Helpful Advice for Anyone Living With a Chronic Illness

Ugh.  I have been trying to write this post for over a week now.  When the fog hits, it really hits.  I think the details may have changed a bit, but the general idea is the same.

Everyone has a story.  While some are similar, no two are exactly alike.  We all walk a different path, and we all fight a different battle.  My battle?  Well, it depends on when you ask, but by far my biggest battle so far has been with fibromyalgia.  Not only has fibro taken a part of my life, it has taken a part of the life that I was supposed to share with my children.

Before I developed fibro, I was a young mom, vibrant and full of life.  I was a homemaker who stayed home with two young sons while dad was at work.  I don’t think I could have been any happier.  Well, that must have been too easy because life threw fibro right at me.

Fibro started by taking from me what it could physically, and then just when I thought I had nothing left, it took more.  My emotions, my confidence, and my happiness were all stolen.  I went from being a supermom to barely being a mom.  I couldn’t cook or clean and I could hardly look after my kids.  I am not fighting with fibro so much these days because I have learned to live with it, rather than fight against it.  After 10 years, I’ve finally figured it out.

There are many ways of making a life with fibro easier.  One of them I only recently figured out, is seeking the company of people who are like you.  I can only imagine what the last few years would have been like if I would have figured this out sooner.  I’ve wasted so much time comparing myself to others and pointing out all of the reasons why I don’t live up.  Comparing oneself to others can be one of the most self-destructive things that one can do.  Not always, but sometimes.

Seeking familiar company is only one simple step, but it can make a very big difference.  I’ve said before, that I can be skeptical about certain things, but now I can see why support groups help people so much.  There are online support groups for fibro that you can join, but support can also come in different forms.  You can read blogs that are specifically for fibro.  There is even a social network for people with fibro.  The bottom line is you have to seek comfort in people who are like you.  Some people are so fortunate to have friends and family to support them, but unless they’ve been in your shoes it can be hard to understand.  Even the most supportive people can sometimes fall short of understanding.

When you seek the help of a therapist, they don’t always give you the answers that you want.  Much of what they do is listen to people in an objective way.  If something is troubling you, you can talk yourself through it and come up with a solution on your own.  Finding an objective person who stands to gain nothing by whatever choice you make is the hard part.  When you come across other people who suffer from chronic illness, online or in person, they are some of the most understanding and compassionate people you will have ever encountered.

There are certain behaviors that I have, which I thought were strange because no one else I know behaves that way.  Through reading blogs and communicating online, I found out that there are so many people who do the exact same things that I do.

If you have a chronic illness or are close to someone who has a chronic illness, you should check out some online resources.  I’m certain that it will help.  If nothing else, you will walk away with a better understanding of what living with a chronic illness is like.  If you don’t know where to start, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with a few names.  Good luck on your journey.

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