If you participate in social media and follow one or more of the chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis or diabetes to name but a few, you will be familiar with the term “fighter” and “challenge”. Nobody chooses to have their chronic illness and all wish to find a cure.
To that end, you will encounter phrases like “MS Warrior” and “Fibro Fighter” which you might think, as a casual observer, to be clichéd, self-motivational words of little real meaning.
Challenge Chronic Illness
But you would be wrong, just as I was wrong when I came to that conclusion. So, I set myself a challenge; take one of these clichéd, inspirational quotes and write a thousand words loosely based upon it.
Now, before I begin, I should attribute the above image to the lady from whom I have “borrowed” it. Her Twitter handle and business name, incorporated into the graphic, are a little bit of a giveaway. Kim Garst is a social media “expert” who I have followed for a number of years. She produces many motivation and inspirational graphics like the one above.
You wouldn’t be the person you are today without the challenges you have faced. Look for the blessing in every challenge. Kim Garst
Nice words; bur what do they mean? We all have challenges to face, problems to resolve and demons to exorcise.
The person you are today
The person you are is a product of the life you have lived. All of the experiences you have had, have shaped your personality, your outlook on life, your character – the person you are today.
This shaping, has formed you and your beliefs; not only religious beliefs, if you have any, but your whole attitude to life. How you handle conflict, how you approach happiness and how you deal with setbacks.
You are Unique
Sounds like another cliché, but it is a fact. Even identical twins who have shared the same upbringing will be different. Despite identical upbringings they will have had different experiences. Despite identical genes they will have had different diets. They are different people ergo they are unique.
Learn from your mistakes
Learning from mistakes is an essential part of evolution. If we don’t learn we will perish! It may seem to be a little melodramatic and on a day-to-day basis it probably is. But if mankind does not learn to stop killing one another, does not learn to stop destroying the world we live in, the eventual outcome is inevitable.
Enough of the soapbox rhetoric. I am challenging my chronic illness. I am writing this article in order to do so. “How?” you may ask and on a good day I might come up with a plausible answer.
- Motivation – I am responsible for my own well-being and I need to take whatever action I can to maximise a favourable outcome.
- Belief – I can make a difference. Thinking positive is a mind-set which can be very powerful if you believe in yourself.
- Inspire – Not only can you make a difference to yourself, by sharing your thoughts you could inspire others who need that little extra impetus.
- Challenge – Life is a challenge; winning is not everything but where chronic illness is concerned, you are not going to be happy with a bronze medal
These are all fine objectives but can they really influence your prospects when trying to contend with a chronic illness? Well, yes, I believe they can.
A Pointless Challenge
If we return to the beginning of this post, you may recall that I set myself the challenge of writing a thousand words loosely based on the concept that you would not be who you are without the challenges you have faced.
Does this challenge have a purpose? Does it accomplish anything to improve your health?
Of course it does!
- Belief – It makes me feel like I am doing something. It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
- Purpose – I need to think, it may not appear that way, before I put the words into this post. Thinking helps to keep my brain clear of cobwebs. Chronic illness can and does impair cognitive function.
- Education – If you are going to BEAT your chronic illness, you need to understand it. You could always take a doctorate in neurology but, that may be more than is necessary. Often the personal view is more objective than the medical stance.
- Understanding – This is where my recent visit to a psychologist inspired me to create Spoonie United a communal meeting room for those of us with a chronic illness. It is not about understanding the condition so much as understanding yourself.
- Blog Health – By posting reasonably regularly to my Blog, I not only keep my brain active, I keep my Blog active. Activities that can be beneficial to both.
I have multiple sclerosis a condition that makes physical exercise something of a challenge. For many years I had assumed that my mental faculties would not be restricted in the same way, I was WRONG.
You’re having a laugh
About a year ago, I became aware that my memory was getting bad, really bad and more worryingly I became aware that my thinking had slowed. I made light of it. I joked about dementia and the joys of senility. However, it soon became glaringly obvious that this was not a laughing matter.
It is difficult to remain cheerful when you think you be going mad. It is difficult to remain optimistic when you are in pain. BUT, we have to find a way.
Think positive is a phrase I have heard on countless occasions, mostly from my mother. But there is clearly something to it. My mother also has MS and she is in her early 80s and still going strong.
There are things you can do. There are things that I can do. Sometimes it just takes a little progress to give the motivation that what we are doing is worth all the effort.
Multiple Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia
I tend to write about aspects of chronic illness in terms of MS as that is the condition for which I have been diagnosed. I could, however, write the same article in terms of fibromyalgia as both conditions, as far as I can see, are the sames in everything but name.
I have accomplished my task for today. My thousand word challenge has been met. I am feeling good.
What will you do today?
I have a suggestion. You could leave a nice comment on this post and let us know how you are feeling. If you don’t wish to leave a comment here, you could head over to Spoonie United and leave your comment there. That might encourage others to do the same and it might make you feel good. I know it would make me feel good.