What does ‘chronic’ mean?

I used to think that a chronic illness was a really bad illness. But ‘chronic’ actually means ‘ongoing‘ or ‘lasting longer than usual‘. Something like chicken pox can be difficult, but you know it will be over soon enough. Other conditions, like asthma or lupus, don’t just run their course and go away – they are lasting chronic conditions.

Chronic health issues make life tricky for those suffering with them, as well as for their family and friends.

Think about it: when you get flu, you can take time off work or school to recover, and people will generally understand. You will probably even get sympathy and well wishes. But what if you felt like you had flu everyday of your life? Would people still be sympathetic if you kept wanting time to recover? Most likely not. People would most probably begin to offer you advice on how you could get better. When all their advice failed, they could begin to question your state of mind: Do you need to be more positive or get treated for depression? Are you making this up? Are you being lazy? Do you need to have more faith? Their judgements can make you begin to doubt yourself, which adds to the burden of the illness itself.

If you are someone who has chronic struggles- you have my sympathy. A few of us in my family do too. Remember, people can’t always fully understand what they have no reference for. It probably took you a while to come to terms with your own condition and to learn to balance it. So for someone who hasn’t experienced the frustration of living with health problems that are outside of their control, it could take longer to understand. Some individuals in your life will take time to try and understand, which is great. Others won’t. That is where your strength of character gets tested – Can you be strong anyway, despite negative opinions about you, or feeling abandoned by some old friends moving on?

nectarine blossoms

I hope that you can love yourself despite some people’s inability to understand you.

I hope that you can accept yourself with the limitations you have no control over.

I hope that you find beauty, fulfillment, happiness, love and peace in the place where you are.

— K.

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