A Brain-Dump On New Year's With Chronic Illness

It’s hard not to get the New Year’s blues when everyone around you appears to be moving forward with life. I see my friends getting married, having babies, and living their best lives, while I almost feel stagnant.

My condition does cause a lot of doubt. I often doubt myself and my abilities. I have to give myself constant pep talks in order to have that confidence others see in me. It doesn’t come easily.

Most people don’t realize it, but not being able to trust your body, plays a big role in your ability to trust the world.

Questioning what I want to do with my life

Lately, I’ve been hyper-focused on my future and what it is I want to do with my life. I’m creeping towards my last year of being in my 20’s, and although I realize that’s still fairly young, I know it’s time to approach life with a bit more intention and less mindless wonder.

For a long time, my condition wasn’t just my excuse, but my reason for not being able to plan out my life. After all, who could plan a life they weren’t even sure they would be around for?

I was so sick, many days - months - I didn’t know if I would make it through. Now that I’m doing okay healthwise, I feel like it’s time to buckle down and make some moves.

Moving forward with chronic illness

Moving past this mental funk: There are days when I still feel the effects of Crohn’s. Whether it’s the fatigue, the pain, you name it. Mentally, there are days when I allow it to prevent me from being productive.

I don’t feel terrible, but because I started the day in a mental funk, the least bit of discomfort is enough to stay bed-bound for the day.

Planning ahead: I’ve been more serious about my future and constantly asking myself, “what is it that I want, not only in this moment but moving forward?” “What are my long-term goals as opposed to my needs in the present?” “How will what I am doing now contribute to my success in the future?”

These may seem like small steps, but for me, they’re huge. I’ve never had to walk the current reality I’m facing today. I’ve never had the chance to experience a life so healthy, while also facing the concept of aging at the same time.

Looking ahead to the future

So I’ve never sat down and thoroughly analyzed my life. At least not in preparation for the future. When I’ve looked at my life in the past, it was more of a “medical history” approach. Never a conversation on the future.

If you’re currently living through this reality, I feel for you. As much as people believe otherwise, being a millennial is actually not the easiest task in the world.

We have a lot of weight on our shoulders. We’re the ones living life differently and breaking societal norms. All while trying to learn ourselves at the same time.

Living with a chronic illness in addition to it all only makes it that much more complex.

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