It sucks to be sick. Don't get me wrong, I always try to be positive about my circumstances, but I would be lying if I said it was fun. I think it is just as important to acknowledge how much it sucks as it is to keep a positive attitude. Otherwise, you are probably just lying... to yourself more than anyone else.
In fairness, recognizing this truth is not a bad thing. It does not make you negative or depressing. It just makes you honest. Who among us prefers to be sick as opposed to well? However, we all make the best of our situations, and that is really the key.
In many ways, my illness has given me quite a lot. I have spent most of my life living on my own terms. I spend less time focusing on my retirement and more time focusing on the present. I try to live for today because tomorrow is not guaranteed. The irony is, it is not guaranteed for any of us, but far too many of us lose sight of that fact.
Most people take the things and the people in their lives for granted. That is a luxury I don't have. That is not to say I have never taken anything for granted. I'm human, but I definitely savor things in ways that I don't see other people taking the time to appreciate.
I bet when you started reading you thought this was going to be a pity party. Well, that's not me! When I found out about my cancer, I joined the American Cancer Society and began advocating for additional funding for cancer research. When I realized it would be difficult for me to have children, for a variety of health reasons, I joined the Children's Aid Society and channeled that energy into helping underprivileged children. Those are just a few of the projects I am involved in and anyone can get involved in any organization they believe in if they feel they can make a difference.
Does it suck to be sick... yeah! But, a lot of good can come of it too. There is a great deal of truth to the saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world." No one has any control over what may happen to us, but we can control what we choose to do next. We can help others and, in turn, ourselves, or we can fade away. I prefer to leave my mark on the world and let them know I was here! You don't have to be a victim to your illness -- get involved and take charge! Advocate for funding and research and support others in your community with similar conditions. If you're not ready for that yet, join a support group and let them nurture you. When you are ready, give that love and support back to someone else. That person will never forget the impact you had on them and that you helped them through the most difficult time in their life. What could possibly be more rewarding?
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