I know what you’re thinking after all the frustration with simply getting a diagnosis, the medications, surgeries, the psychological impact including depression and relationship breakdowns, there isn’t really an up side, is there?
The good news is that I think there is a silver lining to everything; here’s my short list of what’s good about having a chronic illness:
1) You know your true friends. Oh sure anyone can have over 500 facebook friends who are playing Mafia Wars and FarmVille but who among us can name friends that we can truly rely on? I can. There aren’t 500 of them, but there are enough to keep me going when times are tough.
2) You are not alone. There are others out there who can sympathise and give advice – not just doctors. When my sister encouraged me to start blogging I was originally out of work. Initially I found it to be therapeutic: writing about what really irks me about my illnesses as well as normal day-to-day living. Venting, even onto a blank sheet of paper can be amazingly helpful.
However, since I started Tweeting as well, I’ve met a number of women who endure so much more than I do that it’s made me look again at my situation. Although I have a number of chronic illnesses I currently have them in a manageable state and enjoy a happy marriage with Helios.
3) You appreciate the good days so much more than someone without chronic illness. Is this a gift? Yes! We aren’t like other people. The days that we have enough energy and are pain-free we grab with both hands. We may find ourselves doing things that others may find mundane but because we don’t get the opportunity often, we do it with real feeling. Who would have thought that going to the grocery store or walking the dog would be such a delight?
Do you know people who bemoan daily living? I know a few and find them hard tolerate. I find myself reminding them that the weather is good and they have a great personal life but they focus on the negative. I just don’t understand it. Here I am in a full time job, lucky to be able to hold down a job and I try to make sure I appreciate it. I remind everyone that we’re lucky to be alive. Who would you rather have as a friend: someone who always brings you down or someone who is constantly happy to wake up in the morning and finds themselves awake?
My true friends always teach me something about the world I thought I knew – a new perspective. That’s your gift to the world. It’s unfortunate that you have to endure endometriosis to know this perspective but it’s made you a beautiful person. Someone worth making the effort to know!