Seeing the good in the face of adversity

By: Molly McCarthy

I believe that no matter what’s going on in life, there’s always #SomethingGood to be grateful for. 

I have an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome that has drastically changed my life. When I was diagnosed midway through college, I had to leave school, move home, and spend months healing. It felt like my whole life had fallen apart.

Now, four years later, I’m a college graduate, I work part time, I blog, and I live in harmony with my illness. Plus, I’ve learned a lot along the way.

I’m the first to say that I’m not always 100% positive, but I do believe there’s a lesson to be learned and something to be grateful for in every struggle we face.

Here are my tips for staying positive (even when it’s hard):

1. Keep moving forward

Chronic illness has limited my ability to do some of the things I used to love. The pain, fatigue, and other debilitating symptoms that can come with an illness make working, socializing, and traveling much more difficult.

This was devastating to realize, but once I shifted my perspective, I saw that I could find meaning and joy in new ways.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”

I may have to go a little slower and follow a different path than my healthy counterparts, but I am still moving forward with my life and following my dreams after my diagnosis. 

2. Count your blessings 

Having a health issue, it’s easy to feel like life is just hard. And while I know it’s okay to be sad sometimes, I find it powerful to remember that I have so much to be grateful for, too.

From simple things like running water and electricity to bigger things like a supportive network of friends and family and access to good healthcare, finding things to be grateful for helps put me in a more optimistic mindset.

These reminders don’t take all the pain of my illness away, but they do help me see that life is ultimately good.

3. Appreciate the lessons

It’s true what they say—you grow through what you go through!

Some of the main lessons my chronic illness has taught me are:

  • Slow down 
  • Take time to rest
  • Say no to things that drain my energy

I’m certainly not grateful for my illness, but I’ve found strength in appreciating the lessons I’ve learned and the growth my illness has spurred in me.

I know I can’t control all of the things that happen to me in life, but I can control how I react. I choose to stay optimistic and see the good in everything that I face.

Learn more about Molly and her mission to help others live more blissfully through a balance of mind, body, and soul wellness and follow her at @balancedandblissfulblog.

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