In our book, You Don’t LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness, I wrote a chapter called ‘Joy’s Top Ten List for Living Well, Even While Sick’. These were attitudes and strategies I developed after I’d accepted that my illnesses were not going to go away. Seeking a diagnosis, finding the right doctors, and experimenting with effective treatments took a long time, but finally I got to a point where I asked the question, “I wonder if it is possible for me to live well, even if I can’t get well?” I found that it was, and these ten strategies helped me build a more satisfying life with illness.
I’ve revised and adjusted the items over the years, and over time I realized I would continue to live by these principles even if I enjoyed perfect health someday. One of my latest blogs addresses #1, Take Care of Yourself First. For the next nine blogs, I will take each of the next items and expand on what it means to me and how I’ve utilized each strategy in my life. I hope these blogs will help you build a better life with illness, and I would love to know if you have any different items on your own Top Ten List you’d like to share. Here’s my Top Ten:
Joy’s Top Ten List for Living Well, Even While Sick
4. Enroll in the School of Whatever Works.
5. Make friends with fatigue.
6. Live as a child.
7. Step out of the box.
8. Search for silver linings.
9. Find a way to share your gifts.
10. Be Still.