We’ve been writing and talking about blessings in the midst of illness. And by the positive, I’m not just referring to the “silver lining” but the substantially good things we’ve experience since we’ve become ill (or because of it.) {gasp}

Sarah at Dead Men Don’t Snore confirms the bitter truth we all know (and perhaps try to ignore.) Having any illness is hard. Add chronic, add young adulthood, add debilitating, add misunderstood, and you get a very difficult experience. It sucks, majorly. There’s no way around it, folks.

Arielle at Dear Little Disease confirms that having ME/CFS is really not that fun. Yes, she’s adopted a cat. And, true, she now has a “valid” excuse for riding her skateboard around the house(!!) but I think if she had a choice, she would run for the hills when ME/CFS came up as an add-on to life.

Despite the devastation ME/CFS causes, the consensus is clear: we as the ill have learned to value life in a new way and our hearts have been broadened.

Lydia at A Path through the Valley writes that she’s learned that there’s a value in living. Just being is an accomplishment, and something to be treasured (sick or not). Furthermore, she’s discovered “telling the truth about suffering breaks down barriers”.

Barry writes that in addition to drawing closer to God and finding new hobbies (me too!!), his heart and mind has been broadened.

Charlotte at Info Freak agrees that somehow being sick has made her a nicer person. She writes, “It seems an odd thing to admit as I wasn’t particularly terrible before, yet I have noticed I am definitely a lot nicer these days. I have more compassion for my fellow humans having experienced some pretty low times at the start of my illness and now try not to judge others as I realise we all have our own particular trials to go through.” In fact, she admits that she’s more forgiving toward her husband and more flexible about the way things have to be.

Lastly, Tricia comforts Sarah that frustration by the difficult of life with a chronic illness means “you still have a lust for life and if you still have that then you haven’t given up”. I like it Tricia!! Having a “lust for life” is important, no matter what the cause. And that’s what Lydia means when she said that she’s discovered a new perspective on life.


I would definitely, without hesitation, run for the hills if given a choice between having ME/CFS and not having it. This conversation is far from over, but it’s definitely helped me consider illness from a different angle.

For all those people who say that a “positive attitude” is all you need for healing, that doesn’t mean that you just wish the illness away. It doesn’t mean that a “negative attitude” results in physical pain. A positive attitude doesn’t mean that you let go of hope for a cure or for understanding from the world around you.

It does mean that you’ve come to terms with the concept that a bad situation can make you a better person. It means that you’ve decided that you don’t have to fully comprehend something in order for it to be real. It means that you’re not afraid of the truth, you’re not afraid of the world’s scorn, and you’re not afraid of the difficult.

Abigail Cashelle

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