The dictionary defines the word 'overwhelmed' as following: drowning or being buried under a huge mass, being defeated by a great force, and overwhelming emotion.

Are you wondering why I would share this definition with you? This one word, to me, always comes to mind when I think of living with a chronic condition. It seems fitting when I consider life with an invisible condition too.

I'm not going to assume you find your condition overwhelming, but I know there are times I find mine to be that way. Do you ever feel as though you are drowning in the symptoms of your illness? Perhaps you feel as though you are defeated by exhaustion or buried under a mask of pretending. Do you get angry or frustrated and wonder why me?

These are all perfectly normal reactions and feelings to have. It's okay to feel them, to acknowledge their presence. But what do you do once you have done that? Is it enough to be aware of being overwhelmed?

I can't speak for you, but for me, awareness is the first step in managing my sense of being overwhelmed. The next step I do is take some time to go through the other side of overwhelmingness in my life. Are you surprised that there is another side to this?

Let's look at this another way. I am overwhelmingly fortunate, privileged you might say, with blessings too. Some of those blessings include having a great medical team, an impressive support network, understanding friends, being active when I can, and never losing hope.

If you haven't already done so, take a moment to reflect upon how you are positively overwhelmed. Focus on this side of being overwhelmed and share it, write it down, say it out loud.

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