My hair is falling out. Acceptance. My body hurts. Acceptance. My joints are swollen. Acceptance. My heart is beating so fast. Acceptance. What are these things on my skin? Acceptance. I am so exhausted. Acceptance. What has happened to me? Acceptance. What has happened to my body? Acceptance. Who am I? Acceptance.

It is really important to check with one's doctor when strange, uncomfortable, or painful symptoms of a chronic illness surface. Sometimes the doctor can help! Other times there is nothing to be done but accept. What a task! People who live with chronic physical illness may at times wonder if they are the same people they were prior to being diagnosed. It is easy to believe that because the body changes the person changes too. This is not true. You are you.

Change is an inevitable part of being human and unfortunately change is not always pleasant. Think about all the things that have changed around you even in just the last year. Even when your body changes, you are still you...although you may feel differently than you did before you had your illness. You may at times be angrier, depressed, or more emotional. These are feelings and your feelings may have changed too as your body changed. Feelings do not equal you. Accept. Accept your feelings, accept the changes that you have no control over and try to find that love for yourself--the self that is still there; the YOU!