Seven Life Lessons Learned From Having A Chronic Illness.

To many people I look normal. I smile, I laugh, I motivate. However, on the inside it’s more complicated than that. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a couple of years ago and that has changed my life completely!

Hashimoto’s also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease. It is when your immune system attacks your thyroid gland, which is what makes hormones that helps with many of your body functions. It attacks it by producing antibodies against it. The symptoms vary and are endless. Unfortunately for me, my Hashimoto’s created other problems like developing Fibromyalgia( a chronic central nervous system disorder) . I had to find a solution ASAP.

Eventhough I can’t get “100% cured” and I will have to carry this for the rest of my life I felt I could get to a state where I could manage my symptoms and live a good life. However, everywhere I read it was like a sad fest for people with my conditions and if I looked at the opposite end, motivational material for life seemed unrealistic as well. I wanted to find a good marriage between both extremes. In doing so I learned a couple things that can be carried on in other aspects of life.

1.Take one problem at a time

I have said this before but I continue to see it. When people feel their life is out of control they panic and go on a spree of changing everything! They change the way they do things, and what they don’t do. Change doesn’t stick this way. Instead take one problem, one symptom, one debt, and one habit at a time. Divide and conquer my friends!

2. Everything in moderation

Everywhere I looked for solutions it gave me a long list of things I couldn’t eat or do. I was going to live a bland miserable life. Then I began to experiment. The truth is that I can eat and do most things in moderation. Sure there are things I must stay away from because they create a bad reaction but not everything. The same goes for everything in life. Sure motivational videos tell you that you will sleep when your dead and that you must work till your destiny is fulfilled but that’s just going to get you burnt out and bitter. Finding a good balance between pursuing dreams and conquering task you must also sleep. Enjoying your loved one’s company and distress. It will take you further, again in moderation. Don’t burn yourself out. This I had to learn the hard way I use to be a workaholic and it did not end well for my health.

3. Looking at the bigger picture

I know that when you are trying to create, progress, or change your life and things dont go as planned you can get overwhelmed. Dont forget to look at the bigger picture, the end goal,once in a while. It will not only keep you motivated but place things in perspective. That not everything will go smooth but as long as you are still able to reach your end goal, the bigger picture, you will be okay.

4. Push yourself.

When time came to get active again I read a lot of ” you can no longer push your body.” That is completely the opposite of what I felt I wanted to do. Now, I dont go crazy working out 7 days a week but I push myself to do more. The same goes in life, just because your at an older age the theory is “you retire”, you can still push yourself to make a difference.” When you have a good corporate job you may say “I made it and I can cruise” no, you still push yourself. There is a time to push and a time to just breath. But when it is time to push give it your all.

5.Be flexible and anticipate for setbacks

When I use to wake up exhausted and in horrible pain it use to be an extreme setback. I spent the whole day moping and waiting for the pain to go away. That got me nowhere. I now plan for those setbacks because I know they will happen. If I can’t workout or be active around the house I can read or I can teach my kids something. Then when I feel better I can workout and do house work and write. Be flexible and anticipate for setbacks. They say hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I say prepare for both.

6. Be okay with Rest

Sometimes you just have to rest!Unplug from the outside world. Let your body recover. No social media, no emails, no meetings. That way when you are back you will be reenergized and not bitter and tired.

7. Be persistent in your search.

You may not find your calling, your break, your answers, or your aha idea right away. I sure didn’t find a doctor that would listen to my symptoms right off the bat but staying persistent will pay off.

Remember, you can do this!

“The darkest moments can bring the brightest outcomes”

-Lupita

Written by: Lupita G

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