I’ve battled cerebral palsy my entire life. Then, when I was 17, I was diagnosed with chronic pain. And, in August of this year, I was diagnosed with anxiety. It seems that for every diagnosis I’ve received, I’ve viewed each as a thing that fits with my existing chronic illness, not as a separate illness.
But the more I learn about my anxiety, the more I learn about my health and the things that ail me. The more I’ve understood that while my cerebral palsy can cause my chronic pain, which can trigger my anxiety, they are different illnesses that require different treatment options.
When you’re a person with multiple chronic illnesses, it can be very hard to care for yourself on all levels, all the time. It can be even harder to find a doctor, or a team of doctors, who can manage your care and keep you together and functioning. This doesn’t even include the energy it takes to have a job, friends, hobbies, etc.
The point is, all of us who struggle with a chronic illness have been in your shoes at some point, and we’ve all been in a place where we felt it would never get better, or that we could never leave. And almost all of us have come out on the other side to tell you that it will get better and you will get out of the tough spot you’re in. Everything you’re going through is a bump in the road; you’re so much bigger and stronger than whatever is weighing on you right now.
You do have people who love you and care about you, and you will find someone who will love you and want to be with you. If it’s help you’re looking for, you will find it. No one knows you or your body better than you, and if you feel something is wrong, keep fighting. Keep trying. There are people who want to help you. But never give up.
If it’s a friend you’re looking for, you’ve found one in me, and I’m sure you’ve found more in readers of this column. And you’ve found even more in all of the people who are hash-tagging chronic illnesses. Those of us with chronic illnesses are a team, we are a family and we all want to know you, help you, and be a friend.
Stay true to yourself and keep your mind healthy. All good things come in good time. It isn’t too late to get help if you need it. You are valid and you are worthy. I am proud of how far you have made it. Keep moving forward.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral pals