Grieving with a Chronic Illness

With a chronic illness, there is no cure. It is all about treating the symptoms and learning to live life with it. It’s like an enemy you can’t get rid of. Its hard to cope with at times. For me, I was working, in college, and training for a half marathon, and one day it hit me like a truck. Within 2 days I was in the hospital. So going from constantly on the go and enjoying a normal 20 year old life to daily appointments, constantly miserable, and not being able to take care of myself alone. Its normal to have grieving stages while being sick, here are ways I grieve with having several chronic illnesses.

  • The anger phase.

Its okay to be angry, I completely understand this phase. I’ve lost a lot like my job, a lot of people in my life disappeared, and I can’t do a lot of things that truly make me happy because of my illnesses. My life consists of laying on the couch and doctors appointments. I am angry. There’s a lot of things I wish I could change. I can be mad at the world for the rest of my life or I can be mad for a few days and then pick myself up and fight to get my life back to a new normal. Its okay to have an anger phase, everyone does, but don’t stop at this phase. Keep moving and don’t give up. You deserve to have as good of a life as the next person.

  • The reminiscing phase.

Its normal to sit and think I miss the old me, or I wish I could do everything I used to be able to do. With a chronic illness, it changes your life. There are things you will never be able to do, unfortunately. Its okay to think about the past and miss it, but that’s the past. Its important to live in the present and continue to push forward to make new memories.

  • The regret stage.

When you can’t do certain things or you become chronically ill, you wish you would have accomplished way more than you have in life. It’s also common to create a bucket list to complete when you are well again. This is because when you are ill, you realize how precious life is. The regret comes from a place of not wanting to die without doing things you couldn’t do when you had the chance. Its okay to have goals but don’t have regrets. You may have circumstances but don’t forget to live life to the fullest.

  • The why me stage.

I go through this one a lot. When you are chronically ill you wonder why me? Why do I have to suffer? What did I do to deserve this? I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason. I think anyone going through a hard time has a bigger plan. I think whatever you are going through will only make you stronger. So please, don’t give up keep fighting. According to my all time favorite quote – “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.”- Ain Eineziz

  • The acceptance stage.

There comes a time when you accept your illness. I can sit here and discuss all the bad my illnesses have brought me, but there’s also the good it’s brought me. I am a stronger person, I have discovered new passions that I wouldn’t have without being ill, and I have new friends. As much as I despise my illnesses I am also grateful.

Life hands you arduous trials and at times you feel like you want to give up, please don’t. It’s okay to grieve, I did and still do. I have my grieve stages for dealing with several chronic illnesses such as: the anger phase, the reminiscing phase, the regret stage, the why me stage, and the acceptance stage. But after you grieve, pick yourself back up and fight. You deserve to live as good as a life as the next person. Remember, to keep moving forward, and don’t give up. ♡

153 thoughts on “Grieving with a Chronic Illness”

  1. Really good blog post. I can totally relate to this & I often find myself remembering the old me & can find it difficult to accept the hold that chronic illness has on me now.

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you can relate to it. I am just like you, every once and a while I get a glimpse of the old me and it’s amazing but I have learned despite being ill, I am stronger than I was. I hope things get easier for you! 🌸

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. This has really helped me. I try to analyse things and find out the root cause for some of the issues in my life and try to fix things so I don’t make the same mistakes twice, but this… This advice has helped me so much. Thank you so much. I wish you the best and I hope that you have as many good days as possible and that even when the bad days come you find a way to move forward and be even stronger and more grateful than before. You are such a positive light in a dark world and a shining star. You are truly an amazing person.

    1. Thank you so much, really your comment has really touched my heart. I am soooo glad my blog has helped you. That’s all I ever want is to help others with my continued journey. I truly hope things get easier for you. But stay positive and strong. You will get through this. You are amazing and thank you so much for truly making my week. I hope you have the best day possible🌸

      1. You’re welcome. Well you have. I’m glad that you want to do that. I can tell that you write. It’s amazing. That’s the exact reason I wrote my blog. I want to help others as well. Thank you. I will. Thank you and you’re welcome. I’m glad. Thank you so much and I hope you do as well.

