Blessed with eternal optimism, I felt a desire to write about the ways that CF impacts my life positively. I believe I often get bogged down by the weight of the disease and forget to look at any good it has caused. Although I would never wish cystic fibrosis on my worst enemy, I do believe that it has changed my life in some ways for the better. Below are five of the ways it has changed me or impacted me in a positive way.
5. CF causes me to exercise
As stated in a previous post, I despise exercise. I honestly believe that if it wasn’t for cystic fibrosis being a critical part of my life, I would be sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and not worrying about exercise in the slightest. Instead, I am forcing myself to walk and run as much as I can. Exercise is not just beneficial for my CF lungs but also for the rest of my body!
4. CF allows me to explore new worlds through reading
This may be a stretch since I have always enjoyed reading, but having CF means being blessed with hours of reading time every day. During my treatment time, I have been able to explore various parts of the world, solve exciting murder mysteries, and imagine myself at Hogwarts. Even with an inherent passion for reading, I doubt I would finish as many novels if I weren’t confined to a chair with a vibrating vest on me.
3. Having CF has given me a caring and supportive virtual family
Due to my quest to feel normal despite this disease, I have ended up meeting so many wonderful people online. I have formed and am continuing to form real relationships with cysters (female CF patients) and fibros (male CF patients) from around the world. We share in each other’s struggles, root for each other’s achievements, and celebrate life together. The CF community, on the whole, is a very positive and uplifting community. It is a family of people triumphing together over this disease and I’m blessed enough to be a part of it.
2. CF has led me to value the time I have on this Earth
I’m certainly not planning on going anywhere soon, but CF has made me realize time is precious. I have written about this one a few times now, but I have to reiterate it due to its significance. None of us have a guarantee on the amount of time they will have on this Earth, but many of us don’t realize this until it is too late. I started realizing it in my teens and it has only become more apparent as I watch major milestones in my life pass by me. I don’t believe many people in their 20s value time as much as they should. If they did, I personally doubt they would spend so much of the time they’ve been given on a bathroom floor, drunk and puking.
1. CF has helped me to love as unconditionally as is humanly possible
Tying in with #2, CF has made me realize how important it is to love as fully as possible and to show my love as often as possible. Since I do have a chronic condition, it is important that I make sure my loved ones know how I feel about them. I forgive very quickly, and do not hold grudges. I say “I love you” a lot and I mean it each time. I try to spend time with friends and family as frequently as possible, and I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together. I love creating and capturing memories, and I try my hardest to end every conversation or experience on a positive note. This is not saying I don’t fight, because I do. I get mad, bossy, am sometimes controlling, and probably very hard to be around some days, but I try to fix those situations as quickly as possible. I’m the queen of, “I’m sorry,” always said sincerely and honestly. Apologizing when I’m wrong and loving each person for his or her personality and strengths is important – CF has helped me realize just how important it really is.
So there it is – 5 ways that cystic fibrosis has made a positive impact in my life. I’ve wondered on numerous occasions how different I would be if it weren’t for my disease. Although it’s impossible to be certain, I doubt I would realize or experience the five statements above if it wasn’t for CF.
Now the question is passed on to you – in what ways have a disease or disability (it could be your own or a family member’s) changed your life for the better? Think about it and you may be surprised at the answers.