I think we all know suffering is inevitable. It is actually a function of being human. We all suffer in different ways. It is so necessary that we need it to push us to change. We use it to fuel change. We use it to solve problems. And life is just a crapton of problems. We exchange problems for better problems though. And so life goes on in our quest to decrease suffering and solve the problems that cause that suffering.

Chronic illness: The problem

The problem

I think you see the problem here as well. Because chronic illness is a problem we cannot solve. When you have suffering and see the problem but cannot solve it… it leads to dissatisfaction and misery. We have that problem. The unsolvable problem that leads to mental and emotional suffering that doesn’t have an end date. There is no victory to be had. And this is rather depressing to acknowledge.

So we are immersed in this suckfest without the capacity to end it.

The straight-up fact

This is our suckfest but adversity comes to us all. Ours can be a lot worse than a lot of things people face but everyone faces adversity. And has to cope with it. Overcome it. Solve it. And again, we are faced with the fact our adversity will not end. This obviously causes a lot of constant stress on us and distress in us.

And early on, knowing this, can create denial. We want what we want. We want a career. We want financial stability. We want to spend time with our loved ones and friends. We want a lot just like everyone else. And we, like everyone else, are willing to do what it takes to do just that. But unfortunately, we cannot keep the pace. We do not want to compromise… but then we just make ourselves worse by keeping up a pace that is impossible, unrealistic, and with high standards we cannot sustain.

The journey

So we want to overcome this illness. This pain. This suffering. And there comes the journey and quest. We will do a Lot of things in hopes of conquering our illness. A lot. So many things. And eventually, we will become tired and disillusioned because no matter what we do it just doesn’t end. Another health issue. Another symptom. Medication fails. Alternative treatment fails.

And this is where things like depression can kick in. We are well out of denial. We are so in reality that we despair that this is our existence. We feel hopeless that things will ever improve. That This is our lives forever and ever for as long as we live. And it hurts. And it causes a lot of negative thinking and thought spirals into despair. And eventually, if we keep pushing through anyway it can morph into depression. Part of the jounrey is the realization that compromise is necessary. That we have limited pain tolerance, limited energy, and we have to choose what we can and cannot do with it. And even that hurts. Because it is sacrificing a lot of our goals and ambitions for something that feels just… less than. And yet, when we do compromise it can be such a profound relief. So overpowering to just Let Go of unachievable things and accept we can find satisfaction and fulfillment in so many ways.

In the end

So basically it comes down to this fact… we have suffering that we cannot overcome but we can find and do things that decrease our suffering. And that ultimately is our goal, whether we like it or not. The actual journey to find all the things that will help us have a better quality of life. And ultimately suffer less than we did before.


And we come to the realization that we have to look at the whole picture. Not just the physical. But the mental. The emotional. And facets of our lives that help with all of those factors. Everyone has a different answer for this. Everyone does multiple things to help with coping and wellbeing. Everyone does the journey but we all have different answers.

We learn to value what we can do. Value things that make us feel fulfilled and feel like we are productive. And we value little things. Those little accomplishments. Those gleams of sunshine.

We have pain and illness and suffering, yes. But we also have complete control over how we respond to it. And how we respond to it, the things we do to cope with it, can help or hinder. We are not to blame for this. We are not a fault for it. But we take responsibility for it in order to cope and to increase our quality of life. And that means a lot of acceptance.

And that in a nutshell us our problem

And knowing it doesn’t help one bit in coping with the problem. It just gives us the self-awareness to not make the mistakes we made in the past with coping. And knowing we have to do something to help our wellbeing and not always knowing what that is. And it doesn’t stop us from getting angry, defeated, tired, frustrated or sad about the issue. It just helps us persevere. And that is all we can do.

See other posts

Denial and chronic illness

What do you think about acceptance?

What obstacles are there to acceptance?
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2 thoughts on “Chronic illness: The problem

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