Sending The “What Ifs” of Life Packing

What if?

What if my pain is worse tomorrow? What if I can’t sleep? What if I have a reaction to my new medication?

What if my condition worsens?

What if my friends won’t understand why I can’t go out to dinner or talk on the phone for long?

What if I have a fall? What if I need more surgery?

What if I’m too sick to have a necessary procedure?

What if this, what if that?

What If?

We all ask “what if?” during the course of our lives. It’s a normal thing to do but it can be exhausting to head down that path.

The healthy and the chronically ill alike are plagued with times of worry, concern and overwhelming moments of “what if?”

Living with a chronic illness does tend to make the “what ifs” seem a little louder and worrisome at times.

We are already living with the “what ifs” that as a healthy person we might have worried about. That worry of “what if” I become ill or disabled?

That “what if” has happened. That is now our “what is”.


Finding Peace in “What Is”

Living with a chronic disease can be like living your worst nightmare, if we let it.

One thing I have learned over the years of living with chronic illness and a rare disease, is that you just can’t live with the “what ifs”.  Not if you want to find a sense of peace and joy.

The “what ifs” are paralyzing, soul destroying. They will leave you so mentally disabled that you will never experience the joys that can be found when you cease asking “what if” and start focusing on “what is”.

Look around you. Acknowledge your current challenges. That’s important. Being in denial only causes longer term problems but don’t forget to count your blessings. Name them. Write them down.

As the “what ifs” threaten to bring a storm cloud into your life, taking stock of all that is good and perfect, all that is true, will help bring you back into the moment of reality. That reality is “what is”

Life may not be perfect but it’s still your life. Your life to be lived to the fullest within the bounds of your physical limitations.

Let’s For A Moment Consider The Positive Side Of A Chronic Illness Life

While I have many real daily challenges associated with living with a rare disease, let’s for a moment take a look at the positive side of “what is” for the Chronic Illness sufferer.

What is…

●You overcome pain and fatigue every day even if you feel like you don’t.

●You live with it, you manage it, you have amazing strength

●You have incredible empathy for others who experience hardship

●You have determination and courage

●You love life, you cling to it and you find ways daily to enjoy it as best you can…even if that means resting on the couch enjoying your favourite TV show.

●You enjoy the simple things in life and you cherish them. Things like flowers blooming, that others may never notice. You notice the intricate colours and the way the bloom opens and closes.

●You never take anything for granted.

●You know life can be uncertain but you know that change can bring new opportunities.

●You know that tough times happen but you know the intensity of those times does pass and joy returns.

Breaking Free

If you are experiencing a season of asking “what if?” and worrying about the future, acknowledge your concerns but then take a break from that question and focus on the “what is”.

“What is” allows you to break free from unnecessary despair. It allows you to breathe more deeply and evenly. It allows you to think more clearly and conserve your energy.

“What is” helps you focus on the real challenges you might be facing, not ones that may never happen.

Before you know it you are moving forward again and leaving the “what ifs” behind you.

Take care

Sam  xx 💞


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6 v 34 (NIV)



If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m a regular Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

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WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee





19 thoughts on “Sending The “What Ifs” of Life Packing

  1. This was an incredibly powerful post! I do always ask the “what if’s” and they are not good questions. I am trying to not focus so much on my illness because I do not want it to control my life! I really appreciate this amazing post and value your thoughts! I hope you have an amazing week and you are feeling well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Alyssa for such an encouraging comment. I’m so glad you found this post helpful. It’s not easy for any of us to get rid of those sneaky “what if’s” that threaten to prevent any hope of peace. Being aware of them is definitely the first step. I wish you all the very best xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This quote is so powerful, “Living with a chronic disease can be like living your worst nightmare, if we let it.” The “if we let it.” part. I have let it, but I don’t always. It’s definitely a challenge, but God is still good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not an easy path is it Heather. I can’t imagine walking it without my faith and God’s guidance. I’m so glad you too know God’s goodness.
      Thank you for your encouraging comment 💞


  3. Love this post Sam. It is so easy to think of all the ‘what ifs’ but I really try not to otherwise I would just feel so depressed all the time. I find that taking positive steps, such as adapted yoga and/or meditation help me – they help me to focus on what my body can do now and live in the moment. I also think of the positive things that my chronic illness are hopefully bringing my kids – patience (sometimes!) and understanding xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I so agree that taking time to find the positives can make a huge difference in how we live with chronic illness. Thanks so much for your encouraging comment xx 💞💞

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you are facing a new diagnosis. I so hope a clear path presents that allows you to quickly understand the “what is” of your situation. Love and prayers xx


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