5 Things I’ve Learned from My 5 Years Being Disabled

The Joyous Living: Finding Hope and Peace in Disability and Pain

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On 21 November 2019, it will be the 5 year anniversary of when my health deteriorated at an alarming rate and I was told I had Post-Viral Fatigue (after my bout of tonsillitis). Suddenly I was crawling to the kitchen to get a glass of water and not able to feel my fingers and toes. Life came to an abrupt standstill as I could no longer even make sense of the words on the page due to a blurred vision and my legs would not carry me without the aid of friends. Those were only a few of the life altering symptoms that started me down the path you find me on now.

So what have I learned these 5 years being disabled?

#1. Time is Priceless.

When I turned 30, I thought I had my whole life ahead of me to do whatever I want and whenever I wanted. Boy was a wrong because that autumn I got terribly ill and the rest is history. I’ve been on disability for the last couple years and many days I don’t even have the strength to boot up my iPad or computer or walk the dog. It’s a miracle that I get out of bed. So If there’s one thing the last 5 years has taught me it is that time is priceless. You never know when time is going to run out or if you’ll ever get an opportunity again.

Take life by the horns and soar!

#2. Who Are My True Friends.

When I first got sick, I assumed my friends would be there for me as I was for them. Sure I imagined some acquaintances would disappear due to obligations and busy schedules but I did not count on losing touch with women I considered best friends. Health is a terrible test on friendships and relationships of all sizes and shapes. Some friends will prove themselves again and again while others will wither on the vine and disappear at the times when you need them most.

I shared with you before but the story is too good not to share again. I had a friend whom I had taken with me to see some of the best ticketed shows and hardest to get in events time and time again. Suddenly when I find out that I am going to need surgery I ask for prayer (via text) and am doomed never to hear from her again. Nada. For a while I was quite bitter about it but have thankfully learned to move on. But the lesson remains – health and circumstances will serve as a true test of any friendship.

#3. What Really Matters.

It wasn’t until I was not able to even pack my own suitcase to go home after getting violently ill that I realized just how much I valued my mum. She gave up a family Thanksgiving dinner to climb on a transatlantic flight where she was stuck in the way back of economy near the toilets and didn’t even get a turkey dinner on the plane because they ran out.

It’s experiences like being diagnosed with a new chronic illness each year (or so it feels like) that make me grateful for parental support and love, friendships, food on the table, health insurance, sunshine on my face, the ability to get out of bed in the morning, and so much more!

#4. How to Savor Every Day.

Like I’ve said, many days my pain is so bad and my weakness is so dizzying that after stumbling out of bed to let the dog out and feed him I am climbing onto the couch with my heating pad and a warm glass of camomile tea for a siesta at 7 a.m. So what do I do to enjoy the day?

Days are enjoyed when I can spend a few minutes petting my dog Captain Hastings Alyosha, chat with a friend on FaceTime or via iMessage, read a book on my Kindle/iPad no matter how mindless it is, or manage to put together a blog post (even if it takes several days to put together just one post – like today’s).

However it is not the doing of a thing that makes the day a win for me. It is the feeling of contentment I reach knowing I put my best foot forward and am somehow trudging along the path God has planned for me.

For I know the plans I have for you, Joy, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

#5. What is Hope.

The Joyous Living: Hope in Times of Despair and Chronic Pain.

I have a long ways to go still before I am back to where I was 5 years ago. But you’d be amazed to know I have come to terms with the fact that there’s a chance I might never get back to where I was before. That’s a scary idea but I find comfort in knowing that there was a plan and a reason I have gone through the last 5 years and that God is with me every step of the way even when I don’t see Him or have the strength to call out. And what blessings he has surrounded me with – family, friends and the gifts of life, love, laughter, hope and more!

Prayer Requests for the Next Year

Love. I would love to one day be married and a mother. It’s a good thing I don’t have babies right now because there’d be many days I couldn’t even hold them if I tried. However, I would love to find a special man to share life with and be able to support and encourage and pray over if the Lord would bless me with such a relationship. Who says I can not still find love?

Healing. If it is God’s will, I would love to be able to walk again w/o my cane and enjoy a day without pain. But I give thanks to I have come to terms that that might never happen.

Money. I would love to make money from my blog so I am not dependent entirely on my parents and Social Security. I’ve invested some savings into a few blogging courses and tools and hope to see if there’s a way to support myself – even a little – with the blog.

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What is life like being disabled? #disabled #disability #health #positivity #blogger #thejoyousliving

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18 Comments

  1. It’s good that you get to discover your real friends and companions in life. It tests your character and your mental strength. I pray for you!

  2. Aaawww….am very sorry about what you have gone through all this time. Being told about an ailment that never seems to go away when you are in the prime of your life definitely hurts. A lot of support is needed to work through it. I am glad to know you are working things out slowly but surely.

  3. Such an inspiring and positive post when it would be so easy to become negative…yet, you are demonstrating that everything is a gift. Thank you for sharing…prayers that God’s plans bring you healing and much happiness.

  4. I’m sorry you had to go through that. You are a brave and wonderful person. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m glad you have found what’s important and that you are filling your life with positivity.

  5. I am sorry you are going through this sickness but you see how important family is, and sorry the sickness made you realize who weren’t your friends.

  6. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that’s what your typical say was like. And there’s some comfort in knowing I’m not alone in being ghosted.

    About 5 years ago I got cancer and for me, the most painful part was the friends who dropped like flies. But I made some close friends who at that time stepped up and helped out.

    I think your story confirms what I think to be true. Some people are givers and some are takers. And the takers take off if they think they might have to give.

    Inspired by your perseverance and praying for your healing.

  7. I really like the fact that you have managed to stay positive, THAT ALONE is a huge accomplishment. Keep at it, things will come to you

  8. So many true words and thoughts. I wish you all the best – blessings and love.
    When I fell ill with multiple sclerosis, my friends started with the excuses – leaving the true friends.

  9. I loved reading this Joy. It is awesome to consider that there is hope even when we sometimes need to loom at it from a different angle. I think that is so cool that you invested into the blogging business, I will pray for you with that! Love ya and can’t wait to see you soon 😊😊

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