Chronic Illness, Writing

30 Days of Life Lessons from Chronic Illness

You’ve heard the story before: someone goes through a serious illness or accident, returns to health, and their entire outlook on the world has changed for the better. They consider it a blessing in disguise and they no longer take their life for granted. They may even consider themselves better off than they were before it happened.

It’s strange how pain, suffering, and fear can have hidden gifts. When your illness is chronic, recurrent, or long-term, however, you don’t get to look back on it with feelings of gratitude.

It’s always there. The lessons are ongoing. It doesn’t really feel like a blessing in disguise, because you’re still suffering. You learn a hard life lesson and then think, “okay, illness, I’ve got it! You can go away now. I’m ready to put my new life perspective into action.”

But it doesn’t work like that. I suppose that’s the hardest lesson to learn: life doesn’t usually go as expected. Suffering happens. When things can’t be fixed (yet), you have to live with them.

Sometimes I worry that I’ll forget my lessons as life goes on. Especially if I wake up one day and feel “normal” again. Even on my better days, I’ll catch myself resorting to old habits and ways of thinking.

To keep myself from forgetting, and to share what I’ve learned from others with chronic illness, I’m going to post one lesson every day for 30 days.

It’s a self-imposed 30-day challenge, commencing on no special day in particular. It’s the 28th day of June, a waxing crescent moon. It’s National Tapioca Day, International Body Piercing Day, International Caps Lock Day (got really desperate there, didn’t we),  and Insurance Awareness Day.

But the best day to start is today. Maybe that’s lesson in itself.


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