Finding A “Peaceful Kind of Happiness” In A Chronic Illness Life.

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like, and celebrating it for everything that it is” – Mandy Hale

What an insightful quote! There is so much simplicity to it yet it is full of depth and wisdom.

When we live with Chronic Illness, it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of continually thinking about all the things disease has taken from us. A vicious cycle can quickly develop robbing us of any hope of happiness.

Yes, life is tough.
Yes, our diseases can be overwhelming and debilitating.
Yes, our life has to change dramatically to adapt.
Yes, our dreams and goals may need to change entirely.

Acknowledge The Loss

If we have any hope of being truly happy in our chronic illness life, we need to acknowledge all of the above, plus many more emotional and physical hurdles unique to our own situation.

Once we’ve gone through that process, it’s time to take the next step. The most important step…..don’t let our diseases rob us of happiness.

It’s really ok to feel happy, even in the midst of pain and illness.

It’s ok to feel the depths of our loss while still feeling joy.


Happiness has many layers. It can come from success, from good news, from making exciting plans.

I’m not really talking about that kind of happiness. I’m talking about happiness that comes from being content.

“Contentment is a peaceful kind of happiness in which one rests without desires, even though every wish may not have been gratified”:

This view of happiness, the peaceful contented kind, is exactly the sort of happiness we can achieve when chronic disease places so many of life’s usual “pleasures” out of reach.

I’ve been really unwell with worsening disability over the past six months. I’ve been in and out of hospital and had two major spinal surgeries three months apart. My foot fractures continuously cause worsening mobility issues and my fatigue has been out of control.

Aside from medical appointments or hospital stays,  I haven’t been out of the house for about three months.

I’m not telling you this because I want you to feel sorry for me or to gain sympathy. Far from it.

I know it creates quite a miserable picture, especially if that’s the end of this blog post.


Peacefully Happy Despite It All

It’s not the end though. It’s the beginning of what I want to share.

Despite all the challenges and hurdles, I’m happy, I’m content. I’m at peace.

I was recently in hospital for a lengthier stay than expected post a complicated spinal surgery. While I would have loved to go home, my stay was full of happy moments. I had sad moments as my pain overwhelmed me at times, but I had moments of belly laughing with my husband and beautiful friends who came to visit. I enjoyed chatting online with family and other friends far and wide.

I enjoyed reading other bloggers stories and sharing their work.

I loved writing, even if I only managed a little re-editing.

Once home, I enjoyed watching the birds in the garden.

I managed to continue to do a few household chores and that made me feel like I’d accomplished something (while listening to music full blast of course).

Let Go Of What You Think “Should Be”

Let go of what you think your life should look like. Take time to think about what you can change in your current circumstances to create a different life. One that works with your chronic illness and allows you to feel content….strive for a contentment that brings a feeling of peaceful happiness.

Give yourself permission to do that.

It doesn’t matter how others define a happy life… matters how you define it.

We only have one life, one opportunity to live as well as possible. For those of us with chronic disease we can spend it bemoaning what’s been taken from us, or we can spend it finding ways to “enjoy it for everything that it is”

We have life and that’s an amazing gift. I’m very happy about that and perfectly content.

Take care


Bible Verse 

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

Paul writing to the Phillipians chapter 4 v 11-13 (NIV)

Related Blog Posts

Music Makes Everything Better

Loves and Losses


This post was shared at the Salt and Light Linkup Group

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 (Top 10)


23 thoughts on “Finding A “Peaceful Kind of Happiness” In A Chronic Illness Life.

  1. Thank you Sam, for sharing your most private experiences and reflections. You are truly an inspiration to learn from. Yesterday, was a very high pain day for myself, yet I was not going to let these high pain levels take away the joy of moments in the day that I considered gifts from God/blessings. My pastor and his precious family came to visit for a short time unexpectedly, they would not of known the level of pain I was in as I did not want them to feel uncomfortable. I was so focused on the joy of the company, the conversation that it helped distract me for a little while. And also, my sweet caregiver can to help out for a couple of hours, after she left everything looked so pretty and tidy. Just the way I would’ve done it if I was able. I hope Sam that today has been a better day for you. May God continue to bless you and your family. May he answer your most private of prayers and grant you relief from your suffering. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, thank you so much for sharing with me a window into your joy and pain. I related to every word. Thank you so much for your encouragement and blessing. You brought me tears of joy with the warmth of your words. Lots of love xx💞


  2. What an incredible post! So uplifting and positive and exactly how I am trying to turn things around for myself after getting diagnosed with 2 more illnesses and losing my Grandmother. It means so much to know that instead of reaching for positivity and happiness that cannot be sustained, being content with the life you have and the journey you are on will get you through anything, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Beverley. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Grandmother and your own chronic illness battle. I’m do glad my post has brought you some comfort and hope. That encourages me so much. Thinking of you 💞


  3. Sam I loved what you said about how we define our own happy life not how others define it. While I wish I didn’t have this disease I was only thinking the other day about how I used to work every weekend and how I wished I could curl up with a book with a cuppa. Well now I can do that every day. Lucky me I say to myself as I get under the doona in my comfy bed on a cold day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more Anne. I was just thinking how wonderful it is not to be in the “rat race” anymore and having freedom to navigate through my days in a way my body can cope with. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Lots of love xx


    1. Hi Tasha, thank you so much for the nomination. I’m struggling with extra health issues at the moment so I won’t answer the questions but I will share your post on my blog, twitter & pinterest. Lots of love & blessings 💞💞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Sam, thank you! I hope you’re coping well with the extra load of the health issues, will be praying that God will bring you peace & restoration in the midst of this. He’s got everything under control 🤗💝🙏🏾

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sam, As usual, you’ve captured the true essence of the meaning of what it is to life with a serious chronic disease. I’ve always liked the term dis-ease…. our bodies are not at ease. However that doesn’t define living well nor living with the heart as our guide. I chose to live with grace and love in my heart, not because I have a rare, chronic, progressive disease, because I have a contract with myself to be who I am at my core, honest, trusting, and joyful. It’s not always easily done, I suffer tremendous fatigue and debilitating pain, but I simply must live my contract. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and eloquent words with us all. ❤️ Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cathy, you have expressed so beautifully the essence of exactly how I choose to live my life. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. So encouraging! Sam xx


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