Self Care For Chronic Illness (And Everyone Else)

I’ve wrestled with the above question quite a bit when it comes to deciding whether I should allow my chronic illnesses to run my life or not.

I have lots of issues. the two I currently struggle with are Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Fibromyalgia.

So often, we feel that our mental and physical illnesses are enough to keep us from pursuing our innermost desires, so we immediately give up – the chronic illness as our excuse. I’ve noticed several questions that float by us:

  1. If you had no limits, what would you do?
  2. If you didn’t have an illness, where could you be?
  3. What would your day look like if you were pain-free, fatigue-free, illness-free?
  4. Could you hold a job, go to school, etc.?

All awesome questions that help us dream and show us what we really want in life.

But how do chronic illness sufferers – or spoonies, as they’re called – respond? I’ve noticed two responses!

  1. “I daydream about what could’ve been, but I know it’s not possible.”
  2. “I can’t change so I might as well learn to enjoy my life as it is.”

Both responses are susceptible to motivational highs and depressing lows.

Do I let my chronic illness take control of my life? Or do I take control of my illness and take on my life?

The truth is: chronic is chronic, it doesn’t normally change.

The truth is: changing your mindset to a positive and thankful one is hard.

You don’t have to choose though.

It’s okay to be positive and it’s definitely okay to get depressed about the good and bad days.

But it’s not okay for you to give up and just daydream about what could be or accept your fate and live in a state of unknowingness.

The goal should be to stabilize your body and mind as much as possible!

How?

  • Create a manageable routine
  • Talk about how real the struggle is
  • Support each other fully

Do not think it’s impossible to live the life you want just because you have a diagnosis.

Do not think you have to compromise.

Do not succumb to any type of compromise.

You are a person with a body that has an illness. YOU ARE NOT THE ILLNESS.

Don’t be defined as “Jess with EDS” or “Jane with Endometriosis” or “Hannah with Fibromyalgia” or “Kelly with Depression” or any other label you could put on yourself.

Be “Jess the blogger” or “Jane the runner” or Hannah the dog walker” or “Kelly the Etsy seller”

Start thinking of yourself as the person you want to be, not the person you are now.

So now that you know who you can be, introduce yourself! Here, I’ll start:

Now you! Fill in the blanks.

“My name is _______ & I’m _________!”

Comment your answers!

Looking to work on your mental/physical health but don’t know where to start? Join me and others on the journey – Comment below, send me a message, or DM me on Instagram for more details!

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