There were times even before I was chronically ill when I felt weak and broken, when anxiety overtook me and controlled me. I felt weak that I couldn’t control the anxiety. When chronic illness became part of my life there was a period of about two years where I felt completely broken and worthless. I wondered why I should bother living, because I was useless and nothing more than a drain on those who love me. With chronic illness (whether physical or mental) we often feel weak and broken, even worthless and useless.
Despite having my illness well under control I still feel weak and broken at times. I feel useless, and I wonder what my purpose is. But, then I stop and think about all that my chronic illness has given me. I have much to be thankful for – many great things that I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my illness.
The truth is that you aren’t weak. You are strong. The fact that you get through each day proves how strong you are. You also aren’t broken, although you may be a little bent, You are simply being formed in a different direction. You are not worthless, You have value, simply because you exist. You are so much more than your illness.
In the end, we choose the direction we will grow. You can make choices that enhance your strength, and help you grow, rather than wither. Over the years, I’ve learned that there are a few things that I have to do in order toremind myself that I am strong and valuable. I hope that these reminders help you as well.
1 . Surround yourself with people who remind you of your worth. Unfortunately, sometimes those around us treat us in a way that allows us to believe that we are broken, weak, or worthless. It’s up to us to choose how we are treated, to surround ourselves with people who remind us of our worth, remind us that we are worthy of love, remind us that we are strong.
Choose to surround yourself with those who remind you of your value. Surround yourself with those who not only tell tell you they love you, but show you. Surround yourself with people who encourage your passions rather than squashing them.Choose those who surround you wisely, choose people who reflect your value. Click To Tweet
2. Create healthy habits that meet your needs – In order to feel worthy and valuable, you have to treat yourself that way. Remind yourself that you am important enough to care about. If you don’t treat yourself that way, how can youI expect others to do so?
Take time for yourself. It may be something as simple as taking a bath at night, or stopping to meditate during the day when you feel frazzled. Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. Focusing on your needs isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. Healthy habits also includes choosing foods that nourishes your body, as well as indulging yourself wisely.It's up to me to create healthy habits that meet my needs. No one can do that for me. Click To Tweet
3. Offer yourself compassion – You will make mistakes, we all make mistakes. It is so easy to focus on those mistakes, to get stuck on them, and not let them go. But, that doesn’t help anyone, certainly not yourself. When you make a choice that isn’t in you best interest, be compassionate with yourself and offer yourself forgiveness.
It’s also important to be compassionate with yourself and offer yourself rest when you need it. No one else is going to look at you and say “hey you don’t look well, you should rest today.” But, you know when you don’t feel well and when you need to rest. Self-compassion is giving your body what it needs.Compassion is taking the time to do what my body needs. If I don't offer myself compassion, who will? Click To Tweet
4. Look for the best in every situation – Have you ever noticed that when you don’t feel well you are more likely to assume the worst in every situation? It’s completely normal. It often feels as if when the body is hurting, the world is out to get you. But, it’s not true. It’s not easy to look for the positive in situations, or to seek out the good intentions of those around us. But, it is important to do so, to remember that while we are focused on ourselves, others are not. They don’t intend you harm. They are living in their own world, often oblivious to your pain. They aren’t actively trying to make you feel bad. Most people are acting with the best of intentions. If you can try to remember this, it will decrease your stress and improve your relationships.Look for the best in every situation - you will find what you seek. If you expect everything to suck, it will. If you expect everyone to be out to get you, it will feel that they are. Click To Tweet
As we live with chronic illness, it’s too easy to get mired in our weakness. But, we can choose to surround ourselves with the positive, with positive people, positive habits, and positive situations that build us up and remind us of our strength. I may be weak physically, or even emotionally, but I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for, and so are you.
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