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Celebrating the Wonderful Achievement of Living Well with Chronic Illness

Living with an illness like ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia is a massive challenge, one we have to face day in day out, every minute of the day. I believe that the fact that we overcome that challenge is worthy of a celebration. In fact, because achievement can be hard to come by, I’ve made living well with chronic illness my goal; my major source of achievement. It’s a huge challenge to manage such an illness well and to be happy in spite of it, but it’s a challenge I choose to rise to, and one I don’t believe we give ourselves enough credit for achieving. So I want to celebrate my successes and I invite you all to consider how big an achievement it is to live well with chronic illness and to celebrate it every step of the way.

This week in particular I am celebrating the fact that I’ve returned to a reasonable baseline after struggling with a particularly persistent set back over the last couple of months. It’s not easy to hold back on what you do when you’re feeling better, even when you know that every time you haven’t you’ve been knocked back again. I set myself the challenge of a whole week without increasing my activity even when I felt better, and I achieved it, it worked and I want to celebrate.

I also want to celebrate that although it was miserable at times and joy just didn’t seem to be available to me, I patiently waited it out until it came back again.

I want to celebrate that I have learned how to be happy even though I face this massive daily challenge. I’ve learned how to appreciate the little things; I’ve learned that there is great pleasure in gratitude. I’ve learned to make the most out of every moment of spending time with loved ones. I’ve learned how important it is to be peaceful and how much easier that is when I keep my focus on the here and now. I want to celebrate these things as achievements; huge achievements when you consider the size of the obstacles that chronic illness throws at us.

I celebrate myself for all the energy I put in to self-help, for all the progress I’ve made without the support of the medical profession. I celebrate my dedication to my routines and practises. I do a good job! And I believe that each and every one of you have achieved great things with regard to your health and happiness that ought to be celebrated!

Please share your celebrations with me in the comments below!

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6 Responses to Celebrating the Wonderful Achievement of Living Well with Chronic Illness

  1. Lorraine April 30, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Brilliant article Julie.
    So easy to overlook our achievement in managing any chronic condition when it has to be a daily routine.

    • ME/CFS Self-Help Guru
      ME/CFS Self-Help Guru May 6, 2016 at 10:35 am #

      Thank you Lorraine, I hope you are celebrating your achievements on a daily basis!

  2. Julie May 15, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Beautiful reminder! Life threw me a curveball two years ago as I was just reaching a new level of wellness; my husband of 25 years became a reckless teenager as he began a midlife crisis. I experienced the most challenging heartbreak and stress of my entire life just as I was feeling better than I had in five years. My mantra through this adversity has been “Being relaxed effortlessness”! I waited with trepidation to fall into a giant relapse but so far it hasn’t happened that way. I was allowing the pain and anger and fear to wash through me and release it the best I could in the moment and return to relaxed effortlessness. So while I will celebrate myself for this daily challenge, I would also like to celebrate you, fellow Julie, for the inspiration! Thanks so much.

  3. ME/CFS Self-Help Guru
    ME/CFS Self-Help Guru May 15, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you Julie and for sharing your story! What a huge challenge you have overcome, dealing with all that anger, pain and fear in addition to the daily grind of chronic illness! I celebrate your great achievement with you! And I love your mantra!

  4. Lauren Zalewski September 19, 2016 at 2:33 am #

    Wow!
    I just came across this beautiful post and I’m so glad that I did! I, like you, have set my life goal as living a happy, serene, kick ass life while living with chronic pain and illness.

    I’m going to share this right now with my Facebook group “Attitude of Gratitude With Chronic Pain.” We are all like-minded souls who are aiming to move on and be happy! I invite you to join the group if you’re interested. We would be lucky to have you.

    Thanks!!!! Love it!

    • ME/CFS Self-Help Guru
      ME/CFS Self-Help Guru September 19, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks Lauren, Your facebook group sounds great, I’ve just put in a request to join!

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