Prior to your diagnosis, you had ambitions that may have included a promotion or a higher educational degree, getting married, having kids, and/or saving the world. Whatever your dreams were, it feels like chronic illness has taken them away. However, that is not entirely true. Just because chronic illness has made some things difficult for you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals and dreams and small or big, they are still possible. What may change, however, are the time to get there and the path that you take. Maybe chronic illness has taken away your opportunity to have children – make a decision to adopt and give a child who needs a home filled with love and don’t dwell. Or if you have had to change careers because your health posed physical limitations, find a job that you can love just as much without the physical requirements. Your dreams are still possible but changes have to be made in order to get there.
Prior to my diagnosis, I had different goals and while I still have goals, they have become slightly altered since chronic illness came into my life. Three years ago, I had planned on attending law school but when I got sick, working full-time, spending time with my kids and attending law school no longer were possible. As a result, my plans changed, I earned a master’s degree in legal studies and continued on in my legal career. I also started to advocate, took on a more challenging legal position and decided if law school was in the works, it would happen later in my life.
The belief that being chronically ills means your dreams are no longer possible isn’t true. Further, your dreams don’t have to change – the timing and the path does. Living with chronic illness means you start looking for a better quality of life and in turn, you will find that you can still continue to have dreams and goals.
Much happiness and good health to you in the New Year!