You Are Enough – Guest Post by Chris Morris

It would seem God is telling me something about myself through my recent interviews and guest posts: to take a different perspective on the chronic illness I battle.

I expect many of my readers battle a chronic illness. I pray today’s guest post ministers to your heart and encourages you to continue to reach for your dreams of writing and publishing.

You Are Enough

Guest post by Chris Morris. 

photo of Perfectly Abnormal and cup of coffeeLet’s be really honest with each other for a moment. Living with a chronic illness is tough. Some days, it feels impossible.

My daughter is autistic and epileptic, and I have a seizure disorder as well, so we have learned a lot about what makes living with chronic illness so difficult.

People don’t seem to understand the struggles we have. They confuse our illness with slowness, or silently think we are faking our pain somehow.

But that is not even the hardest part. At least not for our family.

The hardest part about living with or loving someone with a chronic illness is this myth: You are not enough because you are ill.

Whether we suffer from arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, emphysema, cancer, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or autism, we are less than everyone else because we are ill and may not get better. And nothing can change this, other than a complete recovery.

It is so easy to believe this myth. For example, because of my seizure disorder I cannot swim alone. I am a thirty-six-year-old man. I am 6’7”. I have an MBA in Health Systems Management. I am competent in many things…

But I cannot swim alone, because if I have a seizure I could drown.

How ridiculous is that! And yet, it is my reality, because of my chronic illness. With almost insane restrictions on our lives at times, it is so easy to buy the lie that says we are “less than,” that we are incomplete human beings.

This myth leads to so many other statements that are also untrue:

  • We don’t deserve to be healthy.
  • Our current health is the only determinant for success in life.
  • There is something wrong with us when we are not hopeful about the future.

We must overcome these myths to move forward. Otherwise, we risk despondency and an empty life. It all comes down to a choice.

We must choose hope.

Hope is not dependent upon our health. We do not earn hope. We should not see ourselves as unworthy of hope.

We are enough. You are enough. Regardless of any chronic condition.

But it is hard. The world around us screams we are defined by our accomplishments, our material goods, our physical strength or beauty, or our salary. Some or all of these external “proofs” of being a successful human being are limited by our illness. So we settle for less, believing the best is reserved for other people. People without the same problems we have.

But we must not settle for less. So what does it look like to choose hope? To believe we are enough? The specific answers are different for each one of us, but certain concepts are universally applicable.

Apply the proper weight to your limitations. So, I am a middle-aged, 79-inch giant who cannot swim alone. This is a legitimate limitation on my life, and I can fixate on it if I choose. Or I can work around it.

Honestly, I didn’t plan to be an Olympic swimmer, and I don’t even like swimming that much, so swimming in company is not that big of a deal for me. So I choose not to swim alone. And I don’t berate myself for it.

Stop hiding your dreams behind your illness. This is a tough one to swallow some days. It is so simple to blame our illness for not chasing our passions. Now sometimes, this is just bottom-line truth, and there is no unnecessary victimization happening. The quadriplegic with dreams of being a marathon runner may need to adjust some. But the person with chronic fatigue syndrome need not let their dream of being a poet be held captive by their illness. Don’t let your dream die on the vine of your imagination because of your condition.

Perfectly Abnormal book cover

It is because of these challenges we all face that I wrote Perfectly Abnormal: Uncovering the Image of God in Chronic Illness. My book walks through myths all sufferers of chronic illness will face. These lies can paralyze us, if we believe them. My book dissects eight of these myths, counteracts them with truth, and offers pointed questions to get us moving again. If you have a chronic illness, or love someone who has a chronic illness, please consider picking this book up. You can find Perfectly Abnormal on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks.

About Chris Morris

Author Chris Morris

Chris Morris writes about redefining normal and building hope in the face of chronic illnesses and special needs. His writing is founded on the belief that circumstances don’t prevent thriving, but create opportunities for God to demonstrate his goodness. By day, he is the founder and managing partner of the creatively named accounting firm Chris Morris CPA, so Chris brings a unique analytic perspective to deeply emotional topics. He writes at his blog, and you can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.

Comments

  1. Donna Whittaker says:

    Those of us with chronic illnesses need to remember we are not the disease and the disease is not us. We do have a life beyond our chronic conditions. Chris has addressed many of the realities we must face. May his message travel far.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I found it very encouraging.

    • I did too, Vicki. So often we can get caught up in our own trials and think we have things so bad. Then we here about someone else’s struggle…I’m glad this encouraged you.

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