          1. Thank you so much. That’s very sweet. I’m challenging myself to be more honest and open and real with people. I have for most of my life put up a front and told people I was okay when I wasn’t I’m tired of that. I want people to know that I also just like they do have bad days. Thanks again.

  3. Your words are very powerful. You have a god given talent to put your words and feelings on paper. Keep pushing forward and keep helping people with your powerful words.

  4. Your word give so much meaning to what has happen in your life and the progress of your travel’s you are going through very well PUT

  5. You have a beautiful way of reaching out to us without lecturing or being judgmental ~ Thank you for letting us into your experiences xx

    1. Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it! I’m so sorry to hear you have to deal with an autoimmune disease as well, but I admire your courage as Well! I enjoy reading your blogs they are very strongly worded! Can’t wait to see what’s next! 😊

  6. Grief is a sneaky little rascal, sending us in one emotional direction or another seemingly without warning. It’s crazy how it comes in waves too. Your wisdom speaks volumes about how far you’ve traveled and also healed. Wishing you didn’t have to go through this, but thank you for sharing your journey because it’s always comforting to know us chronic illness sufferers aren’t alone. Hoping your day is best as can be🌸

    1. It definitely is tricky! Unfortunately it shows up when you least expect it! Thank you so much, that means a lot! I wish no one had to go through it,but you’re exactly right, it shows we aren’t alone 💪I hope you have a fabulous day🌸

  7. Hi. Thanks for following my page. I really enjoyed reading this. Very inspirational. I like how you’re talking about your own experiences with this chronic illness you have. You say your ups and downs with it, and you talk about it in a totally positive way. This was incredible. I was diagnosed with autism and I always thought it was a bad thing, but I’ve learnt that it’s not a disease or a curse. We’re normal but we just see things differently and if we surround ourselves with good people, we invite them into our world and let them see the world in our eyes!

    Beautiful read again Xx

    1. It’s not a problem! Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it! I try to stay positive through my journey. And you’re exactly right autism is not a curse at all, just means you see things in an intelligent way most don’t. I love how you handle this and I think that shows how great of a Person you are! 🌸

  8. Reblogged this on aBodyofHope and commented:
    This 20-year-old blogger and survivor of multiple chronic illnesses describes her grief process. You may be surprised to see that even on a somber topic like mourning loss of health, she writes from a outlook of gratitude for her life, and she shares why she chooses her approach.
    If you like this post, check out the article she wrote last week- it will give you a boost of inspiration!

      1. You’re welcome! I love reading your heartfelt, honest pieces. That’s what we all connect to is the heart, and you are great at expressing yours 💜

  9. I have so many diagnoses I’ve stopped counting. I have learned however when my life crashed and burned around me that the only way I was going to get well is to help myself. I’m basically disgusted with medicine and have worked very hard to address every “wrong” aspect with a healthy counter-aspect. I do not quit. I do not feel sorry for me. And I do everything I possibly can to stay strong and centered. You have youth on your side. if I were you I would seriously look into diet and learn what to eat and what not to eat. That in of itself makes a huge difference. I wish you all the very best!!! 🌹

    1. I’m sorry to hear you have chronic illnesses as well. I completely agree with you. I do have a dietician and I am on an all natural gluten free and dairy free diet, I’m very careful with what I eat because I truly believe food is medicine. Thank you for your feedback! I hope for all the best for you! 🌸

      1. Sugar is another culprit. I know changing your diet is tough but when you do and start to feel better it is so worth it. And then when you eat something you have cut out of your diet you feel terrible and ask how in the heck did I eat this for so long? Good for you attending to diet!!!

          1. My diet is pretty basic and to many boring, yet since my severe back injury in 1993 I believe I am the strongest now I’ve ever been and it is mostly because I have been eating so good and supplementing as well. Water is a biggee. NO tap water! Ours is so hard plus it is shocking I can actually smell the “bleach smell” that comes from our tap. I drink Spring water only and only a specific brand. The more I learn about diet the better I feel!!! 🙂 I also cannot stress regular exercise enough even when you are hurting. I have other problems other then my back and if I don’t keep on moving, I have severe cramps, spasms, stiffness and deep aches. And oh yes the fatigue. Yep that too. I don’t talk much about my physical ailments much because I do not focus on them much. The more I embrace Beauty and Health the better my Life becomes! <3

  10. An insightful post, Mackenzie. Grief comes in waves, doesn’t it? And it’s all so hard, even though it’s a normal response to illness and the changes it brings. Hopefully on the other side of grief are new opportunities for a joyous life. Keep smiling.

