Staying Motivated Is Challenging When Living With Sarcoidosis

A columnist wrestles with his mindset so he can get healthy and tackle problems

Charlton Harris avatar

by Charlton Harris |

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It begins as an inspiration that becomes an action toward a goal. That’s what they say, and I’ve listened.

Every now and again, I find it hard not only to get motivated, but also to stay motivated. Many factors affect my becoming and staying motivated, and I find the latter hard to do.

I check myself from time to time when considering my sarcoidosis health challenges. Some days I may start off ready to face the world and all of its challenges, and then a few moments later, I find myself losing my motivation and questioning my abilities.

The main reason I’m motivated to continue to go to the gym is to improve my health. As with everyone, some days are better than others. The overall goal is to improve my quality of life. By continuing to move and trying to stay active, I believe I’ll be that much closer to that goal. It’s a hard task that requires serious discipline, which starts from within.

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Some of my daily inspirations become more of a challenge than a goal. It doesn’t help to be living with sarcoidosis because of the brain fog coupled with stress. Six years ago, I was constantly motivated to achieve and better myself and my family’s well-being. Today, after multiple spontaneous pneumothoraces, numerous hospital stays, and being an unlikely candidate for a lung transplant, I’ve struggled to stay motivated.

Why should I stay motivated?

When you begin to lack motivation, you start accepting all of the nonsense that comes your way. I could tell that I was heading down that road. I started thinking that some things didn’t matter. Some tasks I added to my wife’s list, figuring that if I ignored them, she’d pick up the slack. I found comfort in relying on her to fill the gap. I knew she’d do it because I couldn’t do some things as I used to.

That’s not fair to her. I can at least try to do more to reclaim my independence. If I keep relying on her, I’ll become a burden. Changing this narrative requires motivation.

And then I started losing sleep.

For the past few nights, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. I’ve thought about all of the things I need to take care of and how I’m letting tasks get away from me. My mortgage, car payment, and insurance were at the top of my list. To add insult to injury, one of my toilets had a leak.

I tossed and turned and couldn’t get comfortable, knowing that I hadn’t started solving any of these problems. I finally drifted back to sleep, but it wasn’t a restful sleep.

But motivate the mind, and the spirit will follow.

The next morning, I decided I had to make some lifestyle changes. I can’t live a complacent life. It’s soul-draining. I’ve never feared taking on a new challenge, and I wasn’t going to start. Regardless of the mental challenges my health causes me, I know I’m stronger than sarcoidosis.

I started my day with a list of tasks I needed to accomplish. I had to take care of the toilet first, so I called two plumbers. One was charging the price of the other for half of the work, so I booked the one offering the most services. Boom! Problem one was solved — until he told me he had to order a part.

I paid two of my monthly bills and solved problem two. I have two more bills to pay, so I’ll figure out how to solve problems three and four later. To me, the plumbing issue takes precedence over the others. Oh, well, at least I’ve gotten some of my motivation back to solve problems.

Regaining my motivation and acting proactively to solve problems left me temporarily broke, though.

Meanwhile, my son found a Miles Davis bootleg album online that I hadn’t heard. He sent me the link, and I’ve been blasting it ever since. The more I listened to it, the more motivated I felt, making it a much-welcomed distraction.

Sarcoidosis didn’t win this battle. It slowed me down a little, but I found my purpose and motivation again.

I won’t allow such battles to stop my progress because sarcoidosis has no tears for me, and I have no tears for it.

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


Kim avatar


Thank you soo much for sharing! My motivation or lack of motivation seems to be a struggle & once I get a grip and walk myself thru it, it takes me forever to accomplish just one task. Thank you for inspiring myself and others to keep it moving and never ever give in!!!!


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