Chronic illness

How Chronic Illness Has Changed Me & Why I’m Ok With It, Kind Of

Finding out i had a chronic illness, was a huge adjustment to me. My life changed almost overnight. I went from a fun loving girl who enjoyed nights out with friends, days out into the city with David to a hermit like version of myself who wouldn’t go on day trips because I didn’t know how long it would take me to get sore and tired and want to come. I stopped going out with friends for similar reasons. It has taken some time to come to terms with my life changing because of illness and I’m okay with it, kind of.

Pre Chronic Illness

When I think back on my life pre chronic illness it was a lot different to what it’s like now. I worked full time as in the NHS. I was a lot more sociable, going out with friends, going to concerts and as I mentioned earlier going into the city with David. We would make a day of it. We would go shopping, grab a meal and have a cocktail or two.

Post Chronic Illness

After the symptoms of my illness started to manifest in 2009 the face I saw in the mirror daily began to change. I no longer looked like me, well I did look like but my face was puffer, showing signs of exhaustion, my eyes didn’t sparkle as they used to. It felt like a light inside me had gone out.

From the outside people wouldn’t know that there was anything wrong with me and that i was going through such a drastic change. They saw the old me minus the enthusiasm I had before. A lot of people didn’t understand what was happening and a few questioned whether I was really ill or not.

I lost a few friends during the process of my symptoms starting and my diagnosis a few years later. It’s a cliche but you do truly find out who your real friends are during tough times.

What if?

That right there is the 65 million dollar question. What if I had gotten ill? What if there was a cure? What if. I can spend an eternity asking countless what if questions.

Of course if I hadn’t become ill our lives would be completely different. We might have had alex sooner, we might have bought a home instead of living in a council flat. We might have been able to go on foreign holidays every year, we might have a newer car, all the mod cons. But there is really no point in dwelling on the what ifs. We have to focus on the here and now.

Am I Ok With It? Kind Of

I guess in a way I can say that become chronically ill has forced me to reprioritise my life being the party girl wasn’t important anymore. Trying to figure out my illness and listen to my body was what was important. Survival was what I needed to do. Some might see that last statement as being a little over dramatic, because my illness won’t kill me, but when you are living with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia you are trying to come to terms with your illness, realise that you abilities might be limited in some way, but ultimately you are trying to survive. You try to get through the day without showing your in pain or that your no long as strong as you were before. You fighting to keep away the demons that are constantly trying to belittle you at every turn.

its taken me a long time and a lot of soul searching but I have come to terms with the fact that I have a chronic illness. I didn’t choose this life I have, I didn’t do anything bad to deserve this illness. All I can do is move on with the life I do have and make the most of it. Of course there are days where I wallow in self pity and question why I have fibromyalgia but ultimately there is nothing I can do about that. Fibromyalgia may have changed my life but whose to say that if I hadn’t become ill I’d have alex or Alba for that matter. Life works in mysterious way and you’ve got to roll with it. I might not have been able to spend as much time with Alex as I do and that’s what makes me ok with being chronically ill. Raising a child when you suffer an illness is tough but I’m on with that.

How has illness changed you?


  • notebooksandglasses

    Hi Nicola. Great post. I have found that my chronic pain has changed me too: I like to be in control of things. I find that my pain often takes over and that feeling of not being in control is quite challenging. When I am in control then things are much easier. This doesn’t just relate to my pain these days, it relates to most things; the inevitable way a chronic condition impacts on our lives I guess x

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