Chronically ill the road to acceptance

Chronically ill; the road to acceptance

I am in bed. It is dark and I check my email before I go to sleep. I receive an e-mail about an activity in which I would very much like to participate.

I do not hesitate and press reply immediately.

I am going to register. Then I realize I have rheumatism. That I have those activity with no way go save.

That it will only be a big disappointment. I delete the mail I started, put my phone away and go to sleep disappointed.

The road to acceptance is a long one.

Chronically ill; the road to acceptance

I thought I was over it. That I had accepted by now that I can’t always do everything. I thought I had let go of wanting to be healthy.

After all, holding on to things that are not there and not going to come is only frustrating. It was quite a slap in the face for a while when I noticed that I am still experiencing so much anger and frustration regarding my health.

Mourning process

A friend once told me that I have to go through a kind of mourning process. I have to say goodbye to the healthy version of myself and accept that there is another version now. That doesn’t necessarily mean I have to go through a deep valley and just be sad.

For that is absolutely not the case. However, I do notice that I still find it very difficult to accept that I have to do things differently.

Rheumatism doesn’t mean that I can’t do anything anymore, but that I sometimes have to think a little more in a different way. The latter I can do in theory but in practice it is sometimes a bit disappointing.


So you could read that I wanted to respond very enthusiastically to an email until I realized it would end in disappointment. I know that I cannot cope physically because I have too many inflammations. I could also choose to put this into perspective and think that my time will come.

I can certainly think this but I cannot feel it.

My thoughts still influence my feelings too much. The rheumatism affects certain choices and I find that very disappointing.


Again, here comes the piece of acceptance that I just really struggle with. I have long since accepted that I am chronically ill. I deal with it and don’t know any better.

I still cannot accept the fact that I cannot optimally practice my sport, horseback riding, for example. Not the way I would like it anyway.

In that sense I probably set the bar too high. I would also like to start running again because it gives me energy and condition. This is only not possible now because of the inflammations in my feet.

On the other hand, I cannot complain because at least I still ride my horse and I can take care of my family. So what have I got to complain about??

Does anyone recognize this? The road to acceptance of your (chronic) illness?

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