By Caroline Elizabeth in the Frozen Amber Blog.
Finding acceptance while holding on to hope with a chronic illness is like walking a tightrope, especially as the years grind on. Hope is a vital life force that propels us, whereas acceptance allows us to discover new ways of living within the moment. Clearly hope and acceptance are not mutually exclusive, but over time I have found more comfort and ease from accepting my illness. Years of hoping that my recovery was around the next corner took a lot of energy I no longer have. Still, hope is always there, even if only in an abstract way.
I found my path to acceptance through grieving and letting go. It takes time to let the grief from chronic illness mold you. By definition, chronic illness is not a discreet event, and absorbing all of the lost dreams takes time. Grief is like an undertaker and midwife all in one, taking the hand of our former self to guide us through to the reality of our new one.
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