Mental Health

living well when you have chronic illnesses

Today I thought it would be nice to share some secrets on living well when you have chronic illnesses. So, grab a cup of tea and settle in.

living well when you have chronic illnesses
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash
Image description: a golden key is seen lying amongst autumnal leaves

When I first became sick, I fell into a deep depression, I had lost my health, my independence, my income, and my career. I wondered if I would ever enjoy my life again, and for a long time I didn’t.

But I can honestly say, that though my health has slowly declined, and I have more pain and fatigue; I am so happy now.

I have hobbies, a very positive and loved witchcraft practice, this blog, my YouTube channel and a wonderful husband as well as true friends now. These were all things I couldn’t imagine having or wanting when I first got sick and yet they are all things that make me so happy.

It sometimes feels as if without the ability to work, we will have no purpose in life and without being able to keep a perfectly tidy and clean home I will never feel accomplished. But these are ableist notions drip fed into us from when we are children, that our worth comes from what we can do.

The truth is that I am a worthwhile person even if I cannot keep a full-time job, I am a good person and there are people who see that. It only comes when we realise this ourselves and when we let go of these notions given to us by society.

I know for myself, that I tried to work a lot longer than I should have and that doing that made me so much sicker than I should have been. But I still struggled even after I stopped trying to work and that was mainly because I didn’t know what to do with myself.

So, let me share how I am happy and more about living well when you have chronic illnesses:

living well when you have chronic illnesses:

  • Hobbies – my life became so monotonous; I needed some direction and to find low energy things to take up my time. I have since discovered how much I love art, I am also big into jigsaw puzzles, I am teaching myself to sew, and I love crafting. I am in a tabletop roleplaying group as well as enjoying roleplaying online. Many of the hobbies I enjoy might take me longer to do than someone able bodied, but I still enjoy them so much.
  • Have goals – I still have dreams and things I want to achieve, and I am sure you are the same. Finding ways to make them come true can be harder with disabilities but they are not impossible! I would love to be able to come off benefits by making enough money from YouTube and this blog. I don’t know if that is possible, but many people can so why not me too? Setting goals and finding ways to achieve them can be so fulfilling so go for it!
  • Find your tribe – When I got sick, I lost everything, including all the people I considered friends. It took me a long time to find real, genuine friends, and not just online I have actual in person friends too! This is a new development and something I am so happy about. So, join clubs, support groups, and try new things, maybe one of your hobbies will lead you to finding your tribe, friends are so important so don’t be afraid to try.
  • Love is love – Now, this is being honest, I thought being sick would mean nobody would want me. And if you listen to able-bodied people, you might think the same, but its not true! I met my husband after becoming sick, and I know many influencers who are disabled that are happy in relationships with well people. There is someone out there for everyone so never count yourself out, be open minded and put yourself out there.
  • Do what you can – just remember everyone is doing their best, and no matter if you can work or not you are a worthy person who matters. Sometimes listening to societies views on us can give you the opposite view, so follow disabled influencers and get involved in online groups you will soon see that every human matters!

I hope this post gives you some hope, and some ideas for living well when you have chronic illnesses. I wish I had this when I got sick, and I never want someone to think they cannot because of something they didn’t cause or ask for.

Thank you xx

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  • Kaz

    I dislike it when meeting someone for the first time and they ask “so what do you do ?”. I used to answer with what my job is. Now, I ask “what do you mean?” They then ask what job I do. I answer them and also state what it pays for hobbies/interests wise. I hate being defined by a job role. People who cannot work due to ill health need support and understanding. They shouldn’t be blamed or made to feel guilty by society. Sadly they are.

    • admin

      Yes, too often in society your job is what gives you worth! It is so annoying and I used to really struggle with that because I worked hard to be a nurse and to lose that felt so much like I am no longer worth anything. It shouldn’t be like that

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