Wishful Thinking vs Acceptance

How many times have you wanted to hear those words?

I can’t even begin to count how often I have wished my lymphedema would just magically disappear, that someday I would wake up and my leg would be normal and I’d have the delicate ankles I had always wanted. How badly I’ve wanted to wear shorts and skirts with confidence, to wear flats and cute shoes without them leaving indents in my skin! I’ve wanted it so bad, wanted a cure to come out of nowhere like some sort of lymphatic miracle and grant me those simple little pleasures. Want, want, want – but what about acceptance?

The reality of lymphedema is that it isn’t going anywhere. Just like any medical condition – be it physical or mental – wishing for it to disappear is pretty pointless. If anything, it can be extremely detrimental. Tough love, I know, but really – instead of wishing for something to change, you need to be proactive and take care of what you have: yourself. That includes managing your lymphedema, as well as accepting it for what it is. You are alive, and you need to celebrate and honor your aliveness by practicing good health! No sense in getting bogged down or letting your condition stop you from doing the things you love.

I’m a big believer in that everything happens for a reason, and that includes my lymphedema. If I didn’t have it, my life would be drastically different, be it for better or for worse. I wouldn’t be me – I wouldn’t have made this blog, I wouldn’t have developed the empathy and compassion that it has taught me, and I wouldn’t have met all the wonderful people who make up the Lymphie community. I would be missing the valuable perspective and experience that it has given me, and that outweighs all the mini skirts in the world.

What about you – what has lymphedema brought to your life? What has it taught you? What would your life be like without it?

6 comments on “Wishful Thinking vs Acceptance

  1. What a healthy way to view your life! Every experience, positive or negative, is a gift…an opportunity to make some kind of difference in someone’s world…an invitation for a new perspective that could really change things for you and for others…an opportunity to say “thank you” instead of “why me”…thank you Alexa!

  2. A fantastic post at just the right time that I needed it. Thank you so much. My life without lymphedema would probably include lots of cute shoes (maybe, I wear a size 11 regardless :) For me, lymphedema has taught me to slow down and be kind to myself. To really notice how remarkable my physical self is (regardless of its “flaws”) Thanks for reminding me of that. (((((hugs)))))

    • Thanks, Liz! Slowing down and being kind to yourself are definitely worthwhile lessons, and I think they’re even more valuable when they’re learned the hard way. It’s important to treat your body right because it’s the only one you got – swollen limbs and all :)

      Hugs right back to ya, lady!

  3. Chetanna00

    Thank you for this beautiful message! For me lymphoedema has taught me to be kind to my body. I have primary lymphoedema in my left leg brought on by a nasty fall after another of my MANY drunken binges. Ive long since given up thinking ‘What if i had never gone out that night etc’ and just accepted it. Before it i led a very manic lifestyle; working hard, playing harder! Since then I have cut down considerably on drinking, started working out more and eating healthily! Honestly….. my life without it would have led to liver sirrhosis and other more fatal health problems.

    • I’m a huge, huge believer in that everything happens for a reason. Yes, it’s unfortunate and pretty sucky to have lymphedema, but it DOES make you a lot more aware of your health and well being.

      I’m so happy for you and your lifestyle changes! I know it can be an incredibly difficult thing to do.

  4. Pingback: Self-care suggestions: an illustrated response to reader mail – The Lymphie Life

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