You Are Not Your Illness (and Neither am I)

Photo by Tevin Trinh on Unsplash

When you suffer from chronic illnesses, it’s easy to slip into a living embodiment of your illness.

After all, most of the time, the illnesses run your life in some way, shape, or form. Depending on what you deal with, they can determine what you can or can not eat, drink, how you exercise (if at all), and how your body and mind feels on a daily basis.

If the illness(es) you have come with chronic pain as well, it is easy to fall into depression along with everything else you’re dealing with. Trust me, one of the worst feelings to have is to try and do things you’re so used to being able to do, and failing miserably because your body is fighting against you.

But neither of us are the sum total of our illness.

And that’s something that you have to remember, especially when the going gets tough. I’m not saying you should lay down and die, not by any means. However, accepting your limitations doesn’t make you lazy and useless.

It just means that you’ve had to change things in order to continue to survive, thrive, and live.

Thriving is an important part of life. Failure to thrive is a term often used to describe newborns and young children who are not meeting milestones, but it can be attributed to adults as well. If you’re just living, just surviving, what kind of existence is that?

Not much of one.

There will be days where that’s all you can do. And that’s okay. We all must travel those dark and winding roads every now and then. The important thing to remember is that is not your final destination. Not to live there eternally, not to allow whatever is bringing you down to keep you there.

I’ll admit, I have wallowed in self-pity more times than I would care to remember.

In the past, I have allowed the illnesses I deal with on a daily basis to completely take over my life. I fell into a deep depression and threw the biggest pity party you’ve ever seen.

That did nothing good for me or anyone around me.

Depression adds to your pain and suffering. It does nothing to help you to be well, mentally or physically. It’s no laughing matter, it’s a bitch and it sucks the life right out of you. If you’re feeling like this, it’s okay to acknowledge those feelings, just don’t set up house there. Recognize the feelings for what they are.

A lie built by your brain, telling you that you’re not doing enough, that you aren’t enough.

But you are, enough that is. You aren’t your illness, and neither am I. We are humans, who make mistakes, learn from them hopefully, and can find a way to live with whatever is trying to hold us back, and greet the day filled with new possibilities.

And hope, there’s always hope.

I think, therefore, I write. /Posts may contain affiliate links.

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