On mornings when I find myself particularly dissatisfied by how chronic illness has impacted my entire life, I tell myself that it could always be worse. Right now, I could be a patient in a nursing home, receiving total care due to my MS having progressed severely.
Instead, I am completing orientation sessions so that I can return to working, just a few hours per week, in this same setting. My multiple, temporary episodes of blindness, secondary to optic neuritis, could have been permanent.
Instead, I am blessed with adequate eyesight. I could be needing to use a wheelchair at all times, instead of remaining fully ambulatory after being diagnosed with MS for so many years. MS might have severely impacted my cognition.
Instead, I am blessed with an excellent memory, as well as intact verbal skills. Yes, today happens to be one of those mornings when I woke up feeling very dissatisfied about my current lifestyle.
I made myself follow through with doing exactly what I would say to a client who was facing the same challenges: literally count your blessings. It does make a distinct difference.
When you have a chronic illness, it’s so very easy to slip into a comparison between your former lifestyle, and your current one. Comparing your current circumstances to those possibilities of living with even more severe illness-induced limitations helps reset your perspective.