Emotional Penguins

Sometimes there are no words available for what you’re feeling.

I have a hard time expressing myself occasionally, especially with the overwhelming emotions that come with chronic illnesses. I can be happy, sad, worried, anxious, excited, and full of despair all at the same time. As you can see, this gets rather complicated when someone asks “how are you feeling today?” There’s no straightforward answer to that. We all, I assume, just say “fine” and move on. But are we ever really fine? 

I have decided, right this moment, that every time someone asks how I am feeling I will answer with a photo of a penguin. Penguins have emotions, too, don’t they? Why can’t I use theirs to describe mine?

angry bored calm embarassed excited frustrated happy hurt nervous other sad unsure worried

Aren’t they cute?!

It can be so much easier to use other people’s words when you can’t find your own. To use a photo of a penguin when the proper descriptors aren’t available.

But it is important to also dig down into yourself, to get to know yourself and why you’re feeling angry or hurt. It is pretty liberating when you spend some quality time sitting alone to ask yourself why that commercial about puppy food is making you cry. Or why you want to punch that one girl’s face every time you see her on that television show.

When you’re suffering from a chronic illness there are so many things all of the time that are out of your control. So much of what your body is going through there is little to no explanation for and nothing you can do about it. It is maddening, to say the least. What you can do, however, is empower yourself by getting as in tune with yourself and your emotions as possible. When you can put words or photos (even someone else’s words or photos) to your particular experience that day/week/month you begin to own your story. You begin to have a say in what you’re going through. And that feels pretty damn good.

Love and Gentle Hugs,




Hey! My name is Courtney and I am a wife, a mom to a pup and cat, and I just happen to have a few chronic illnesses that have drastically changed my life. I've gained a brand new perspective of life and who I want to be while I face these new challenges. I am so excited about this new phase and meeting fellow Chronic Warriors! Please join me! Love and Gentle Hugs xx Courtney

2 thoughts to “Emotional Penguins”

  1. Good morning Courtney Alice. I loved this message you posted yesterday and wanted to tell you so. it’s too often that someone passes along a message, a joke, a picture or a story that strikes a cord in us but we forget to pay it forward. The fact that none of us are alone in our life’s trials means we have to stick together and share our voices. You are doing a great job gathering the ‘Warriors’ and putting their thoughts into your words for all to enjoy, take comfort from and pay forward. I am certainly glad I know you. I’m off now to share your message.

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