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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