Why Illness Is Not A Flaw

For my fellow Beepers, and anyone dealing, surviving, and in recovery from a major illness, this is an amazing list originally posted by “The Wellness Warrior: Jessica Ainscough, a cancer survivor and author of the eBook “Make Peace With Your Plate”.

After personally struggling with, being overwhelmed by, being underwater because of, then ready to throw in the towel too many times, and finally coming to terms with to be in recovery from a lovely stew of mood / personality disorders (whew!), I’ve accepted, huge, that I am a human being, not a diagnosis/s. It took me 12 years. I only hope those of you reading this were less stubborn than I was and got there much sooner!

WE ARE NOT OUR DISEASE. We are Lara, Kay, Susie, (fill in the blank) IN RECOVERY FROM (fill in the blank). And we are STRONG!


1. Illness is a crystal clear message from your body. It is not your body’s way of punishing you! It’s simply trying to tell you something. If you’ve recognized an illness, this means that you are able to hear its message.

2. It gives us a great excuse to indulge in down time and put ourselves first. We shouldn’t need an excuse to do this, but I will admit that (pre-cancer) I never would have been able to justify slowing down or taking the day off work just because my body felt like it. Even with a whopping hangover I would drag myself into the office. These days, if my body needs down time, then that is exactly what I give it. No need for justification. No guilt. No regrets.

3. Illness is a reminder to always put your well being ahead of anything else. If you’re not sick, it is so easy to get caught up in superficial achievements, goal-hitting, and daily drama. Whenever I look at the scars on my arm, I am reminded to check in with how my body is feeling and adjust my to-do list accordingly.

4. It allows you to see the bigger picture. Small, petty drama just doesn’t matter the way it used to, and that is incredibly liberating.

5. Deep wisdom is born from adversity like illness. I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a ditz at times, but ever since taking the fate of my future into my own hands, I’ve developed a deep sense of wisdom and universal understanding that I never would have otherwise.

6. Recovering from illness takes self-acceptance to the next level. You can’t truly heal until you’ve learned to love yourself, and treat yourself with love and respect every day. Those days of looking in the mirror and focusing on my flaws are well and truly behind me.

7. Having your life threatened (or even debilitated) is the best motivation to live your best life. It’s easy to take life for granted when you’re well, but when you’ve faced an illness, you’re given a big kick up the bottom to stop being lazy and complacent and start living a life that you will be beyond happy with when it comes time to leave this world.


Once you get to #4, 5 – 7 seem to follow pretty quickly. When you stop focusing on the “small stuff”, everything seems to fall in place and you/I realize how precious our lives truly are and it is in our control to live them the best way we can. To accept reality and move on, move forward.

No matter what your situation is, no matter how out of control you feel, how much pain, how much suffering, the reality is you still have control of how you view your situation. It can be a curse – or a gift that takes you to places of personal growth you never imagined possible.

Remember: you are perfect, in exactly the place you are supposed to be, the person you were meant to be, and always growing in potential. Write it down, put it on your fridge, remind yourself every day of the incredible person you are and continue to become!

Quick Aside:

I promised to update you on the “Party Weight Loss Plan“. Lost almost 3 pounds and even with eating a ton of carbs on “Party Day”, have kept it off. Taking a day off today but will be back to activity tomorrow! A Success!


5 thoughts on “Why Illness Is Not A Flaw

  1. Excellent advice–I personally believe that our bodies, minds and spirits are connected and therefore something as “simple” as a stressful day will affect our bodies as well as our moods. We’d all be healthier if we listened to all aspects of ourselves and would pay attention to what the connections are telling us.
    Take care.
    Suicide, A Biography

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