Tears fall down my cheeks nearly every day. From the pain, to the intensified symptoms during die-off reactions, to the emotional overload of it all, I am left feeling broken and alone.
I want to hide. I want to run. But, I don’t even know where to go.
Plus, my legs won’t carry me very far.
Each day I battle with physical, mental, and emotional wounds that come with fighting chronic Lyme Disease and co-infections.
I never know how I will feel from one minute to the next, so life is almost impossible to plan.
Constantly weighing the pros and cons of each daily task, I must determine what is necessary to complete and what I need to do for my mental health. There’s not enough energy to go around to function like a normal human being, so sacrifices are made for the sake of treatment.
When I have a good day, I can’t even fully embrace it because if I try to do everything I’d like, I know that the next two days will be spent in bed recovering.
Suffering from a chronic illness is hard!
Throughout my journey with chronic Lyme Disease, I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing chronic illness warriors. The people I have met may have different backgrounds and experiences, but there is an underlying thread that binds them together.
Those with chronic illnesses often share that they feel misunderstood by the people around them.
Even those with strong support systems may feel like the healthy people in their lives just can’t quite comprehend the pain they experience.
Being unable to relate to our friends and families can leave us feeling discouraged and misunderstood.
For anyone out there who cares about someone with a chronic illness, I want to let you in on what I truly feel can make all the difference in being able to better support the chronically ill.
It’s 2017, friends!
Can you believe it?
Back in June, when my health was the worst it has ever been, I couldn’t see past the day in front of me. I didn’t know if I would make it to the next day, let alone push through to the end of the year.
Now that we’re finally to January, I can look back and see some of the ways God has worked in my life over the past year to bring me to a better place on this chronic illness journey. I’ve recognized that there is hope!
Over the past few days I’ve worked on setting some goals (Read this post if you’d like tips for goal-setting with a chronic illness!) and have been thinking about what it means to live intentionally even when I can’t control how I’ll feel.
All around the internet, I see bloggers posting their lists of goals and resolutions or sharing their one word for 2017 that sums up their heart’s desire. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy hearing what others are planning or learning through the process of goal-setting. It can be inspiring to think about what could be.
But, those of us with chronic illnesses may feel discouraged because we think we can’t live up to a healthy person’s goals. After all, it might be a struggle for us to just get through the day.
As I think about being intentional in 2017, I am also choosing to be realistic and to give myself grace.
Are you a dreamer?
I sure am!
I absolutely adore thinking and dreaming up big plans and goals. The idea of fresh starts and new ideas spurs on excitement in my core. Growing up, I couldn’t wait for the first day of school each year. The newness of crisp notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils, and clean erasers made me quite the happy camper.
For me, enjoyment can be found in laying out goals with a plan in mind.
But now, as we approach the new year, I find myself contemplating how goal setting should look when battling chronic illness.
Realistically, my goals may not come to fruition.
It won’t be for a lack of trying or desire. It might be because as hard as I try, my body and mind just won’t let me do it all.
I’m learning that it’s okay. It’s all right to be unable to achieve everything we want, even if the world around us gives us messages about working harder and prioritizing.
Those of us with chronic illnesses are already fighting an uphill battle just to get through the day.