Even though I don’t always get to see their kids and give their kids my love, it is always wonderful to see photos of them, and watch them grow through photos.

My godchildren. I have four wonderful godchildren – a teenage goddaughter and three godsons. My goddaughter goes to a vocational technical school and is presently taking an honors English class. My oldest godson recently began sixth grade at a charter school that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. He loves his school so far and enjoys sixth grade. My younger two godsons are homeschooled and are currently learning about different historical time periods, as well as learning to memorize poetry and recite said poetry. My 8-year-old godson continues to improve his reading and writing skills and continues to amaze me with how well he does. My 6-year-old godson is starting to learn to read and write and is picking it up quickly. His memorization of his poems is amazing.

An understanding manager. I have had the same job for a few years now, and recently started to work with a new department manager. He has been nothing shy of understanding and compassionate towards my health issues, and for that I will always be thankful. He never makes me feel bad when I am having an off day and helps me to brush it off. He works with me to ensure that my work gets done and helps me in any way he can. I am grateful, from the bottom of my heart.

Dance classes. I recently took some dance classes, which helped with my pain. The dance classes helped me to build up my muscle tone to help with my hypermobility syndrome. I am grateful I had the opportunity to take those classes and to help alleviate some of my pain and build my strength.

Walking. I have started walking more, and I am thankful to still be able to do so. I am thankful that I can walk the mile and a half to the cemetery to visit my grandfather, then turn around and walk the other mile and a half back home. I am thankful that the grounds of the cemetery are so beautiful and well maintained. I am thankful to be able to sit in peace and meditate there, while honoring my grandfather and the other people I visit when I go.

Friends: New and Old. I am thankful for the friends I have, for the ones I have been friends with for years, and for the new ones I have made. They all make this chronically ill journey a little bit easier for me. I am glad to know such amazing people.

While I live in pain most days, I still have so much I am thankful for. I have a good life, with a good support system. Tell me in the comments what you’re thankful for!

Getty Image by timonko

Originally published: November 27, 2018
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