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To most, the idea of living with a chronic health condition is terrifying and with good reason. Getting a diagnosis that is there to stay can bring on some strong emotions, stress, and physical signs that change your life. When they told me I had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) I went through days and weeks of fear, anger, and frustration. On one hand, I pressed myself for the reasons it was happening and, at the same time, I searched desperately for the guts to fight it.
Even though I had previous experience with chronic pain and disease, I never thought I would ever be one to get a debilitating condition that would change my life. The truth is, there are so many different illnesses that can strike or be contracted so easily. Some things are in our control and some things aren’t. Regardless of what conditions you presently have or might get in the future, you can learn to live life to the fullest when you have a chronic illness.
Live Life to the Fullest Tip #1: Be Open about It
When it comes to living with certain chronic health conditions, such as Migraine, MS, Lupus, Aids, STDs, and some mental conditions, many are plagued with social issues that can make things even worse. Some diseases are invisible to everyone else, and this can cause misunderstandings and judgment from others. It’s important to talk to your loved ones about your disease and your feelings. Be as forthright as possible, especially if you have something that could potentially affect them, like Aids or Herpes.
Although manageable, these two STDs aren’t curable yet, which means you will have them for life. Just ‘how common are STDs, anyway? According to Aids.gov, there are more than 1.2 million people in the US alone living with the HIV virus. And, the CDC reports that “Genital herpes is common in the United States… about one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes.”
Live Life to the Fullest Tip #2: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Often chronic pain accompanies chronic illness. I understand this all too well. It’s imperative to fully understand where your limitations are and don’t push the boundaries too much. It’s hard to accept that you might have to give up some of your normal activities due to pain or disability. I find it helpful to research what I can about my specific illness and what helps it and what makes it worse. I am a fighter, so I don’t always obey the rules, but I do try to use wisdom. Living with chronic illness is a daily fight, but you can win.
Live Life to the Fullest Tip #3: Keep a Positive Mindset
Unfortunately, any long-term illness can affect your mental state. This is one of the toughest battles for sure. Depression and anxiety can show up with no warning and become as debilitating as the disease. Take time to process your diagnosis alone and with your family. If you don’t have quality emotional support at home, seek out a therapist or support group. Try to keep things as normal as possible, and don’t give up on yourself and your body. Your positive mindset will help you to heal and live a happier life no matter what.
Any health condition can wreak havoc on your life, but you have the power to stay happy and productive. Often we are the only thing that stands in our way to wellness and joy. Check yourself every day for negative and limiting thoughts that keep you bound up. Freedom comes when we own our circumstances and make the best of them. Be well, my friends.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your health care provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.