Dealing with any sort of illness is difficult; chronic illnesses, however, are especially challenging.
Some days seem to come and go without you even realizing it, and some days, like the ones filled with countless doctors' appointments, seem to drag on forever. Some days you don't feel like dealing without outside life, and some days completing the most basic tasks may just drain the life right out of you.
I started showing symptoms of my illness in 2011, but things really took a turn for the worst during my junior year of high school. During this time, I had to drop my academic course-load down to three classes and begin home-bound schooling. As an inevitable result of this, I saw my friends less often and missed out on a significant part of my high school career.
As you can imagine, this made me feel very sad and very isolated.
While trying to understand what was happening to me physically, I was also learning how to take care of myself mentally. Neither of these two things came easily.
Looking back, I realize that there were a few things that got me through what had been one of the hardest times of my life. I hope that some of these can help you, too.
Lean on your people.
They are called your people for a reason- they guide you, support you, and love you unconditionally. This most definitely includes any time of hardship. Remember that they are there and that you are never alone.
Celebrate the small triumphs.
As I mentioned earlier, when you are dealing with a chronic illness, and life in general, it is very easy to get caught up in any negativity that presents itself. Celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments. Did you get up to eat breakfast this morning? Celebrate it. Did you build up the energy to shower? Celebrate it. Did you go outside for a quick walk? Celebrate it.
Understand the "guilt" you are feeling and remember that your health comes first.
When you live with a chronic illness, you will begin to know your "limits". These limits can hinder you from being as social, or productive, as you would like to be. You may need to cancel some plans or hold off on finishing an essay, and in turn you may feel guilty because you cannot necessarily meet your goals.
Remember that you are trying your best, and that your health comes first. Take care of yourself physically. mentally, and emotionally, so that you can make your one-two punch comeback. Taking it slow now will be worth it.