Living Well with Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness is hard. Living well with a chronic illness is even harder. It takes mental and emotional strength. Courage and resilience. A sense of humor. Hope. A positive attitude. Adaptability. Faith helps. So do emotional support and community. And a reason for being.

I think people who live well with chronic illness ought to be celebrated like Olympic athletes. Their unsung accomplishments are remarkable.

Think of it: Beginning each day anew requires grit, determination, and perseverance to push through pain, illness, limitations, depression, bodies that don’t work well, brain fog, disappointment, or depression. Then, the next day they do it all over again.

It takes remarkable courage, as well, to keep moving toward an uncertain future whose only certainty is that things may get worse. It takes perseverance to devise new ways to do what we did before and can no longer do in the same way. It takes a sense of humor to laugh at ourselves and the ridiculous and to lighten the load.  

In addition to all that, it takes emotional strength to let go of what we have lost and move beyond our grief, and wisdom to know the proper balance between telling others our struggles and keeping them to ourselves.

Those with chronic illness demonstrate unseen strength and courage, silently doing things every day that others neither see nor imagine. And those who do this with graciousness, kindness, and good humor are even more remarkable. There ought to be awards given to such people.  

With that said, if you have a chronic condition or long-term illness, claim the strength, courage, adaptability, and resilience that gets you through and makes joy possible. These are superpowers. When you fall as you will, remember that this has happened before, and you got back up. You can, again. You’re a survivor and a role model.

Lastly, if you know someone who lives with a chronic condition, notice the silent challenges and accomplishments of their everyday life; their strength, courage, adaptability, and perseverance. Be inspired by the model of their life and tell them so. Be grateful to know such people. Those who live well with a chronic illness are a gift to this generation and those to come.

6 thoughts on “Living Well with Chronic Illness

  1. Kathy wareham

    Hello Barbara. Your words still ring through the internet months later. Wisdom and truth are infamous. Wishing you a good summer. We are handling one day at a time. August isn’t good,
    but He is walking with us. I see you’re still inspiring us. Stay well, and strong.

  2. Judy Hormell

    I live with 3 chronic illnesses, and it’s really difficult to stay positive. Another major help is therapy, and I’ve been fortunate to have a very good one. I’ve got a good doctor and great friends, but there are days I just don’t feel anything but sad.

  3. Anne

    Such a great reminder. I’ve just visited my brother, who has a chronic illness or two, and the edges were pretty frayed. All that you’ve written reminds me to continue to support and cheerlead when needed. You and he both inspire me. Thanks….

  4. Laura Monteros

    I would think that the letting go of what one did in the past and would still like to do might be the hardest part. Blessings, Barbara!


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