Monday, February 16, 2009

Life Lessons

"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it."
-- Danny Kaye

There are secrets to living a happy life with chronic illness. They may differ depending on the person and the illness, but the essential parts remain the same. I want to explore some of these secrets that I have learned, the hard way, through my years of living with, and thriving despite having chronic illness:


Never forget who you are and never let illness define it!

  • Seize every opportunity you can to have fun and to connect to the parts of yourself that make you who you are. It is easy to get bogged down in the day to day minutiae of the chronic illness grind - the doctors, the medications, the pain and fatigue.
  • Take a play break, make a snow angel, color a picture, sing your favorite song out loud, call a friend and laugh, whatever connects you to the happy you. I don't promise you it will make everything all better, but when done regularly it will help to remind you there is more to you than illness.
  • Sometimes just knowing that helps you to go on, and once you go on, you tap into the real parts of you that have always been there - these are the parts the illness seems to have stripped away.
  • You may have to get creative here, illness can and does have a very real effect on our bodies, but you can find things you CAN do - celebrate your abilities, don't dwell on your disabilities!


Daisy said...

You have a very good attitude!

One Mom said...

Great post Maureen! And you are such a wonderful example of finding the blessings in the midst of life's challenges. This approach works well for caregivers,too, who may feel overwhelmed by their new or ongoing responsibilities.

Renee said...

Good to "hear" from you again Maureen. HOpe you are doing well.
I like your posting here on Life Lessons. It is so easy to get lost in the illnesses we deal with. Nice to have good reminders.
Enjoy the evening!

Maureen Hayes said...

Thank you for the support and the kind comments. I learn so much from my readers who share what works for them, who help me to understand what touches them when I write it.

I hope you will continue to follow along with the these life lessons and to continue to participate in the conversation.

Thanks to all of you!

Anonymous said...

What a great quote. That's a keeper. This is a series that I'm looking forward to reading.

My breaks depend on how I'm feeling. I love reading, spending time with my family, coloring (yes in a coloring book!) and watching junky TV shows where I don't need to think. I also love watching comedies on TV or movies.

Joanna said...

I'm so glad I came across your blog today.. I, too, am a chronic illness sufferer (daily headache for about 6 years), and have been having more difficulties dealing with it lately... I am going to put a link to your site on my blog, if that is okay with you! :-) Keep up the great writing, and I wish you all the best of health, always...