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Realistic Gratitude for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Chronic illness and sincere gratitude, hmm, not so easy. We all know the “right” things we “should” say and think to show we are above the circumstances, but dang!! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I don’t want to simply say the “right” things, I want to be realistic and have gratitude with sincerity. It sounds like a tall order but I can do it…

Realistic, Sincerity, Thankfulness

I can easily come up with the right words, but if they are not sincerely in my heart, they are words filled with hypocritical air. So let’s see if I can do this…

  1. Realistically, chronic illness is tough.
  2. Sincerely, it has been the tough stuff that has helped me see strength in myself I never knew I had.
  3. Thankful for me, just the way I am. For my frailty and my strengths at the same time.

Okay, that was honest. What else…

  1. Realistically, the isolation during illness has been lonely and heartbreaking.
  2. Sincerely, it has weeded out the nonsense. That FINALLY makes me laugh instead of cry. Done with the fake meaningless relationships. Had this not happened, I never would have made the choices to remove the nonsense from my life.
  3. Thankful for the few who have risen above naysayers. Thankful for the few who have remained faithful to me. Thankful for the room in my heart for new healthy relationships that are meaningful.

Honesty is fun. What else…

  1. Realistically, there are still illness issues that I have to deal with, be brave and persevere through.
  2. Sincerely, there are so few issues left that I just simply need to keep my big-girl-panties on and keep taking baby steps.
  3. Thankful that the steps are more clear than they used to be. Thankful that my knowledge has increased exponentially so I am secure in knowing what to do next. Thankful that I have the resources I need for this journey. Thankful beyond words that my faith has kept hope in sight at all times. Okay, let’s keep this honest. MOST of the time hope has remained in clear sight.

On a roll…

  1. Realistically, people will not understand unless they have been-there-done-that. When I choose to be realistic, there is no way a healthy person can begin to understand the life and struggles of someone with chronic illness. How could they???
  2. Sincerely, I would never wish chronic illness on anyone, so I really don’t want them to be able to understand.
  3. Grateful that there are ways out of chronic illness. Grateful that there are people who have proven this to be factual. Grateful for all the people who have told their stories so that I knew it was possible. Grateful for all the like-minded people now in my life.


I like this. I can be realistic about what this is really like. I have no need to sugar-coat it for anyone else’s sake. Chronic illness is tough stuff, on every level.

I like that when I am completely sincere, this supposedly “negative” experience of being chronically ill, has actually benefited me, in many ways. Each baby step has come with tremendous work and intentional progression but it has been for my good, not for my destruction.

I like that I can be thankful for the outcomes even though it has been nothing that I expected out of life. Not even close. Get out of my way expectations!! I have something even greater to experience. Tremendous gratitude for what is real, for what is truly important.

I am grateful that through my illness and recovery, through becoming a health coach, through the trials tribulations and triumphs, I have met all of you. It has been a delight to get to know so many wonderful people who not only have chronic illness but have spirit and spunk!!

No two people will go through this experience in the same manner. We all learn at different speeds and at different levels. We believe in different things. We are meant to be different, to find our unique selves through the tough stuff. And to come back together in our common bond of being human on planet Earth. We breathe the same air and live off of the same Earth’s resources. We are connected.

I am thankful that you are exactly like you are. I am grateful for each one of you and all who reach out and share. What an adventure chronic illness is! May all of you be blessed on Thanksgiving and see treasures in your friends and family this year. HINT — being realistic about gratitude includes accepting that NOT all family and friends will feel warm and fuzzy this Thanksgiving as we celebrate being alive. It’s all okay!!!


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