Chronic Illness, Contentment, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Sjogerns Syndrome

How to Face Challenges in 2018

Challenges: facing them and conquering them are two different things.  I’m looking to 2018 with challenges ahead.  The difficulties that I’m speaking of are almost all health-related.  When we go from one year to the next, we tend to evaluate our past and dream about the future possibilities.


I always hope to look at the New Year with a positive mindset.  I dream of good days ahead and better health.  As 2017 ended, my health has gotten worse, my insurance has gotten worse, and I have no idea if I’ll find good doctors to treat me.  My list of illnesses includes: Sjogren’s Syndrome, Elhers Danlos Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Scoliosis, Kyphosis, Lordosis, Small Cell Neuropathy and some possible illnesses (Lupus, Sleep Apnea, Psoriasis and Celiac Disease).  These are my challenges!

Many writers talk of conquering your challenges.  They talk of positive thinking and hard work that will cause your challenges to disappear.  As I’ve lived with Chronic illnesses for a few years, I know that this sounds good, but isn’t my goal.  Chronic means ongoing and (for me) not-curable.  There is no cure for anything that I suffer with.  But, conquering my challenges doesn’t have to bring me to despair.


All I need to do is to face my challenges.  As I face my health problems, I first need to:


Accepting chronic illnesses can be done.  My challenge the last few years is the never-ending addition of new disease diagnosis’s.  I know this is because I wasn’t diagnosed for many years, and then they all seemed to come at once.  After accepting one disease, then a new diagnosis would appear.  I would then have to accept that one, too.  The process has been tiring, to say the least.  But, without acceptance, I would either become bitter or just give up.  Neither of these is a good thing.


Fighting difficulties is a natural reaction to some people.  When I was younger, I had no trouble fighting against the odds and giving it my all to overcome.  Surprisingly, I haven’t had a natural inclination to fight for my health.  I haven’t given up, but also know that I need to fight harder for myself.  Many of my health battles will continue to progress if I don’t fight for my health.


I hope to face my challenges by sharing them.  As I share my health struggles with others, I’m giving myself a way to encourage myself and you.  I have to be honest, so sometimes my posts seem very negative.  But, if you have chronic illness, you understand.  I also face my challenges by sharing my faith.  I believe in a God who can heal, can comfort, and can provide.  The encouragement and love that I get from God is something I also want you to have.  And, I would love for you to share your challenges with me.


My goal for 2018 is not to conquer my challenges, but to face them.  I want to do so with grace and thankfulness.  I’m thankful for you, my readers, that encourage me daily.  I’m thankful for my supportive family.  I wish you all a Happy New Year!

2017, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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  1. I feel exactly the same way as you regarding conquering vs facing challenges and pain. It gets a bit pointless when it’s chronic, like you say. It’s a constant fight to find meaning in it all. Have a great new year! x

    1. xaoti

      You’re thinking like me on this. Even though it’s pointless, we still have the mindset to keep fighting. I’m glad we do; I don’t ever want to give up 🙂

  2. Kat

    This is a great post. Acceptance is the biggest one I need to work on. I realized at the end of 2017 that I really have never accepted myself as a sick person. I still have all this guilt and baggage about it. I need to learn how to be sick, well.

    1. xaoti

      I still fight that, too. I think it’s because I’ve been sick forever and it’s my normal. Being undiagnosed for 50 years, makes it hard. My mind got so used to this “normal”, that it keeps me in a type of denial.

  3. Christine

    Oh, it is so good to see someone be truthful about the struggle of living with chronic conditions. This past year was definitely my struggle to accept the truth in my life. I have been so angry the past 4 years. I worked so hard to become a nurse and I only got to work in my dream job for 10 years. I had dreamed of being a nurse since I was a little girl. I waited to go to school until all my kids were in school. I worked so hard while I was in school to make sure my family didn’t feel neglected. And once I was working in my field, I felt amazing. And then one day,, I got hurt at work and I never quite got better and between the chronic condition & then a second injury which required surgery my career was over. (I just didn’t know it yet) I have been so angry but of course it took me a while to figure that out. Most of us don’t take our own advise. The struggle to accept who I am NOW is humbling. Thank you for sharing your hopes for the new year. I’ve got your back!

    1. xaoti

      It makes me so sad to read your story, but it’s one I can relate to. You did everything right, but now have lost your career. Anger is definitely something I’ve dealt with and still do from time to time. I know what you mean by humbling; I never thought I would end up like this. I hope your year is better than you expect it to be. God bless 🙂

  4. Kami Sundstrom

    I love your perspective! Although I don’t have a physical illness I am an alcoholic which is chronic. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    1. xaoti

      Thanks, Kami. This is a good prayer. I remember my grandmother hung it in her kitchen, and she seemed to have grasped the truth of it. God bless you 🙂

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