I got some charms today in my ChronicAlly Box and I added them to a charm bracelet I have. The photo depicts a two of them. I thought it was a wonderful addition to the box for September. But this charm bracelet, for me, is more meaningful than I suppose a charm bracelet might be. I did add the charms on there, which I suppose reflects me, but the rest of the charms are my mom’s because this is in fact her bracelet. She gave it to me some time back. So it reminds me of her when I wear it. I had to remove some to add on mine, but I have kept them, of course. Nevertheless I left on a few that remind me of my mom.
My mom is an important part of my support network and always has been. Perhaps because we get along so well and I consider her, fundamentally, to be someone who I value to the opinion of. I love my mom but I also think she is an awesome person. She is the strength I depend on. The person I go to with my problems because she helps me think through things. The person I just like to have coffee and chill with.
Not everyone with a chronic illness has a strong support network, but I say that I do. That is one thing I know that I have and appreciate every day. One thing I am exceptionally grateful for. That my loved ones, my family, my spouse have an understanding of my health and limitations. And I am not talking about sympathy or pity, but just understanding and assistance when needed. Well, there is a level of empathy since we all battle our health issues. Empathy is different than sympathy or pity. Comes from a different place. Nevertheless, they have a baseline understanding of where I am coming from. Bad days, good days. When things are working for me, or failing. Progress made, and not made.
You have to be grateful for the people in your life that mean a lot to you. So on those days when you are looking for things to be grateful for, count those people. Your support network is vital to coping with chronic illness. But we don’t think about it as much. We think about the isolation a lot. The loss of contact and friendships. It just makes those that are There, that much more meaningful.
Anyway, today, I am thinking about how much my mom means to me. How much I love her. And how much I am grateful for her being in my life.