The One Thing I No Longer Fear in Living with Chronic Illness

embrace difference with chronic illness Jul 12, 2023

The memory of the first time I used a walking stick in public still lingers. I was navigating a busy supermarket car park when a man began walking toward me. Expecting a smile, or a pleasant hello, I was taken aback when he said, “Can you go any slower?”.


Embarrassed and shaken, my eyes welled up with tears. I wanted to retreat home, hide from the world.

I was also angry. MS had made me different. Even a simple supermarket trip was now emotionally and physically exhausting.


Chronic Illness Perception: Handling Others' Reactions


Over time, I’ve learned that worrying about the reactions of others only prevents you from embracing life with chronic illness.


Why should we allow the reactions of others to stop us from living well?


Reflecting on your own life with chronic illness, do you worry about what people think?


In my early years living with MS, these thoughts swirled around in my mind:

🤔 If I take time off work, my employer will question my work ethic.

🤔 If I use a walking stick, people will think MS has won, that I wasn’t strong enough to combat this disease.

🤔 If I decline an invitation out, friends may not invite me again, assuming I’m no longer fun to be around.

Have you felt this before?


Positive Mindset Shift: Overcoming Chronic Illness Challenges


Today, I prioritise my health and wellbeing confidently. I no longer worry about the reactions of others, especially if it stops me from embracing life.


This mindset shift has been liberating. And whether you're living with an illness or not, it's a great way to approach life.


In fact, this shift has positively influenced my response to a new chronic illness – stage 4 breast cancer. ADD BLOG LINK


Embracing Life with Chronic Illness: Finding Strength in Adaptation


Years ago, I was self-conscious about using a walking stick. This year, I embraced a walker. And not a discreet one, but a sizeable, off-road machine impossible to ignore.



Purchased to facilitate life with MS, it has provided enormous security during my recent mastectomy. Who could have predicted my new walker would become the perfect spot to rest my drainage tubes as I moved around?


As I recover from surgery and prepare for my next single mastectomy, my walker gifts me independence. I can stroll to the local supermarket and cafes, and sit back to enjoy the sea views. Benefiting my body and my soul.


It also motivates me to face further surgery, knowing I have so much to look forward to in this lifetime. This includes using my walker to explore our new block in central Victoria, Australia – a sanctuary for my healing.


The One Thing I No Longer Fear in Living with Chronic Illness?


Social perception.


What if I encountered that same man in the car park today, questioning my speed? It wouldn’t register.


I will never let another's reaction prevent me from living well. My ongoing physical and emotional wellbeing is far too important.

Have you ever experienced a situation where worrying about others' opinions stopped you from taking a step that could benefit your health?


If so, I'd love to hear about it... Send me an email.

Are You Ready to Reclaim Your Life?

If you are living with a health challenge or supporting a loved one who is the good news is...

You can start your own Hurde2Hope® journey today by accessing this FREE on-demand MindsetMasterclass.

In it, you'll discover the exact three mindset shifts that have empowered me in my life with MS and now stage 4 breast cancer.

I'm so excited to share these insights with you! ❤️🧡💚