There is something to be said about those living with a chronic illness. We possess a special kind of strength, we are a certain breed of fighter. While we may not be in a physical battle with another human being, we are fighting an internal war within ourselves. Since becoming chronically ill when I was just transitioning into adulthood, I have been incredibly fortunate enough to meet some truly amazing souls, people who, in spite of chronic pain, choose to live the best life that they possibly can, not allowing the pain and despair to take hold of them.
I will admit that as someone who lives in constant pain, every hour of every day, and having to take pain medicine ’round the clock just to control it, that the positive attitude that I possess now, did not come that easily. After giving birth to my son in 2010, and the pain really took hold, I was in the darkest depths of despair, the absolute lowest place I could have ever been. Even looking at my son’s tiny little face and his sweet little smile was not enough to pull me out of it. It was simple, all I wanted to do was to lay down and die. “My son deserves a better mother than me”, I would tell myself.
So what changed? How did this transformation happen? It didn’t come easily, that was for certain. Truly the first step was in admitting that there was a problem within feeling the way that I was. There was a small speckle of hope, a little light shining, somewhere deep down within my soul that made me say to myself “No, you can’t give up yet.”
I found my way to therapy, began seeing new doctors and my hope renewed. Life was beginning to feel wonderful again. A little smile from my Syrus would make my entire day. An intensive therapy program was helping to restore my self-confidence and my self-esteem. I wasn’t feeling so worthless anymore, thinking that I was useless to everybody. I started to look inside myself, and find that I was really someone who deserved to be treated like any normal person, despite my mental and chronic illnesses.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t still have days like that. There are days when I still feel like life isn’t worth getting up out of bed for. I’d much rather lay there for the rest of the day, feeling sorry for myself. But, I always force myself to get up, because one thing I’ve realized that helps to boost my self esteem is to do something productive, it makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Even if it is one small thing, something you enjoy, a hobby, it can be anything! Even if you physically cannot move, do something from your place of rest.
In the end, it is always in how you perceive yourself. If you resolve to be miserable, then that is exactly what is going to happen. This is what is called a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” However, if you resolve that you are going to be a happy person in spite of your condition, then and only then will you be able to start truly living life!