Sometimes, living with a chronic illness doesn’t feel like living at all. At the end of the day, you feel held hostage by your symptoms. Whether you’re experiencing them right now, or are afraid you’ll have a flare-up later, a chronic illness can be completely debilitating.
How many times are you going to be able to call in sick before your boss decides to find someone more dependable? How times can you cancel on your friends before they stop inviting you out? As tired as they are of hearing it, you’re even more tired of saying it.
However, you shouldn’t force yourself to work when you’re sick or in pain, it will only exacerbate your symptoms. It’s not your fault, you didn’t ask for this. But what can you do?
How Chronic Illness Affects Your Life
Nearly 60 percent of Americans suffer from at least one chronic illness. Unfortunately, the prevalence of one often leads to another, such as chronic pain leading to anxiety and depression. Let’s take a look at the three major areas of your life to better understand how the symptoms and unpredictable flare-ups of chronic illness affect you.
Your Work Life
Obviously, when you’re experiencing chronic disease symptoms, the last thing you want to do is go to work and be around a bunch of people in a professional environment. Depending on your chronic illness, focusing on work may be altogether impossible.
However, as mentioned above, calling in sick every time you have a flare-up may not be an option. Though the majority of Americans have a chronic disease, most don’t experience debilitating symptoms. Therefore, not everyone will be 100% empathetic to your condition.
Your Personal Life
Aside from your career, what are your goals and aspirations? Do you love the idea of travel and adventure? Do you want to accomplish an amazing physical feat such as hiking Mount Everest or running a marathon?
How does your chronic illness fit into those plans? My guess is that it often gets in the way. Dealing with a chronic illness instead of focusing on your goals, passions, or hobbies can be completely demoralizing.
Until you learn how to gain control over your symptoms, it will feel like your illness is in the driver’s seat and you’re simply along for the ride.
Your Social Life
Coping with chronic illness can be especially hard on your social life. As noted above, it may lead to depression or a loss of interest in life. The people around you will sense that shift in your energy.
You may start to lack passion and intimacy in your romantic life or have less patience with your kids. You may even give up on going out with friends entirely.
Additionally, unpredictable flare-ups and overwhelming symptoms can lead to a whirlwind of negative emotions. You may feel angry that you have to deal with the illness. You may also start to feel alone and resentful because your friends and family don’t seem to understand what you’re going through.
What To Do?
Dealing with chronic illness can sometimes be accomplished with prescribed medications and treatments. However, western medicine typically addresses the symptoms but fails to solve the root problem. Learning how to live a full life with a chronic illness starts by getting to the roots.
Why are you sick? Why do you get flare-ups? Why is your body reacting this way?
There are no simple answers to these questions. However, with the help of a trauma-informed wellness coach, you can learn how your experiences manifests into physical symptoms and illnesses. More importantly, you can learn how to manage your energy to reduce your symptoms to improve your quality of life.
Here are five steps you can learn today to start coping with your chronic illness so you can continue focusing on more important areas of your life – like friends, family, hobbies, and work.
Manage Your Energy to Successfully Accomplish Each Day
Step 1 – Listen to Your Body
Step 2 – Learn Your Symptom Triggers and Patterns
Step 3 – Stay Positive and Have Compassion for Yourself
Step 4 – Plan Ahead
Step 5 – Be an Advocate for Yourself
I created 5 Steps to Energy Management, a handy quick reference to dive a little deeper into putting each step to work for you.
Are You Ready to Work With a Wellness Coach and Take Back the Reins?
Living with a chronic illness can be more difficult for some than others. However, it’s not easy for anyone. No matter what you suffer from or what symptoms you experience, I can help.
I am a wellness coach who has lived with chronic illness. I’ve canceled dates, called into work, and been looked at like I was making it all up. I know where you’re at and what you’re going through.
Book a free 60-minute discovery session with me to start a discussion on how you can take hold of the reins in your life. We’ll talk about the issues that have brought you here, as well as how to map out a plan for success. I look forward to meeting you!.