6 easy steps to learn what it's like to have a chronic illness:
1. Fast for 24 hours.
2. Stay awake for 24 hours.
3. Every time you stand up spin around really fast 5 times.
4. Throw yourself down the stairs 5 times in a row.
5. Run 10 miles.
6. Continue to try and live a normal life.
I thought I was crazy when feeling like a car had run over me every morning and getting out of bed was like peeling myself of the floor I had been flattened on ( aching everywhere and wanting to throw up ). These bullet points written by sunshineandspoons.com sums up how sufferers feel everyday. This is helping me as I am trying to learn to accept my flaws and strengths and to stop comparing myself to everyone else because we are all individual! That is what makes mankind so beautiful. We can't all be the same, have the same talents or flaws. We have to accept all of ours and work the best we can with them. People will judge and have their word on whatever you do regardless and accepting my pain and pain barriers is one thing I am REALLY trying to address at the moment.
For SO long I have felt that my pain is a weakness, I have blamed myself when I tire faster than others, struggle lifting, find 'easy' tasks REALLY taxing. I have hidden these feelings behind a smile, embarrassed about how I have been feeling. However what I thought I was doing right - ploughing on and keeping going wasn't always the right & best thing to be doing.
My body is just more exhausted, everyone thinks I am ok, people expect me to be fine and I expect too much of myself.
So I am trying to look at it all in a positive light & way to try and make me snap out of pushing through and accept 'not being ok!'
I am trying to tell myself like above and as I did in my self-love blog the other day that we all have our strengths and weaknesses and that unlike before when I would tell myself that other people's strengths were 'worth' more than mine, is just my mind punishing me.
Alex my brother being able to landscape a garden beautifully is a massive strength and I am so proud of him for having such talent! However he could not write a poem like I could. Does my skill mean it is less 'worthy or valuable' because physically I am not working hard, its more mental and from the soul? Previously, I would have said yes it is less worthy! Now I am trying to tell myself no its not less worthy my poems can touch people and bring them joy and I am trying to appreciate me working hard to find strengths and talents in ways that work best for me too. As of course writing is sat down - so physically it won't make my nerve pain worse. I have to appreciate that we aren't all the same, I get upset when Alex has to lift all the cases, and manages to run around with them, whilst I am there in a brain fog of exhaustion, smiling - trying not to let people know I just want to drop to the floor.
I can't do anything about the health issues I face.
However I can and have to be more accepting of them. The more accepting I am of them the more people will understand as well.
I have always seen weakness as not being able to do things to what I see as 'my full potential', 'please people' or 'succeed fully in something' but that is the athletes mind-set working within me, along with a fit & well athlete's body. I have to accept that now smaller tasks equal the greatest of successes, that people will always judge and you will never please everyone. Although we may not always see it ourselves we also have many successes we may overlook striving for what may seem to people as 'too much.'
I have to really understand how difficult I make my life everyday just trying to function like everybody else.. I have to turn it around and think 'do I see everyone else trying to function like me?' You don't see them queuing in line to get slammed in the face with chronic pain and left to deal with it for the rest of their lives.
They complain about only sleeping 7 hours! WHAT A FLIPPING DREAM THAT WOULD BE - try living off 3/4.
People rush to the doctors when they have flu like symptoms. Live with the daily - cold, shivery, aching everywhere, panic attacks, night sweats.
Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit, I am guilty of this! My own worse critic!
Instead of accepting and praising my little successes, I compare and am instantly critical, therefore punishing myself.
The habit is going to be the hardest to break and there is no overnight quick fix, but I am consciously trying to work on this challenge which is part of my overall healing journey.
I am not lazy, I will never be a lazy person. It isn't within me. I can't sit still , my mind is always on the next project & task and I never settle and I know this yet I always fear people seeing me as lazy because maybe I can't do all they can. You will rarely see my smile crack, or allow you to see the real struggle but don't be judgemental or think because I am smiling I am fit to run a marathon.
Do any of you suffer with chronic illness?
Are your friends, employers and family support?
Do you accept your illness and work with it?
Please reach out and let me know..
Accepting can't be seen as a weakness we have to see it as a major strength.
Thank you for reading,
love and peace xoxo