Finding hope after an upsetting diagnosis
Chronic Illness

Finding hope after an upsetting diagnosis

Along my journey of sharing about chronic illness online, I have been able to speak with many others who are facing similar health struggles, many of which have been diagnosed more recently. My heart goes out to those who are currently battling the sadness, anger, and anxiety that comes with a difficult diagnosis.

The beginning was the hardest

When I first got sick, I was confused. I didn’t know why my body was suddenly betraying me. I felt miserable nearly every day, and I watched as other people my age lived healthy lives.

It took a while for me to figure out that something was really wrong. This wasn’t just a flu, or the result of living in freshman dorms, this was an indicator that something was seriously wrong with my body.

Not only is it difficult to deal with being sick, it also causes extreme mental strain. My mind would race with all of the possibilities of what could be wrong with me.

I wasn’t expecting to be diagnosed with CVID. I didn’t even know what an immune deficiency was! I had very little medical knowledge, and this was utterly shocking.

The worst part was learning that I would probably need treatment for the rest of my life – and the treatment sounded uncomfortable. I was a busy college kid, so I didn’t know how I would fit it into my life.

The despair of a new diagnosis often comes from the fear of the unknown. We are anticipating a future that we never imagined for ourselves. Perhaps the worst part is that we have no control over it.

While I have had many ups and downs throughout my chronic illness journey, the beginning was the hardest part. If you are recently diagnosed, I hope to be a beacon of hope to show you that it is possible to manage a chronic illness like CVID and still live a fulfilling and joyful life.

Take a breath. Focus on today.

When I was diagnosed with an incurable disease, I kept thinking about “forever.” But, I had to stop constantly worrying about days that haven’t even happened yet. Tomorrow will have its own troubles – I need to focus on the day today.

And who knows – maybe there will be a cure! Maybe there will be an easier treatment one day. As much as there can be dark thoughts about the future, there can also be positive thoughts. It’s best to let it go and focus on the present.

You can control your mindset and your actions.

There have been many days when chronic illness stole my joy. Some days I am so frustrated that I just want to lay down and cry.

I have slowly learned to stop dwelling on things that I can’t control – and focus on the things that I can. I can control how I take care of myself and advocate for my own well-being.

Everyone needs self-care. Everyone needs to focus on their mental health. We are all learning and navigating life.

After your diagnosis, think about what you need to feel joyful and fulfilled. Maybe think about some changes you could make to your lifestyle. It is important to rest and take care of yourself. If you need to take time to yourself to process everything, that’s okay.

Give yourself a break and give yourself grace.

And lean on your support system! Those who love you and care about you will be right by your side. Communicate, talk about your feelings, and find someone that you can really confide in.

If you are recently diagnosed, you can always feel free to reach out to me. You can email me at!

Check out this article about navigating a difficult diagnosis.


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