Sometimes life is hard. Actually a lot of the time life is hard. We expect life to be fair, for us all to be given the tools and the means to succeed and even exceed expectations.

But then life happens. And life is messy. After 28 years of dealing with chronic illness and mental illness, people ask me how I’m still fighting, why I don’t give up and crawl into bed. Here are ten reasons why I don’t.

  1. I have people in my corner, fighting for me. If I give up, their fight is for nothing.
  2. Life is not fair. Make the best of what you have. Play the cards you are dealt. You can either fold, or you can double down.
  3. Perspective is important. Try to step out of yourself and get some. I keep perspective by always being grateful for the good things in my life, and not focusing on the bad.
  4. I have hope. Hope that they will find the right diagnosis, the right medication, something that will help me live a more comfortable life.
  5. I don’t stop looking for answers. I research, I talk to people, I read articles. I educate myself on my conditions, my medications, and possible links to other diseases.
  6. I always get back up. It’s ok to get knocked down. It’s ok to lay on the floor and feel really bad and cry, for as long as you need to. Then I wipe my tears, I sit up, I take a deep breath and eventually I’m on my feet again. The Serenity Prayer is my friend.
  7. I have a great team. Doctors, therapists, family, friends, a wonderful loving partner, and my service dog.
  8. I am an advocate for myself. I am an advocate for other people with disabilities.
  9. I have survived everything to this point. Even the times I should have died, I survived. So I will survive this too.
  10. I know that there are bad times and good times. The bad times make me appreciate the good times. I know the bad times will come back, the flares and the pain and the ups and downs. But while the good times are here, I am going to live every day to the fullest. And when the bad days come back, I will be grateful for the good and look forward to the next good, because I know it is a cycle. It always comes back up, no matter how far down you go.

What are some of your reasons you don’t give up?

As always, Stay Mighty, fellow Warriors.

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