Okay, as you know by now, this is Invisible Illness Awareness week. I've joined forces with Bloggers Unite and Invisible Illness Week to help spread awareness about Fibromyalgia and the hosts of other chronic invisible illnesses.
So to those of you visiting for the first time from one of those sites or elsewhere, I wanted you to know my usual Tuesday ritual around here. I post a "Things I Like Tuesday" post listing at least 5 things I like. In the midst of the mundane, the negativity that usually surrounds living life chronically ill, and the otherwise dull work-week Tuesdays, I joined with my friend Monica and started posting these each week to focus on positive things.
For this week I decided to put a positive spin on being ill, naming this post "Things I Like...about My Chronic Illness".
Yes, you read that right.
1. I like the additional time this gives with those closest to me. People who aren't fully committed to you are hard to find when you're ill. They run. Fast. Blindly. Scared. And you're left with those who truly care about you. And I love to spend time with those around me who aren't afraid, who dive right in, want to learn more about what I'm dealing with, and care despite the hardships. It shows quickly who your real friends & family are.
2. I like that I've learned a lot more about pain/fatigue and invisible illnesses. Prior to this, the main one I thought about was cancer but that's so well known (generally speaking, maybe not each specific kind) and also MS because I've known people with it. But otherwise I didn't have a clue about pain issues or invisible illnesses! I've learned soooo much from this experience and am so grateful.
3. I like that I've learned more compassion. Granted, I have my moments of "what, you think YOU'RE in pain? what, you really think your fatigue is bad?! haha! try living in my body!!!" But generally-speaking I'm now more attune to the needs/issues of others and what they are going through. I'm not so quick to think automatically that people around me have it so good and if only they knew. I could be walking past someone with an invisible illness, not be aware of it, and think they have it "so good". The grass always seems greener on the other side, until we learn the reality. Now that I'm living that reality, I understand it so much more.
4. I like learning more about seeing the sunshine through the clouds. Learning not to take things for granted. Learning to love others more. Learning to rely on others more. Learning God's sovereignty in the midst of a great storm.
5. I like it because I know God meant it for me. God is using it to mold me and shape me into who He wants me to be. I want to be used for His glory, after all that is what I was created for.
No matter what the future holds, I am trusting God and am thankful for Fibromyalgia's role in my life.