Since being ill I’ve learned to appreciate every little thing in my life. And by little thing, I mean even the tiny things. On bad days, the days where I struggle to get myself out of bed, need help washing and dressing, struggle to hold a cup of drink etcetera, there is always something I can be grateful for. Be it my parents helping me, the glimpse of blue sky out the window, or even just the knowledge that with rest and time things should become easier again.

On better days I’m grateful I can wash and dress myself, make a single cup of tea using a hot water dispenser, read a little bit of book and other things.

And on those good days, I’m grateful for managing the bigger things like seeing a friend, going out shopping (albeit in my wheelchair), or even a trip to the coast for the day.

These are things I would never have fully appreciated before I got ill. Many of them I would have taken for granted every single day. I’d probably have been grateful for the bigger things, although I wouldn’t have been grateful for going out shopping in a wheelchair, in fact unless there was something special about that shopping trip I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice of what I was doing that day, or appreciate it.

There’s not many ways in which being ill has made my life better; the endless fatigue, pain, list of symptoms, medical appointments, benefits claims, and the list goes on, none of that makes life easy. That’s not to say I’m not grateful for the medical support or the benefits I receive; I am immensely grateful for them. It’s just the process, and energy it takes to fill out forms, attend appointments etcetera, all eats into that precious little energy supply I have for everyday tasks and things I enjoy doing.

However being able to be grateful for all the little things, and appreciating them is something that I feel has made my life better since becoming sick. It doesn’t change any of the other stuff, but it does make coping with it all that little bit easier. And in turn makes me feel a little bit happier about the life I am managing to lead; it may not be the life I imagined I’d be living, it may not be the life anyone would choose for themselves, but it is the life I’ve been given and I’m going to choose to make the most of it, appreciating the things often forgotten in everyday life.

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