  11. What a well written article. Your description of going from doing to not doing is exactly how it hit me. I’m going to share this article with others because so many people I know have chronic illness. God bless you and thank you for writing this. Cherokee Billie

  12. Thanks for your feelings written so well in an analytical mode. I get solace and comfort from your words as am also coping with life with a lost job, chronic insomnia and bipolarity. You have written with so much dedication and care. Anand Bose from Kerala

  13. You have a wonderful blog. And I love this post. My wife had a blood cancer, and for years had serious health problems before and after the diagnosis. So in a way this hits home for me. I was her care giver when needed. She had a bone marrow transplant, and that also was tough. She is doing fine now, but I still relive it all too much, and worry with every head cold she gets.
    Peace to you and blessings. I love the staying positive parts here.

    1. Wow, thank you so much. I am so sorry you and your wife had to go through that. But your rough journey has lead to a destination of peace and strength. I don’t blame you for still reliving it, because what you and your wife went through is traumatizing. I wish for peace and comfort for you both. Thank you for the kind words, and sharing your story.

  14. Thank you for the post. I relate to the cycle and the more aware I am of it the less likely I am to get stuck in one of the phases. I especially appreciate your choice to focus on gratitude. I will be following you. Keep speaking out. I believe your words are helping others.

    Thanks for visiting my site. I hope my poems spoke to you.

    1. Thank you so much, I hope you can get through those cycles. I really appreciate it, I try to look on the positive side during dark times to help others. I love reading your poems, you have a way with words!

  15. Mackenzie,
    This is a great blog post, and I don’t think most of us living with chronic illnesses take the time to truly grieve our losses. When we lose the ability to do something or participate in an activity, we just say, “Ok, I guess I’ll find something else to do in its place,” or “Oh boy, one more thing I have to scratch off the list.” But we don’t grieve, and if we do, it’s really hard to share that with anyone. For me, I take most of my grief to God, and my frustration and anger too, as I know He can handle and He already knows it! I saw that you liked some of my blog posts on chronic illness, and I really appreciate your taking what little energy you have to read them. I write them to encourage people just like you, and your feedback is an encouragement to me! Mackenzie, I will pray that God gives you the strength to enjoy life and even surprise you some days with little miracles that you don’t expect!

    1. Thank you so much! You’re exactly right some don’t grieve but if we do its very difficult to discuss to anyone. I have that problem but writing is my outlet to discuss it. I really enjoy your blogs and they are definitely encouraging! Thank you so much, I pray that you have peace and strength through the tough days!

  16. Very interesting! So very true. I too have several chronic illnesses that are limiting. I see you never mentioned your illness and it doesn’t really matter what it is, it holds you back from living a good life.

    When I was 11 I was diagnosed with epilepsy. A couple more chronic illnesses followed in my 30’s. It is not easy to deal with the illnesses but there is very little choice. The worst are the side effects from powerful meds. These meds can actually warp a personality.

    You are doing awesome although I know you don’t think you are…The more positive you are, the better the outcome. Laugh at yourself when you can…


    1. Wow, thank you so much. I’m sorry to hear you have life limiting illnesses as well. I have several chronic illnesses and they have tried several medications and they just aren’t working, so I know exactly what you mean with personality warping medications. They take a huge toll on you, your body, and your moods. Thank you, I appreciate the kind words, at times it’s easy to feel like since my body is failing me, then I’m failing me. But you’re right we just don’t give ourselves enough credit. You’re doing great too. Best wishes!

      1. Thank you for the kind words. We do well for our conditions. I am not dying although at times it sure feels like I got the bum end of the stick. No matter how you look at it….our illnesses have made us more tolerant and understanding of others. I finally went to college when I dropped enough meds so I could think straight. I became a suicide counselor and a counselor in a Men’s Shelter and Halfway House. So my battles with my health helped me understand others stuck in a situation.
        I want no pity or peeps feeling sorry for me.

