One of the hardest parts for me in living with a chronic illness is when I get to talking about or thinking about the “If Only’s”.

If only I wasn’t sick I could….

….get a better job.

….have loads of energy.

… more.

…..have children with ease.

….go out with my friends more.

These are some of the things that have gone through my mind when I get into the “if only” downward spiral. Im sure you can fill in the blanks with your “if only’s” as well.

What a shitty place to be and live!

Because we don’t live in the “if’s.” We live right here and now. And we make our choices and we do the best we can in any given moment.

So we should just go easy on ourselves for what we do, how we do it, and what we’re going through. This makes life so much more easier and enjoyable to live.

If you want to live your best life, and live a life of ease, then you must learn to accept your new life with chronic illness-  your new reality.

It might look something like this:

  • Maybe now, in this new reality, I just need to build in periods of rest into my day.
  • Maybe now, in this new reality, I need a new career that will better support my health.
  • Maybe now, in this new reality, I need to let go of relationships that no longer serve me and make new friends.
  • Maybe now, in this reality, I need to make better food choices that nourish my body, mind and soul.

This all happened to me. After my diagnosis, and moving through the stages of grief and fear associated with a new diagnosis of chronic illness, I came to slowly accept my new reality. Part of that acceptance was knowing that my life as it was, would not and could not remain. I couldn’t keep working at a busy corporate office job for 40 hours or more because I knew the extreme fatigue I experience wouldn’t allow me to. I knew I had to make better food choices and start eating organically. I had to release friends and relationships that could no longer support me , or “get me” and what I was going through.

I made these changes to my life, and have never felt more whole, happy and in love with who I am and how I live.

There are a million ways to get there, but I want to share with you some of the ways in which I was able to practice acceptance of my new reality, my chronic illness, and myself. Practice these techniques when you start the “if only” talk;

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)- I recommend Brad Yates on
  • Deep breathing- Inhale, count to 4. Exhale, count to 4. Do this at least 3 times. And practice all throughout the day when you start feeling off-center or fearful.
  • Journal & Reflect- Make two columns on your page: If Only and Reality. Write down all your “if only” thoughts under the If Only column. Then, carefully examine if those are actually true and write your findings in the Reality column. (You can use Byron Katie’s The Work here to help you reflect and discover.)
    • For example, If only … I wasn’t sick I could get a better job.
    • The reality is ….. There are hundreds of career paths out there for me to pursue. I can find the right one for me.
  • Louise Hay affirmations- Louise Hay is the affirmation Queen. She teaches this practice as a way to be more loving, kind and gentle to ourselves. When you want to accept your reality and create your best life you can use the following:
    • “Here’s an opportunity for me to learn something new.”
    • “Its OK sweetheart, you’re OK.”
    • “Here’s a chance to gain some experience that’s going to benefit me in other ways.”
    • “Im open and receptive to new ways of being and doing.”


If you want to talk with someone who gets the “if only” chatter, then talk to me. You can contact me to book an appointment, sign up for my newsletter, or follow my social media. 

Lots of love, Nikki

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