15 Things Chronic Illness Has Taught Me to Appreciate
After being diagnosed with chronic illness I have a new appreciation for the little things in life; here are a few things I have learned to appreciate along this journey.
1. I appreciate walking. I know this sounds like something that everyone who has the ability to walk is thankful for. But I never really knew how much I appreciated being able to walk until I had to walk with chronic illness. Some days I have to use an assistive device to help me walk, but even those days are amazing. You see, there are some days where I can’t walk. Some days where I can’t even sit or stand. Some days it takes me multiple tries, tears and a nap on the kitchen floor to make it the 15 feet from the dishwasher to the couch. So, I’m truly thankful for the days I am able to walk across my home without falling over, or passing out, or having to nap.
2. I appreciate makeup. There are days when chronic illness consumes your life, and on days when I feel up to going out in public, I am thankful for makeup. I am thankful it is able to camouflage me into looking “normal,” and I am able to be in public without people commenting on my illness.
3. I appreciate cooking. I never cooked much before, but after developing food allergies it became essential. I love cooking and being able to make food I can eat without getting sick. There are some days I don’t have the energy or ability to cook, and it’s made me appreciate the days where I am able to even more.
4. I appreciate painting. I was never great at art growing up. But, it is a necessary escape for me now. I don’t always have the energy, and I might be in so much pain I can only paint for a few minutes, but when I finish a painting, the sense of pride I feel is amazing. It allows me to see what I am able to accomplish in my own time, and even though the process may have been painful, the outcome is beautiful.
5. I appreciate my pets. I know, I know, this is an obvious one. But, there is truly no feeling that compares to coming home from the hospital and having your animals curl up next to you and on top of you. I also appreciate the responsibility that comes along with my pets. Some days the only thing I am able to accomplish is filling up the food and water dishes. But, it still makes me feel like I have accomplished something. No matter how bad my day is or how my illness is affecting me, my animals don’t care, they don’t judge and they still love me. Some days when I am having particularly bad depression, or anxiety, or PTSD attacks, my pets are the only things that keep me grounded. I would truly be lost without…