ACCEPTING CHRONIC ILLNESS
Hi! I have crap lungs! It's taken decades to accept them and give myself a damn break.
- •Don't compare - I know, it's hardIf you're chronically ill like me, sometimes you're pretty good and sometimes you are wheezing in a dark room with pneumonia, like now. During times like this I watch 100% horror movies, maybe with a movie about beating chronic illness sprinkled in. Don't watch extreme sports. It'll just make you sad. Also, I limit my time on social media that makes me feel left out or outside life. I will be there, again. (That's me - sucking on canned air to breathe. Yay)
- •Remember your cyclesI know October and November range from sick to deadly for me. I like to look through my pictures from March every time this happens. It's a reminder not to push myself too hard, so I recover quicker. And it reminds me I do have good times and they'll be back around.
- •Lean on your friendsIt's hard to reach out when you're chronically ill. There is a lot of shame built up around being imperfect. Let your close friends know about your illness and tell them when you need cheering up. My friend send me videos at 4am of her pet rooster. That's how much people will support. Once I stopped trying to hide my chronic condition, people understood and stepped up in amazing ways.
- •Give up the guiltIt's not your fault. It's not your fault. Even if your illness somehow resulted from behavior, you're still a good person. The next time you're insulting yourself for being "less than," ask yourself: would I treat a friend this way? No. Support yourself. Be kind.
- •Hug your dogThere's nothing that feels better that dog hugs... Or cat hugs, hedgehog hugs, ferret hugs. Hug your companion. They love to take care of you, so hug away.
- •Find an online support groupThere are a lot of groups for everything now. Someone may have ideas for little things you can do while you recover. Others may just make you laugh. You know what they say about laughter!