Living with a chronic disease can be incredibly challenging in both mentally and physically, but as with many of life’s challenges, it can create some of the strongest individuals. Finding the inner strength for coping with any of the difficult problems life can throw at us is easier with a source of inspiration, somewhere that we draw our strength from. For today’s blog post, we’ve reached out to two bloggers who write about their experiences of living with a chronic illness to find out what keeps them inspired.
Caroline Craven – GirlWithMS.com:
When I started reaching out to bloggers who write about chronic illnesses, Caroline from GirlWithMS.com was a natural choice. She has an incredible story of learning to live with MS since 2001 and it was safe to assume, she would have some advice when it came to drawing inspiration during the challenges of living with a chronic illness. Here is what she had to say:
After living with MS for almost twenty years, my most inspiration comes from nature, friends, and family. To be positive as best we can and to accept us with our new lives.
“MS will change your life and learning to adapt and be flexible are key in helping one learn to thrive in life once again. Important life skills and compassion toward oneself aid in the healing and management process. Keeping symptoms to a minimum can help with overall quality of life. We’re all in this together! #takeTHATms!”
Her positive outlook is amazing, and no doubt serves as inspiration to many. The idea that stuck out above all else though, was compassion towards oneself. It seems like something we should all have, but too often we simply forget. This is obviously important advice for anyone, but it holds even more value for those living with chronic illness. The focus of her site is primarily MS, but it contains useful material for anyone living with chronic illnesses. Topics like self-care are touched on often and have very broad relevance.
Sheryl Chan – AChronicVoice.com:
Sheryl from AChronicVoice.com was another easy choice when searching for mantras, chronic illness quotes, and inspiration. If you haven’t heard of Sheryl before, she’s a writer living with several chronic illnesses and autoimmune disorders. When we talked about what keeps her inspired, this is what she shared with me:
"The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us." - Viktor Frankl
This quote is my mantra in life. It keeps me going. It helps me to separate myself from my ego, so that I am free to look at things from different perspectives. It isn't so much as a purpose or goal in life, but rather, my duty as a human being. Many amazing things can start to happen when you allow yourself to become the vessel or canvas for life. And the thing about life is that it always demands the best out of us; it actually wants what's best for us.
The part of what Sheryl said that I found the most impactful was the idea that we don’t have to have a purpose, we just have to be human. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you need to make your mark on the world and have a huge impact to give your life meaning. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s refreshing to remember we can live meaningful lives without a set purpose or goal.
Our Favorite Quotes:
Aside from what Caroline and Sheryl had to say, we at MyTherapy have a shortlist of some of our favorite inspiring chronic-illness related quotes. These are perfect sticky-note quotes and are the kind of brief, bite-sized pieces of inspiration you can put up on your bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator. They help set a more positive mindset and can be a small step in making today the best day that it can be, no matter the circumstances.
“If opening your eyes, or getting out of bed, or holding a spoon, or combing your hair is the daunting Mount Everest you climb today, that is okay.” – Carmen Ambrosio
“Sometimes you will be in control of your illness and other times you’ll sink into despair, and that’s OK! Freak out, forgive yourself, and try again tomorrow.” – Kelly Hemingway
"It never gets easier you just get better." —Vince Lombardi