I know sometimes it is hard to be thankful when you have a chronic illness. Believe me I get it. Thanksgiving was ‘enemy number one’ when I was in the process of being diagnosed. All I could think about were the horrible things happening to me, I did not know what I had to be thankful for. Every year since getting sick, someone at the Thanksgiving table would say, “I’m thankful for my family, my health, and my family’s health.” My first thought was how inconsiderate they were being, but honestly I do not blame them now, they should be thankful for these things. I needed to stop focusing on what I don’t have and realizing all the things I have to be thankful for, and some of those things are because of my illnesses.

I would not be the person I am today if I did not have a chronic illness in good and bad ways. I live with chronic pain because of my illnesses, I have to take and manage medications, I have to be responsible in ways most people my age do not have to be (a good and bad thing), I have had surgery, I have scars – both emotional and physical, but all of these have given me positive traits. Without dealing with pain I would not be a fighter, I would not know how to persevere through any challenge faced to me, I am responsible because of all the things I have to manage in my life, I am proud of my scars because they show what I have overcome and who cares what anyone else thinks of them because they are beautiful to me. If it were not for this illness I would not have met all the amazing people I have who are now some of my closest friends and biggest inspirations. If it weren’t for my chronic illness I wouldn’t get the opportunity to write this blog. Most of all, I would not know how strong I truly am because I would never have had to overcome all that I have.

While I am not thankful for being chronically ill, I am thankful of the person I am because of it and the people I am fortunate enough to have in my life because of it. So my thanksgiving challenge is for each of us with chronic illnesses, to share with us what you still have to be thankful for.

I want to give a shout out to a special person because this is a Thanksgiving post. Her name – for this post – is A and she is one of those people I am thankful for to be in my life. She is like a big sister to me, and she, while being incredibly sick, always has a smile on her face. A appreciates everything and has taught me to do the same, she is truly and inspiration words cannot describe. Love you A.

The Sick Chick