Coming to terms with any chronic illness is difficult. There are different stages one typically goes through during the season of accepting and adjusting to a chronic illness. By definition to cope means, “to struggle or deal, especially on fairly even terms or with some degree of success.
Coping with a chronic illness, from my experience thus far, is not a quick one time event. Rather coping is weaved into my daily life, as my illnesses toss new challenges my way. There are a number of ways that I cope with being chronically ill, the frustrations of being medically unique, and the various other set backs that come with being ill.
I have always been a crier. Generally not tears of joy though or tears from a good movie. I cry a lot sometimes. If I feel like someone is mad at me or I did something wrong, I cry. Frustrations, feeling overwhelmed, and occasionally pain cause me to break down into tears. Some medications make me weepy. Allowing yourself to have a good cry, that you pour every emotion and frustration into can help.
Creativity is a positive way to cope with chronic illness. For me this includes writing, coloring, crocheting, or working on my Facebook page. Illness stirs up a rushing river of emotions, it is essential to let them out in a positive way. Keeping in so many emotions is unhealthy and can cause flares.
Connecting with other Spoonies has been a life saver for me. If you are newly diagnosed find a support group! It will be one of the best things you can do. There are countless support groups on Facebook, forms online, and face to face ones (Which the Lupus foundation has information on). Being able to relate to someone is truly priceless. Personally it has helped me feel normal. Support groups are a wonderful place to make friends, ask questions, vent, and more. In addition to support groups, like Facebook pages that advocate for your illness(es). If you have Lupus I strongly encourage you to check out the World According to Lupus. Facebook pages have encouraged me in simple ways, educated me, and made me laugh.
Another way I cope with being chronically ill is by sharing my story. Sharing you story gives other people the courage to speak out and share theirs. Your story will inspire, encourage, give hope, and change lives.
It is a well known fact that I adore my pets, of course they help me cope with my illnesses daily. I find a lot of joy in petting them and taking care of them. Pets are wonderful for your health. My cats always know how to make me smile by doing something funny or curling up on my lap
I know some people use music to assist them in coping. Currently music and I aren’t crossing paths much due to the fact I am not suppose to sing.
Everyone copes in their own way. Personally I am always searching for new ways to cope. Give yourself time to adjust to the Spoonie life. If you are able to continue doing things you have a passion for do it. If not find other things you are passionate about. Coping is difficult and changes frequently. You will be able to cope and move forward, one step at a time.