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Living with Chronic Illness: A Personal Journey!

Coming to Terms with a New Reality!

Life is unpredictable. We all have our plans, dreams, and aspirations. But sometimes, life throws a curveball that puts everything to a halt. Imagine having to leave the career you love, the life you have built because of chronic illnesses. That's the reality I'm dealing with now, having been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), fibromyalgia, lupus/Sjogren's syndrome, global osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and auto-immune thyroid. I am an overachiever obviously.

I had a fulfilling career in policing and was part of the Canadian Forces Reserves for decades, but the debilitating symptoms of my illnesses forced me to retire early. The transition was tough. I grieved for the life I had, for the things I could no longer do. I still feel grief. I miss being truly active and able, feeling well, and not having to worry about energy conservation.

Now, even simple tasks like showering, cooking, or going grocery shopping feel like massive tasks. Every day is a constant battle, not just with my physical health but also with the guilt I feel for not being able to care for my family like I used to. The constant tiredness, pain, and inability to engage in certain activities and tasks are a constant reminder of the life I had before. I am working towards finding my new purpose in life, and learning how to function and adapt to my body's abilities and needs. I am always working on adjusting and finding joy.

The Power of Writing: A Healing Journey As I grapple with my new reality, I discovered a tool that helps me cope. It is writing. Not just any writing, but blogging. This tool gave me a platform to express my thoughts, my emotions, my struggles, and my triumphs. It became an outlet that helped me heal and accept my new life. I write to share my experiences and connect with people who can relate. The chronically ill community advocates to help people feel less isolated and alone. I do not write for sympathy or pity.

I found a community of people who advocate for each other. It's a culture that fosters empathy, understanding, and virtual support. By sharing our journeys with others we find solace in knowing we are not alone, learn tips for coping with our symptoms, and discuss lived experiences that expand our knowledge.

So, that's my journey. From battling chronic illnesses to discovering the therapeutic power of writing. It's a journey of resilience, acceptance, and transformation. And it's a journey that continues. We are all on our own journey, and supporting one another makes us stronger!

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