How I Found Gratitude in Spite of Multiple Illnesses

Darla Gay avatar

by Darla Gay |

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When your list of chronic illnesses keeps getting longer, it’s hard to find things to be grateful for. It is so easy to sink into a deep depression and think that you will never be happy again. These kinds of thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Slowly but surely, I have learned to look for the joy in small things. Yes, my legs hurt today, but the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day outside. Rather than sit in the house and feel sorry for myself, I am sitting outside in the fresh air. I am grateful for the freedom to work wherever I want. 

I love, and am loved by, a wonderful man. He supports me 100 percent, no matter what. He just goes with the flow and keeps looking forward. He has stayed by my side through all the doctor visits, tests, and procedures. I have read the stories of people whose spouses left them or accused them of faking illness. I am grateful for the love and support of my husband every single day. 

My family has always been my safety net; they will always be there to catch me if I fall. Since my lupus diagnosis, they’ve called to check in with me frequently, and we try to get together for lunch on Sundays. I am grateful that they love me unconditionally.

I have a large network of doctors and nurses who keep me as healthy as possible. They know which medicines will make my life better and which ones I should avoid. If there are options, they lay out the pros and cons of each and let me make the decision. If one thing isn’t working, they usually have another one I can try. I am grateful to live in a place where I have access to so many medical professionals. 

If you are having a hard time finding joy in your life, try looking at the smallest things: a sunny day, a pretty flower. Start noticing the small things that make you happy in spite of how your body feels. It will open the door to seeing and appreciating the larger things. 

I try to start every single day by being thankful for the little things. It sets the tone for the whole day. I enjoy drinking my cup of green tea and catching up on the news. I love my dog’s morning ritual of demanding his first treat of the day. I love having breakfast with my husband and talking about the things that we both have to do that day. 

The little things really do add up. Once I started looking for things that I was grateful for, I began to see them everywhere. And eventually, all the small things added up to a life that is better than I ever dreamed. 


Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.