Community member, Lanie M, sent in this story in response to one of our prompts. What was the best advice you’ve ever received? Leave it in the comments below!

“Never let your challenges make you bitter.”

This is something my mom talked to me about, but I had to come to realize on my own.

I live with multiple disabilities and chronic illnesses, so it would be easy to allow myself to become bitter. I’m totally blind, autistic, and have fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, an undiagnosed skin condition, and many other chronic illnesses.

I decided a long time ago to never let this happen.

When you become bitter, you deprive yourself of any joy you might get out of life. Here are some of the things I do that help me avoid bitterness:

  1. Laugh at yourself. I’m constantly doing funny or silly stuff, like bumping into things because of my blindness and the spatial issues that come with my autism putting things in the wrong places or saying things wrong because of brain fog, or a million other things I can’t think of right now. I’ve learned to laugh at myself rather than getting mad or frustrated, and that often gets others around me laughing, too.
  2. Find activities that you enjoy. Doing activities, I enjoy keeps me happy and helps me cope with my challenges.
  3. Find things you can do that make a difference. I’m always doing things to help others, not because I have to, but because I want to. I’ve found that helping others gives me joy, reminds me that even with my challenges, I can contribute, and keeps me from thinking too much about my disabilities.
  4. Think about the things you can do, and what good things you have in your life. Again, thinking about what I can do reminds me that I have value and can make a difference, and thinking about the good things in my life helps me to see that things are not all bad.

I hope something I’ve shared helps you. This is advice that has stuck with me for most of my life, and it’s something I try to live by.

Lanie Molinar