• Sophie Ward

Finding Humour In My Chronic Illness

To link into suicide prevention week I wanted to highlight how we can see our chronic illness in a more positive light. As for many suffering it does cause people to have suicidial thoughts or even end their lives. The endless pain and suffering simply get too much to handle. 

Pain is a monster, you pray for a break but no rest or break is offered. 

It's hard, so hard to be positive and smiley most days. I try to joke. Naming my IV drip Bobby Kennedy as my boyfriend who is attached to me and can't run away. As Bobby Kennedy was determined to take down the Mafia and knew they would kill him in the end but would never surrender or stop fighting them. Which is how I feel about Lyme and my journey. I must keep fighting. You joke about your mind running wild and your body getting older unable to move as quickly as you used to. Your in your 20's now you aren't the flexible teenager you used to be right?!

We may laugh and smile but there is pain there. We use the humour as a defense mechanism. When really we want to give up we are trying so, flipping hard to keep ourselves pumped up. 

Why we keep fighting ?

1. Family - think of all the amazing times you have spent with them, the memories you cherish so much. Their endless love, support and kindness. These factors showing how much you mean to them and how much they value you. They would miss you so greatly if you weren't around. Who's bad health would they be able to make fun of, eh?

2. Friends - like family they have provided you with so many lovely memories, amazing times and truck loads of laughs. As you would be lost without them, they would be lost without you. You may think you don't bring much to the friendship but you do! If in doubt ask your friends directly why they value your friendship to remind yourself of your value and think about what they mean to you. Who would they have to push around in a wheel chair or crazy arguments about the disabled getting to the front of queues? They would have a boring life without this kind of drama. 

3. Beautiful Surrounding - being grateful for being in the best medical hands, have a beautiful home and be surrounded by support. Everyday is a new journey and whether you believe it or not you are leaving footprints in the Earth's sand. You have a purpose and are here for a reason. You are helping people whilst you help yourself and leave marks on people's hearts. Your surroundings are designed by traits and passions that define you. Quotes to motivate, open scenes to prove freedom is a human right, bright colours to show you know life is filled with colour despite feeling like it's black. You are unique and shine bright.

4. Skills and Traits - nobody can do what you do. Your quirky, unique skills and traits bring people happiness and joy. There would be a hole in so many people's hearts without the 'what you see' as silly little things: colouring, blogging, poems, crazy dreams and out of the box gift ideas. They will never find someone like you. 

5. Travel - you end up seeing cities, towns and locations you wouldn't go to without your illness and to add to this positive you can drag along your family and friends too. Where yes you have to go through hard and upsetting treatments but then you have your support system there to raise you up you create memories nobody else can experience! Making these hard times actually very special!

6. Hobbies - your illness has inspired many hobbies and skills you would never have engaged in otherwise. If you weren't here on this Earth you wouldn't be able to fill people's hearts with your poems or fill their stomachs with your cakes. You wouldn't get the thrill watching the joy on their faces and the light in their eyes over your passions and hard work. 

7. Meeting People - you will have met many inspiring people on your chronic illness journey. All battling as you are. Take their strength and positive vibes and build on them for your inner healing. If you weren't around you wouldn't get to hear these inspiring stories and jokes. People make life interesting and you should be extremely grateful to have such warriors and fighters surrounding you. Sharing their own journeys and stories for you to cherish. 

8. Dreams - well if you weren't here who is going to live those amazing dreams of yours. You have taken from the world your greatness. Not only do you miss out but everyone does. You didn't manage to help as many people as you wanted, you didn't finish that book etc. Remind yourself of your goals and dreams. Dig deep and find that determination that burns inside of you.

9. Outings and Experiences - giving up now would mean you will miss out on further experiences. Yes I know, I know things are hard and you can't always do what you want to do or your experiences aren't as you imagined. Though focus on all the things you can still do! All the outings that bring your joy. The moments you treasure. All the travel and activities you still have on your bucket list. They may have to be adapted or may have to be delayed but do you really want to miss out on all the pleasures of the world. 

10. You Were Given A Gift- not everyone gets the gift of life. Fate is often hard and can often be seen as evil as it seems to punish and test the kindest, most beautiful souls that don't deserve the pain. However you are still here! Many wouldn't be! Take your strength and celebrate the warrior, hero you are and also be grateful for still having to opportunity to walk the Earth. Many don't get this opportunity. So fill it with laughs and joy where-ever possible.

11. The Simple Pleasures - you won't be able to enjoy that movie night with friends, that bubble bath you enjoy every evening, talks with the bestie over the phone, snuggles with Mama and family events. 

12. Knowledge - you wouldn't have grown into the person you are without having to research and gain the knowledge you needed. Many of us grieve our past selves but we should celebrate the warriors we are and have become. Nobody could or would fight as you do and you are an inspiration to many. Your knowledge gets passed on - helping and teaching others on important subjects that can really help them. 

13. Sharing Your Love - you are irreplaceable. Nobody can or will ever be like you! No matter how hard they try.. you are unique and the love you give to so many can't be replaced. Well or unwell you still share your love and bring smiles to people's faces in ways nobody else can. What would they all do without a dose of your love?

14. Embrace The Challenge- this horrible task, challenge, test whatever you want to call it, is a living nightmare there is no doubt about that. Though it's giving you a rollercoaster to ride, to experience all emotions, experience things you would never have considered, gained strength in ways you would never have had the chance too, gained knowledge that have surprised and helped others with, met great people, laughed, cried and yelled with loved ones. It's been and still is the most painful path to be walking down. However, you are never alone - you have your troops fighting and walking with you. Giving up this challenge would be letting yourself down because you know deep down you are a fighter and others will be crushed you couldn't cope with the test you faced. 

15. Inner Beauty - your body is at war and attacking itself. Your outer shell, DNA in your cells, mind and organs may become damaged and altered but your soul is still you. It makes you realise that society is very vein and we will be guilty of being vein ourselves. Previously always focusing on our outer shells. When that is taken away from you, you learn to dig deep. You tire of the judgements about your appearance. Judgements about your health ( laziness, fatigue, moodiness ). You are drawn to learn that parasites can try and change your DNA, appearance, cause your body to break down but that damn flame that is your soul can't be put out and still shine bright!

The soul that is where true beauty lies. The beauty that time can't alter or take away unlike body functions and your outter shell. Cherish this soul. It's rare to find such beautiful souls these days. Know that you are one of those unique and lucky people. 

Heaven may be beautiful. 

We all get a chance to go there in time. But once there you will always be there. Life on the other hand has a time-scale. We are on limited time of which we don't know how long we really have. So why waste it. 

We may not be where we want or believe  we should be. That doesn't mean we should give up! We should use that negativity to drive positivity and determination. Focus on the people who would miss us dearly, the people who we would miss helping, the experiences we would get to enjoy, the people's love we get to surround ourselves with, our beautiful surroundings, the laughs with friends, the late night talks, the holiday parties, the birthdays, weddings and life events you wouldn't be a part of to name just a few. 

Nobody can be you. 

Poorly or well- there is only one you. You are unique and very special. 

Turn those tears into laughs. 

Realise your worth and focus on the postitives. 

Keep rocking being you! 

If you need help and advice, I am always here and of course if you look around you, yourselves will be around amazing loved ones who would jump to help you. Reach out to them, open up. Talking can really help. Dig deep and realise you are irreplaceable, unique and truly specials.

Here always,



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