        When you feel down, get in touch with me…bet I’ve been in the same spot and felt the same way.

        Your friend,


        1. You’re exactly right, we could list the negatives but there are positives to chronic illnesses too. I have more strength than I knew i had. Thats amazing that you’re a suicide counsellor, that’s a career that doesn’t get enough recognition. And thank you, if you’re ever down due to your illness, you can always message me! Best wishes!

  17. So well put, any chronic illness, whether “mental” or “physical” (actually they’re all physical!!!) comes with anger, grief, wishfullness and these continue even through acceptance. I’m trying to reclaim my life back from bipolar 1 disorder. I wish us all luck, perseverance, and strength. Keep writing!

      1. Thank you! I’ve been to hell and back so many times, I’ve literally lost count… I hope you don’t, but I think you know of what I Speak. Well both be strong, we have no other choice! Hugs and positive thoughts for you. 🤗🤗🤗

  18. I believe we are meant to follow certain paths, life is not easy at the best of times and I applaud you for your strength of character. To be able to pass on positivity to others is such a gift. You are human and are suffering too and I send healing thoughts your way 🌹

    1. I absolutely agree! And thank you so much, your so sweet! I applaud your strength too! They will figure out your illness, just don’t stop fighting! I send peace and healing your way as Well! Thank you for everything😊

  19. You and I both have autoimmune illnesses. Although my are different than yours, what we go through after the diagnosis is the same. I share mine on my “About” page. Sweet Blessings through your journey and all that it entails! Much Love, Deborah

  20. Hello Mackenzie, thank you for visiting my blog today. I so much appreciate your little visit. I have read about you and you have made me learned about a new illness that I never thought about and I never heard of it. I feel sorry and sad that such a young and beautiful girl is suffering with this and my prayers, thoughts and love goes out to everyone who are suffering with this illness. I am glad that you made new friends after your old friends left. You see life is a journey, but at some crossroads, people stepped out, they divert, and they seek a new horizons, some returns, and some don’t. But it is ok, because you will continue to meet nicer people on the way who will understand you. I am a mother to a 22 year old young lady. You are young and trust me, don’t allow your illness to troubles you, live your sweet young life like there is no tomorrow. don’t worry about tomorrow, worry about today only, and leave yesterday alone. I am glad you stopped by. I hope our communication will blossom and trust me you will gain lots of people in the blogging world who will be there to read, understand and listen to you. I am so glad we met. Take care of yourself, and plan a good Christmas.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad you got to learn about chronic illnesses because that’s my goal to be able to help others who are going through the same thing and spread awareness to those who aren’t! I think our communication will definetely blossom! You’ll hear from me again, Because you have a great website! Thank you again, best wishes!

      1. Thank you Mackenzie. I am glad and happy I met you. We will surely chat here and listen to each other. Blogging is great! we are here to understand what you are going through. It not about our happiness, it is about meeting people like you and making you happy too. Keep smiling!

  21. Good mornin,
    I prayed for you this mornin. And I don’t know if you’re born again or not. But I also want to encourage you to seek the Lord while He may be found.
    Blessings to you.

  22. Your words strike a chord in my heart. I have endometriosis and it’s debated by doctors if it’s autoimmune or not – either way there’s no sure cure. They say it comes and goes, kind of like cancer. Mine is in remission right now but I suffered with excruciating pain for about 10 years – and it may return. I think the worst pain is when doctors say it is all in your brain. My surgical diagnosis was the best news for me during that time. So I knew I wasn’t crazy.
    ❤️ Keep writing and going and being passionate about helping!!!!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your journey. I know exactly what you mean when you said Drs think it’s all in your head, I’ve heard that a few times. Irs extremely hard to hear and makes you feel crazy. I’m so happy to hear you are in remission, and I hope you stay in remission! Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story! Keep fighting and best wishes for you ❤

  23. I love, love, love your post: “Grieving With A Chronic Illness.” It is so important for people know that it is okay to grieve. Sharing your experiences of living with a chronic illness certainly will help others who have a chronic illness as well as those who are well. Excellent post, and keep up the great, great work.

