No one tells you how to find peace in living with chronic illness. You have to seek that peace out on your own.
Imagine waking up every morning as if you hadn’t slept. Add intense pain that feels as if you have been run over by a monster truck. And nausea and dizziness either as a result of your illness or of the medication your doctor has prescribed to treat your illness. Imagine living like that every single day of your life for years and for the rest of your life. That is the reality for people living with chronic illness and pain. And it has been my reality for nearly seven years.
When you live with a debilitating health condition, finding peace seems nearly impossible. That is because pain and sickness leaves your mind and body in a constant state of alert. No one tells you about this reality nor do they share with you that you will eventually find peace in the midst of sickness and pain.
How I Found Peace
Over the past several years, I have worked very hard to find some of kind of harmony amongst the chaos that chronic illness has brought to my life. And throughout my journey, I realized that peace is, in fact, a great possibility.
Here are three things I found out on my own about finding peace in living with my chronic illnesses.
I Can Seek Religious and Spiritual Guidance
Our days are often busy and filled with activities and responsibilities. It can help to find peace and clarity when you connect with a higher power or spiritual connection. Every day, take the time to stop what you are doing for at least ten to fifteen minutes to meditate, pray, or enjoy nature. It is vital to set time aside to break away from our busy and chaotic lives and seek a connection – spiritual or religious.
I have learned to look for quiet moments. I use these to reflect upon my life, my day or strengthening my connection with a higher or spiritual power. Mostly, I just bask in the quiet. I have learned that making this time and taking it is the best gift I offer myself as I seek peace in the middle of a life that isn’t easy with chronic illness and pain.
I Should Choose Gratitude
It is easy to get lost in your pain and illness and you lose sight of the big picture. We can find peace when we allow ourselves to grieve our losses and embrace the changes that illness imposes. Everything in our lives will change – from our careers to our families to our finances and even our bodies. And change happens whether we choose to accept it or not. But when we decide we can love ourselves just as we are and we grateful for all life gives us, we truly find peace and contentment.
I choose to be more than my pain and illness. And I believe that I am perfect as I am. Moreover, I accept whatever life gives with an attitude focused on gratitude.
I Can Lean on Loved Ones and Friends for Support
It can be difficult to ask for help from others especially if we are asking for help with activities and tasks we used to do with ease. We may accept help because we desperately need it but we carry guilt and shame for needing assistance.
I have found I often carry unrealistic expectations when it comes to those closest to me handling tasks differently than I do. In my frustration, I have either lashed out at loved ones or performed tasks when I was not feeling up to par. But I have found peace in letting go of imperfection and I respect those offering support. I now ask for help when I need it and accept it graciously. Mostly, I am appreciative of loved ones and friends who allow me to lean on them on them for support.
You Deserve Peace
After seven years of living with chronic illness and pain and the challenges posed, I am grateful for finding peace in at the center of all of the turmoil. Each of us deserves peace, including you. Giving up is easy but fighting for what you deserve takes courage and determination. And you deserve to have the best version of yourself regardless of your illness, pain levels or disability. Once you see that having peace is your right, you will be happy even when life isn’t easy. It is all worth it and you are worth it. Fight to find peace so you can have the life you deserve.