How do you find the strength to keep fighting when you have an incurable illness?
I’m an optimist, I’m a fighter and I’m a problem solver. But when you are struck down with an incurable and largely untreatable illness, where no amount of fighting will make you better, and your future is so uncertain, what do you do? How do you stay true to yourself and not give up? How do you wake up each morning and continue to fight? How do you stay optimistic when there appears to be no hope of recovery? How do you solve your problems when even the most intelligent minds do not know the cause of your illness? How do you convince yourself that tomorrow will be a better day, just to give you the strength to continue, when each day is such a struggle? How do you accept the limited life you have now, compared to the limitless one you once had?
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You take it one day at a time. You choose your battles and let go of the ones that serve no purpose except to exhaust you. You celebrate even the smallest achievements. You laugh when you can and cry when you need to. You learn to accept what you cannot control and work your hardest to change what you can. You learn your limitations and you adapt, but that doesn’t mean giving up. You appreciate each day because your future is so uncertain. You learn to forgive yourself and others. You learn compassion. You fight to raise awareness and understanding. You never lose hope because some days that’s all you have.
Living with a chronic illness can be hard as hell, but it makes you appreciate so much. It makes you appreciate your friends who have stuck by you even when you have given up on yourself. It makes you appreciate your family who love you no matter how many mistakes you make. It makes you appreciate the man (or woman) who knew he signed up for this, and loves a disabled, but happy and kind-hearted, giving woman, who has her flaws, but still loves you just the same. You appreciate every smile and every happy moment. You appreciate life.