Ride the Life You’re Given with Joy

Retha De Wet avatar

by Retha De Wet |

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I have often felt that despite not having a terminal illness, I was in a certain way born to die. I also believe this is the reason I am able to live a happier life than most of my healthy peers. I know how important it is to appreciate every beautiful moment in life.

I am fairly certain that most chronically ill people have been subject to the response, “At least it is not cancer,” when sharing their diagnoses with someone. And while I do not deny that cancer is an awful disease to suffer from, I don’t feel it is fair to expect from someone who has a different incurable disease to be thankful they do not have a terrible disease that you know to be fatal.

Living with that notion in the back of your mind is definitely life-altering. It left me at a crossroads. One path is filled with constant fear and mourning of the life that could have been, while the other is one that may lead to inner peace.

I tried the first path for a while. It made me realize that by giving in to the pessimism, I was allowing this disease to steal my living years.

When you go to an amusement park, you enjoy your stay and all the park has to offer. You may be disappointed when the park eventually closes, but you do not spend the day mourning the fact that the park will close. You enjoy the rides while you can. You make the most of every moment until the very end. You try to experience every bit the park has to offer before it closes. Now, why should we approach life any differently?

I think chronically ill people are blessed with the superpower of knowing how fragile life truly is. We are taught not to take life for granted. It teaches us that we can survive much more than we believed before. It empowers us to realize how strong we truly are.

That is not to say that we are not allowed days to process all the emotional turmoil also associated with being permanently ill. It is so important to take a moment every now and again to reflect on everything we have survived. We are warriors, and warriors must reflect on their battles, learn from mistakes, and carry on fighting. You are allowed to have days when you are overwhelmed. You are dealing with much more than most people will comprehend, but one must not linger too long on these thoughts. Always keep moving forward, even if you may not always be able to do it physically.

You are brave. You are strong. You are wonderful. You are worthy. Keeping fighting your beautiful fight. Life is so beautiful.


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April avatar


Very well said! Thank you so much for lifting my spirits up, it is definitely what I needed to start my weekend. I have been feeling depressed and letting it get the best of me. But I am definitely going to try my best to see life the way you do, the way I once did. Thanks again.

All the Best,
April Sanchez


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