Hello! It has been a little bit since I have posted, life has been busy, especially with the holidays. I have been a contributing writer for a new website created by the Living Without publishers called My Life with Food Allergies and wanted to share my latest article about staying positive when you have a chronic illness.
I am not usually very transparent or personal in this blog – I am a very guarded person by nature so it’s hard for me to open up sometimes, but my desire is to help people, so here goes. 🙂 Writing this article really hit home for me and took me a while to write since I was having some personal struggles over the last 2 months (actually the last year). Staying positive when you have health issues can be really tough. I have had digestive problems for years, but no one can figure out what was wrong. This year I got the IBS diagnosis, not technically a “disease” or chronic illness, but still frustrating. I am not even convinced that is what’s wrong with me, but having a “label” for a health problem can be a little comforting.
Seasonal allergies last spring and summer wiped me out and were much worse last year than in the past, and the allergy shots I started getting only made it worse. Yikes! Talk about having zero energy. I was struggling to teach my fitness classes and put on some weight, so I wasn’t feeling so great about myself either. I tried training for a couple half-marathons but got tendinitis twice, setting me back for a month or 2 each time. In November I found out that I have ulcers in my bladder (I think it’s called interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome), which is aggravated by food sensitivities. I am also going to get tested for lupus since several women on my dad’s side of the family have it.
With everything going on health-wise, and then personal struggles on top of that, 2013 was an extremely difficult year for me. Depression started setting in and my motivation to do anything just wasn’t there. I wrote the article on staying positive since there are so many people like me (and many more with worse physical ailments) that need a little guidance.
Since I tried to keep the article from getting too long, I left out a couple things: a support system is super important, and so is faith. Family and friends that understand what you are going through is so important!! And if you don’t feel like you have a good support network, it’s okay to find a counselor to talk to. Getting stuff out of your head can be a big relief.
Faith is also important, more than anything else on the list. If you don’t have hope in a better future, and faith that things will work out, then life loses it’s zest and everything becomes gray. My faith is in God, I know that He will carry me through anything that comes my way, no matter what it is.
I am so glad that 2013 is gone, and I am determined to make 2014 a better year by staying positive and letting go of trivial things. I’m crying a bit while I write this since last year was difficult, but if it helps someone, even just one person, then it’s all worth it to me even if it’s uncomfortable. Thank you everyone for your support of The Fit Cookie, too. It has been wonderful writing, baking, and helping people 🙂