Sometimes living with a chronic illness can feel like a constant struggle. Sarah reminds us to remember what we’re fighting for, and encourages us to continue to look for the joy in life.
All of you with chronic illnesses can understand me when I say that sometimes, the struggle is very real. Chronic illness can be so unpredictable, not just day by day, but minute by minute. You can wake up feeling like a million bucks, and end up falling asleep on the bathroom floor from puking. I’m just being honest when I say it can be hard sometimes; really hard. Over the years, I’ve gained a little experience on how to help myself deal with the struggles.
This journey I’ve been on since being diagnosed with Gastroparesis has been a whirlwind of emotions. But if I’d never typed in #Gastroparesis on Instagram, who knows what my life would be like. Because of that simple hashtag, I’ve met some of my best friends. They are always there to encourage me and to keep going when I feel like I can’t. My Gastroparesis Sisters are selfless, and they make me want to advocate not just for myself, but for them as well.
My niece was actually born around the time I first started to get sick; about a month before. I’ve always tried my best to hide my illnesses from her, but somehow it was like she always knew I was going to need her. On my bad days, my really bad days, I think of her. Over half of the memory on my phone are pictures and videos that have to do with her. She’s a hilarious kid with a very vibrant personality. Looking back on pictures and videos when I am unwell to make me laugh is one of my go to tricks.
I’m lucky to have a family and a fiancé who will always stick by me no matter how hard it gets sometimes. Their love reminds me I’m not alone, which helps me continue to fight the good fight. I still don’t have it all completely figured out; most of the time I just push through because I know there will be a tomorrow, and I don’t want to miss whatever kind of adventure tomorrow may have.
Even though Gastroparesis can be really tough, I realize every day I wake up is a blessing in itself. We’ve lost sisters who will never get that opportunity again, so enjoy each moment; even if you’re not feeling 100%. Appreciate the little things in life, because sometimes they’re what matters most. Find the comfort in things you love such as music, your favorite shows or movies. Always find things, or people who keep you going.
On bad days, it’s okay to feel like you don’t have it all figured out. It’s okay to feel frustrated but the key is to not stay in that state. If you fall down, you can always get back up. Joy and happiness can come in the littlest things if you allow it to, so I encourage you to find the little things worth living for.
Hi, I’m Sarah! 25, and have been living with Gastroparesis for 5 years now. It’s been so amazing being able to connect with so many of you. Here is a link to my personal blog: Chronically Wandering My Instagram is @sarahmegannn
What keeps you going on the bad days? Do you have a song, a quote, picture or memory you go to for a hopeful reminder? We’d love to hear about it! Email Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what keeps you going!