Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thoughts

Sometimes so many things can be going wrong that we can have trouble remembering the good things.  Remembering these things can help keep us positive, so I am sharing mine in case they remind someone of forgotten happy thoughts.

Some things I am grateful for:

  • Being able to talk to people online who are dealing with the same illnesses and understand
  • Still being able to do basic things such as feeding myself
  • Any moment I am not nauseous
  • My husband, family, and friends
  • My cat
  • Understanding doctors
  • Wonderful friends I might never have found if it weren’t for my illnesses
  • Delicious food
  • My house
  • Heat or A/C (depending on the temperature)
  • Chocolate
  • My favorite TV shows
  • Ice cream
  • Good movies
  • My laptop
  • Netflix
  • The internet
  • A good laugh
  • Yoga pants
  • Indoor plumbing
  • Memory foam
  • Music
  • Bandanas
  • Being able to see
  • Being able to hear
  • Having easy access to clean water
  • A nice view
  • Hearing the birds sing
  • Good memories
  • Hugs
  • The opportunity to help others through my writing
What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Okay to Cry

“Sometimes people cry not because they're weak. It's because they've been strong for too long.” – Anonymous

Chronic illness robs us of so much.  Staying positive is important, but so is allowing ourselves to grieve our losses.  Some of us are constantly trying to stay strong for others.  In doing so, we can forget that it is okay to cry.

I’m guilty of trying to ignore all I’ve lost.  Sometimes I forget that there are new losses to grieve.  Life doesn’t stand still, so with new stages of life come more things that we cannot do.  No matter what stage of life we are at, we are losing out on something.

Being sick as a child means missing out on many childhood experiences.  The abilities most children take for granted such as going to school, making friends, going to friends' houses, going to camp, participating in activities, playing sports, etc. are lost.

Teenagers may lose out on experiencing first dates and going to school dances.  Young adults can miss out on going to college, starting a career, getting married, and having children. 

Those who have children may miss out on being the parents they want to be.  It can mean missing little league games and recitals.  I can only imagine how heart wrenching it must be to not be able to play with your kids.  Even when the children are older, there are still many things to be missed.  Then there are grandchildren. 

Being a single adult while sick comes with its own difficulties.  I can’t imagine having to manage on my own.  On the other hand, having a significant other doesn’t make it easy.  I often feel like a burden.

Many of us deal with loss of our career at some point.  We may have lost the ability to keep our house clean or even take care of ourselves.  The list of things we miss because of illness is never ending and can be overwhelming.

Of course focusing on what we do have and are able to do is key to keeping from becoming depressed, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take time to acknowledge these losses.

Have you been too busy being strong to grieve your losses?