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Chronic Illness Made Me Do It - Chronically Whole
Chronic Illness Made Me Do It

Chronic Illness Made Me Do It

October 3, 2016 | Posted in: Chronic Life

The list of words I never wished to utter is surprisingly long.


“I can’t.”


“It hurts.”


“The pain is unbearable.”


“I would honestly rather die than live another day like this.”


“I don’t understand. What did I do wrong?”


“I need more from you.”


“I think I might be losing my mind.”


“I cannot offer that to you.”


“I don’t have that to give.”




And yet, in the last six years, I have said each of these things. Chronic illness made me do it.


I have pushed people to the very end of themselves as they endeavored to care for me and then said it wasn’t enough. I needed more. I needed them to not only carry my load physically but meet me in my emotional pit as well. I have pushed myself to the very end of myself, to the end of my own strength and perseverance and then demanded I find more. Chronic illness made me do it.


I have been more honest with myself, with others than any other time in my life. When before I would have pushed, pretended to have enough to give them, in these years I have simply faced the cold hard truth of the matter, “I don’t have that to offer you.” Chronic illness made me do it.


I have rested more, been still more. I have made myself a priority because it was the only way through. When before I would have overcommitted, striving to please, in this season I have said those two words I hate: “I can’t.” Chronic illness made me do it.


I have wrestled deeply with the “truths” I held about myself deep within and uprooted the lies found there. For the first time in my life, I have valued myself for who I am, not what I can or cannot do. Chronic illness made me do it.


Chronic Illness Made Me Do It


I have fought for my voice to be heard, for my pain to matter. I have seen others and their pain with new eyes. I have found new compassion for the isolated, the overlooked, the abandoned, and the invisible. Chronic illness made me do it.


I have learned to trust my instincts; my body’s urging something is wrong. I have learned to be my own best advocate. Chronic illness made me do it.


I have pushed farther than I ever thought I could. Withstood more pain, misery, and hopelessness than I thought my lifetime would contain. Chronic illness made me do it.


I have learned to treasure every alert moment. Every second of pain-free bliss or distracted conversation has become a gift. Chronic illness made me do it.


I have seen my body with new eyes. It’s ability to fight, to press on, to hurl itself onward in spite of any obstacle no longer goes unnoticed. I no longer take my body, my health for granted. Chronic illness made me do it.


I changed. I grew. I learned. I loved more deeply.


Chronic illness made me do it.



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  1. Elizabeth
    October 3, 2016

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    Great article!

  2. Chronic Mom
    October 3, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    This is fantastic! Chronic illness has made me do many things I didn’t wish for, but it’s not all bad.

  3. Ailie Baumann
    October 3, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Hi Stacey.

    I liked your post. I could identify with a lot of what you are saying. I felt the emotions were applicable to chronic illness and other situations that people may find themselves in such as loss of a loved one, loneliness, etc.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Stacey Philpot
      October 3, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      So true Ailie, I hadn’t even considered that! (And thanks for reading!)

  4. D
    October 4, 2016

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    I too can identify with 99% of these. Having Chronic pain.. the invisible illness is a lonely depressing place, that we go to daily with forced smiles on our face. To hide the pain, and bear the burdens of life.. that only those who suffer in silent with you understand all to much. We want to do everyday normal things. We also want to speak loudly to others letting them know not just how we feel but what we feel. The problem is most of us dont and wont. Because if we do well loose them to to much to understand somthing they cant see… If only they rally looked at me. Oh well let it rest.. So I/we suffer in silence. Because Chronic pain made me do it

  5. Kami Lingren
    October 5, 2016

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    So much truth here. Love this post, Stacey. <3

  6. Kim McAlister
    October 7, 2016

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    I became chronically ill a few weeks after my 22nd birthday, about 10 days after I married the love of my life (who is still with me 30 wonderful and complicated years later). I agree with all that you have said. It has impacted every part of my life. It has made me face choices I never wanted to consider.
    I will also say that it has developed my character, made me slow down and appreciate more, changes my values, allowed me to minister to others in ways I never could have imagined.
    I hate every time I have to say, “no I can’t go with you”, to my children or husband. However, Inhave learned to value time to myself as well.
    In the first years of my illnesses, I after cried to God and told him this isn’t the life I was supposed to have. What Inhave learned is that it is the life I am supposed to have, but not the one I wanted to expected.
    What matters is the love and the relationships that I have developed and those I have helped along the way. The things I missed don’t seem quite as important now, although the babies that I lost through miscarriage due to my condition I will always long for, until I am with them in Heaven.
    God has a plan. Keep faith, love with all your heart. Tomorrow, get up and do the best you can, for as many as you can.

    • Stacey Philpot
      October 12, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      You have said it all so well, Kim@

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