Just a little disclaimer as sometimes I feel like people take posts like this as “ItS sO FuN aNd cOoL BeInG IlL!”. I’m not grateful for being given a chronic illness but I am grateful that despite the awful things it’s given me, there have been some positive things. I’m a very ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ kind of person and today I’m recognising those positives and hoping it’ll help others with similar lives/experiences.
I’ve always been an appreciative person. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and as children, my brother and I obviously didn’t really notice as our parents made sure we were fed, clothed and had all that we needed to physically and mentally grow. I’m not saying AT ALL that wealthier people aren’t as appreciative as I know plenty of lovely and non-materialistic people that have always been more well off than me. However, when you don’t have much, even the smallest of gifts or acts of kindness are amazing.
When I got unwell, my level of appreciation shot up even further. Some days I was even ecstatic to be able to get out of bed or take the dog round the block. It was a bit of a slap in the face as I realised just how many things I had taken for granted. Although I have never done anything majorly detrimental to my body (I’m not a smoker or drug taker and I’m not a big alcohol drinker either), I felt like I had taken my health massively for granted. Despite my surgery, some days I am still unwell and it does remind me just how grateful I have to be for the days I am not and just how far I’ve come.
I am grateful to have all of my senses, I am grateful for my ability to exercise, I am grateful for my ability to eat (mostly) without being in pain. I am grateful to be able to drive, I am grateful to be well enough to be able to go on holiday, I am grateful for the NHS so that I’m not in major debt for the life changing operation I had. I am grateful that most of my organs are intact, I am grateful that my hair is growing back, I am grateful simply to be able to function and look after myself.
I’m by no means saying that I’m happy that I have my illness but I am grateful that it basically pushed me into properly launching my blog. If I hadn’t have gotten unwell, I don’t think I would ever have done it let alone gotten to the place I am now with it. I have found such a huge love for writing as well as re-kindled love with many other things to do with blogging. So many of my skills have been improved and I don’t think there’s any other hobby I could’ve gotten this development and achievement from.
I’ve always known that I wanted a creative career but I now feel like I have the all-round ability to pursue it. I have knowledge and expertise in quite a few different areas thanks to my blog and everything that’s come with it. As well as an ideal career path, it’s also shown my what I want elsewhere in my future regarding myself and the person I want to be, my romantic relationship, my friends, my family and the kind of environment I want to be surrounded by. Obviously I’m not going to spill all of that on here but what I can say is that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been right now in all of these areas as I’ve cut out anything negative and added anything positive that I’ve needed to and this will continue.
I’ve probably mentioned this before but my gosh has it shown me many things about many people. Some people only want to be around you when you’re doing well so they can benefit from it and others only want to be around you when you’re not so they can feel better about themselves. Some just don’t want to know and run at the first sign of difficulty. I was bitter about it at first as I just couldn’t understand why people I cared so deeply for wouldn’t make the effort to come and see me or even bother to text and ask how I am. Or for others, why they’d support me when I was in one area but not the other.
I’ve managed to get to a place where I just don’t care anymore, which honestly feels amazing. I don’t hold any bad feelings in my heart about anyone as it just brings you down and I don’t truly know their reasons for why they couldn’t be or weren’t there for me so as much as it hurt, I don’t want to make assumptions. I’ll still cheer anyone from the sidelines as I want to be supportive and am happy for them but I’m not reaching out anymore. My time is held for the people who were really there for me in my lows, my highs and everything in between.
I‘ve never had the self-belief or bravery to follow my dreams until now. I just worked to live and get money and I was even planning to just go and work in an office after I recovered from surgery. I had a sudden realisation that it wasn’t going to make me happy. Seeing my boyfriend in a job he absolutely loved really made me think. I don’t want to work just to earn money, I want to work to fulfil my dreams and do something I absolutely adore and am excited for every day.
As dark as it sounds, being so unhappy for so long pushed me to the point of realising that if I’m going to live the rest of my life unhappy and unfulfilled, then I would rather not live it. I am the only one that can change that, so I am following my heart and doing what I want to do to prevent me from getting to that place again. It’s going to be a long and hard journey building a career kind of from scratch but I have some great foundations, connections and a whole ton of inspiration and motivation. More importantly, I’m gaining happiness, confidence and gradually squashing the self-doubt.
You’d think that now I have surgery scars and a stoma bag, I’d be really self-conscious but in reality, I’m the most proud of my body I’ve ever been. It’s only now that I’m functioning well again that I’ve truly realised what my poor body has had to go through. It’s also made me realise just how unimportant the way it looks is and how important it is for it to be healthy and nourished. I can’t believe how much I used to punish myself and my body because I didn’t look the way I wanted to. Although I’m not 100% there, I have a much healthier relationship with my appearance now and it’s the best feeling.
On the topic of positive things and support, if any of you would like to show me some love, head on over and give this Facebook page a like and this Instagram a follow and give them both some love! I’m always more than happy to reciprocate, just let me know what you need!
What have been the biggest positive things you’ve gained from an awful life event?
’Til Next Time,