How a Chronic Illness Forces you to Grow up too Quickly

A chronic illness brings darkness to your life. It brings a cloud of sorrow over you, and everyone around you. A Chronic illness changes your life. You have to learn how to shift your life, to fit this troubling illness into your schedule. Here’s how a chronic illness forces you to grow up too early.

  • You see the world differently.

Before, you see the world as a safe and innocent place. When you are young you believe the world is a fairy tale, and the world is full of beautiful light with no problems. After you become ill, you realize there are others who are ill, and there are bad things going on in this world. You discover the outrageous amounts of children, and teens who suffer from chronic illnesses. There is people who have suffered for 50 years, and continue to. There’s parents who pray every night for their child to survive, and have a normal life again. It’s like your blinders come off, and you lose your innocence. Yes, there is hurt in this world but after you see the bad, you have to force yourself to find the good again. You see the world differently when you become ill, and all you want to do is save it. You learn there is a lot you can do to help make a difference in the world.

  • You realize you’re not going to live forever.

You think that you are invincible. You could do anything and you would be okay. You hear stories of bad things happening to other people, but at a young age you won’t believe it could happen to you. When it does, you become a lot more compassionate towards others. You know what they are going through, and you become way more sympathetic after going through a chronic illness. You learn you won’t live forever, so you live life to the fullest. You don’t take any day for granted. You learn to love the little things in life.

  • Your life has to shift for a chronic illness.

There are several with a chronic illness, who are unable to work or go to school. Being forced to drop your dream job, or school is the hardest thing to do. You begin to wonder why you have to give up something you love so much. You have to grow up early to realize when your body comes first. It’s difficult to put your health first, but there may be a point where you have to put your body ahead of your career. I unfortunately had to put college on temporary hold, due to my chronic illnesses. I was devastated. While my peers were able to live out their college fun, attend parties, and go to football games I had to put that on hold. While they were having fun I was in and out of the hospital, doing countless amounts of tests, doctors appointments, and constantly driving out of state to a clinic. I had to grow up fast. But growing up quickly matures you. Instead of focusing on partying, you focus on getting your future, and also your health figured out. You learn the important things in life.

Even though, we had to grow up quickly due to chronic illnesses, we can’t discredit the outlook on life we have been given. We are grateful for the time we have, with friends and family, and we are thankful for the little things in life. The mindset I have received through my illness journey is one I probably wouldn’t have had, if it weren’t for getting sick. Live every day like it’s your last. Be positive through every journey you are presented with, and never give up.♡

31 thoughts on “How a Chronic Illness Forces you to Grow up too Quickly”

  1. Amazing post Mackenzie! Sadly this is all so incredibly true. The crazy thing is, even though we are battling a chronic illness or illnesses, we still keep pushing forward no matter how hard it is. It does change outlooks on life because we are forced to fight a battle we may not win. If there were just more cures out there for the illnesses we struggle with. Even though I know you struggle with illnesses, you are always so positive and share that positivity with everyone else! Thank you for always being amazing and strong!!!

  2. So glad you have a positive outlook with being so sick. A lot of people give up on life when this happens. Be strong and take care. I will pray for you.

      1. Pleasure 😊
        I honestly related to every single thing you mentioned in this post. Especially the part of living life, parents praying for their child’s survival.. well, basically everything 😂.
        It was a refreshing read too.

        Ok I talk too much 😅🙈

  3. You say: “Even though, we had to grow up quickly due to chronic illnesses, we can’t discredit the outlook on life we have been given.” These are very honest words that are so very, very true.

    Bless you.

  4. Bless you Mackenzie! You are an inspiration to many. May God lay his healing hand upon you during this journey. Keep a positive attitude! YOU CAN DO THIS!!

    1. Thank you so much!!!! That means so much to me!!! I wish for peace and comfort sent your way through the difficult journey you and your family are facing. Stay strong!! 💕

  5. God has truly given you a gift with your words. Keep inspiring and sharing. Your words are truly touching and helping others.

  6. Hi beautiful. If I already asked you this I am very sorry, but I was wondering and hoping you would be interested in sharing your story to include as part of my mental health campaign to increase awareness and end stigma. I would really like to read your story and know it would be a fabulous addition to my feature. Here is a link that explains it –  You don’t have to participate, if you are not comfortable or too busy etc. No pressure and no rush. Your story can be one you wrote before or as long or short as you would like. Thank you and have a fabulous day. Much love and hugs, Sue

  7. Some very good points and I love your positivity with this, finding the benefits from the challenges and the good from the awful times. Fantastic post, I love it! x

  8. When I think my life has gone totally wrong, I read about someone like you…young, vibrant, and with what should be a long life ahead. Then I realize how lucky I’ve been. I’ve had back problems since I was 17 but did not allow my back to interfere with those things I love to do – especially, dancing! Six years ago my ‘new normal’ became a stark picture of ‘can’t do’s’ and it devastated me. Slowly, I’m realizing with each passing day that I had my fun in the sun and I guess, I’m paying for it now. I danced my ass off hurting my back and my knees. (But it was a helluva ride along the way.) I pray, beautiful girl, that you will go to college, do those things you haven’t done yet and want to… or find other ways toward life fulfillment and enrichment. Heck, I think you’ve already done that – found fulfillment and enrichment in your life!

    1. Wow, thank you so much! Don’t forget to still have fun, even through the pain! It sounds like you’ve had a fun and fulfilled life so far, don’t give up now! Thank you so much! Best wishes!

  9. I know exactly how you feel. I went from having backing surgery at 19 to being diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 23 along with a host of other chronic illnesses to almost dying in a car accident at 26. I have changed careers so many times. I have put my life on hold to many times to count and dreams crushed as well. You are not alone and there are so many of us out. I push myself every day to keep on moving and not to give into it. You got this and stay strong.

    1. Wow, I’m so sorry to hear all of the tribulations that you’ve had to endure. You are such a strong and inspiring person and I’m so glad you reached out and told your story. Thank you so much, best wishes!

  10. MacKenzie,
    Wonderfully detailed description of chronic illness and how one’s outlook can be a positive advocacy for those who find it thrust upon them.
    One never recognizes that there are so many who are burdened with chronic illness until they or a loved one is so burdened. It is like a person who buys a new car. After the purchase as they drive around they begin to notice that there are so many others who own the same model. Never realizing that they have been always there before he owned one.

  11. Dearest Mackenzie,

    We never know why things happen in our lives, but you have found God’s gift in your journey. You are light in the darkness. You are a source of strength. Your story tells those that are well and those that are sick that life is precious. Each day is unique unto itself. My favorite scripture is Psalm 118:24 – this is the day the Lord has made, be glad and rejoice in it. Joy is a gift from God that is not dependent upon life’s circumstances; it helps us navigate the days and the nights. I pray for your healing and endurance, and that God continues to use you to light up the world, open doors of compassion and empathy, and put the focus on helping others.

  12. MacKenzie. Thank you for sharing your story. As a very lucky pancreatic cancer, I admire your upbeat outlook. Stay strong — and live life every day. Regards. Joel

  13. I can relate to this greatly. Sometimes I feel so much older than I actually am because living with a chronic illness makes me have to act older than I am

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