Thankful for a chronic illness? Really? You must be reading that over and over again thinking why? Why would anyone be thankful for having a chronic illness? To some, it may seem odd but in all honesty yes, yes I am thankful. Since being diagnosed with Chronic Migraine, being chronically ill has taught me so much and I have overcome so many hurdles that has shaped the person I am today.
Migraines are a part of me, we are a team and we come as a package deal. You accept me and you accept my migraines …
Living with chronic migraine has made me value time a whole lot more. I was never one to rush off my feet and I enjoyed taking my time however, I also liked to be constantly occupied and always took for granted when I had five minutes to myself. When a migraine hits, I want nothing more than to be on my own and whilst holding down a job, making and getting to appointments, seeing my family and friends, ‘free time’ becomes very limited. I want to keep everyone happy don’t I? I don’t want to let anyone down and cancel but time to yourself is important. Whether its a quiet bath, a short walk or even just half an hour tucked away in your room, being ill has taught me that you must give yourself a break, its okay to say no and I guarantee you will feel a lot better in yourself if you almost schedule in regular time outs just to gather your thoughts.
Over the past few years whilst being ill, I have really got to know my body. I know what makes things worse, I know what makes things slightly better. It has taught me when I can push myself and when I can’t. I have learnt what foods are good for me and which ones I should really avoid. I’m not saying I don’t go against this because lets be honest, everyone loves a little treat but it’s important to listen to what your body can handle and what it can’t. There is nothing worse than over doing it and feeding it with the wrong things that in the long run, are only going to make you feel worse.
I’ve always been one to appreciate what goes on around me and the littlest of things keep me happy. Whilst being ill, this has only been made more apparent. I never took anything for granted before, however, I am thankful that being ill has really made me appreciate the smaller things and not worry so much about the larger things in life which in the bigger picture, really don’t matter.
Everyday I wake up and I try to face life with a very ‘live for the moment’ attitude. Now, I’m not saying everyday is perfect, I certainly have my days where I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to do it anymore and again, that’s okay but being chronically ill has taught me to live for today. Appreciate what is happening today, appreciate how far you have come and acknowledge the achievements you have worked so hard to make happen.
Throughout my journey and since sharing my story, I have re-gained my confidence. When I first decided to start writing, I was so scared of the big wide social media world. Being young, I knew exactly what was out there and what people could say and when I hit that publish button for the first time I was scared. How wrong was I? I have met so many lovely people, I have read so many inspiring stories and the chronic illness community really is one big family. I will forever be grateful for the confidence it has given me not only to keep writing but to push myself that little bit outside my comfort zone and pursue ideas that I am passionate about.
So yes, yes I am thankful for my illness because without it, I wouldn’t be the girl I am today and I am proud of that.
Remember, no one has worked harder throughout this journey than you have. All of the outcomes are because of you and you should be proud of how far you have come too.
Everything is better, one step at a time …
All my love