  24. When we’re in pain, it’s so lonely. Because all you can do is be alone with your body and your emotions, feeling crummy. I’m frequently stuck in the ‘Why me?’ phase. It’s inspiring to read your process of working through the pain.

  25. OMG, this brought tears to my eyes, I never knew anyone else went through this. I went through all these stages (and at times still do), I can joke about conditions now and joke too that I should be a comedian because all the material I have is built in, but still at times, those stages hit me, nowhere near as hard as the first time I went through them, but rough enough and I always have to work through them and remind myself of what I still have that still gives me a good life.

    1. Wow, thank you so much! Your comment is exactly why I started my blog, to raise awareness to those who don’t know about chronic illnesses and help others who are going through it. You’re right sometimes when you get to a certain point you can joke about certain parts of it. Unfortunately I’ve gone through the cycle several times. I wish the best of luck and blessings to you!

      1. Thanks heaps. It has been a hard journey, like you, I was a very active person, and the final straw was when my legs blew up (to the size they are now, [which I’ve written a recent poem about, “Like a sore thumb”], I went from being extremely active to not doing anything and being a prisoner in my own body.. so yes, have gone through those cycles several times… but up until now, thought it was just me going through all the emotions

          1. You’re not alone at all! If you ever need to talk to someone about your illness with someone who understands please feel free to contact me on here!

  26. Mackenzie, thanks a lot for stopping my blog and liking the posts. And a much bigger thank for directing me to your posts in the process. I am mother of sons older than you . You are a strong girl and my heart filled with love and appreciation while reading your words. You are right dear, grieving is right but to stay on that phase is not right. My prayers and good wishes to you. Go on spreading sunshine, girl.

  27. I’m sorry about your having to deal with chronic illness. Your experience and encouragement can only help others in a similar situation. Thanks for stopping by and liking some posts. Take care, K.

  28. My grandma had a poem hanging in the hallway of her house that said: “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” I don’t know where the verse came from, but it has always stuck with me. When we focus too much attention on our negative feelings, they sure can get the best of us. I am glad there are people like you who remind us to feel our feelings, but then shake it off. Focusing on the positive-and being grateful for what we have-is truly the way to peace. 🙂 Keep writing, you are having an impact, I can tell from the comments.

    1. I love that poem, its absolutely true! And thank you, I try to promote that it’s okay to break down, everyone has those days, but you need to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Thank you so much!!!

  29. Mackenzie dear, I am a immature soul and often cry for small and silly reasons. When I read the account of brave people like you, I feel ashamed.
    God is with you Mackenzie.

  30. Your experience was so articulately put.
    It bought tears to my eyes.
    My father was in bed for 10 l ong

  31. Grief is definitely a process, and one that I think you can go back and forth between the different stages on. I do think it’s important to acknowledge how you feel about it all rather than try to swallow it down or put on a brave face all of the time because it builds up and does you no good in the long run (talking from experience). I think I need to spend a little more time working through the loss I feel, as it’s a key part of acceptance and better management without such high levels of guilt or frustration. Fantastic post!!

    1. It is absolutely a process. Unfortunately it comes in cycles, where I still go through them. You’re absolutely right, it’s a key part of acceptance. I hope you get to a sense of peace towards your journey instead of pain. Thank you so much!! Best wishes!!

  32. This is really excellent. My wife went through much of this. I think care givers can grieve too. I did.

  33. Hey, I have nominated you for the Mystery Blogger award 🙂 check out my post which I’ve tagged your blog in at
    Write a post about the award on your blog so we can find out more about you 😃
    God bless
    Tasha M, @PainWarriorCode

  34. Thank you for liking my work and I’m glad you found it. Reading about you, this post in particular hit home because my sister has Raynaud’s and scleroderma and this is her third year. Her life changed drastically within the first few months of the symptoms before diagnosis and even now it’s not great. So I’m proud of you that you are keeping strong because it can’t be easy. Glad you have people around you too. Take care and thank you for sharing x

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