Not better, just different – Chronic Illness Challenge, Day 18. 

Today’s entry will probably be rather short and I’m not totally convinced that it will make sense. I’ve got what I describe as a “medication hangover” side effects from strong meds I had to take overnight and not as strong meds I have had to take during the day today. 

Do you think you have become a better person for being ill? Explain. 

Better, I don’t think so, although I’ll never really be sure about that will I? Different? Definitely. The way I think about myself, others and the world has totally changed since I became sick. 

I’ve always been quite a compassionate person, always wanting to help people, worried about upsetting or annoying people. I’m quite empathic by nature and often take on other people’s problems as my own. Both of these qualities have always been there, hence going into professions and jobs where I can directly help people. They have become more pronounced since I became sick, my ability to utilise them has also changed. 

I feel more for people who are struggling because I struggle, I understand what it’s like to be disabled because I am disabled, I know what it is like to struggle with anxiety and depression because of my mental health problems. My ability to empathise and sympathise has grown experientially over the past decade. Unfortunately my ability to actively help has declined at the same rate over the same time. Although I still do my best to help in every way I can. 

I am definitely a different person, I have an in depth understanding of things I never thought I would have experience of, things that I never wanted to have experience with. But nonetheless it has changed my view on life. I appreciate the small, tiny things in every day. Things that I never did before, things that I don’t think I even saw before. I look for the positives in every situation, I focus on the good bits and try to be optimistic. Previously I was a complete pessimist, although not an optimist I now really try to look for the good in all situations. 

So better person, probably not. More compassionate and understanding maybe. Less pessimistic definitely, an optimist absolutely not! More appreciative yes, more able no. Not better. Just different. So different. But I am happy with my lot. 

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