I thought I’d switch up and write about something a little more on the serious side today.
When I started this blog, I had a very specific goal in mind. To show my life in a very authentic way. I wanted (and still want) to show that even though I have chronic illness, and with it chronic pain that I feel daily, I can still have a life. It was and is as much for others as it is for me. As a reminder of all the wonderful moments I have the pleasure of experiencing, and also to push me to go out and explore all that this world has to offer. Wouldn’t it get quite mundane around here if I didn’t make it a goal to go and do things?
I’ve been pushing myself to fill my schedule, even though that voice in the back of my mind tells me, “you can’t do all of this”. (I’m not talking about extreme activities or pushing myself to exhaustion, mind you). I have always had self doubt about what I am capable of achieving and becoming. I have had depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. My depression made me not care about, well anything really. And my anxiety had dissuaded me from taking a lot of chances and taking myself seriously. It has stopped me from pursuing more than a few paths that, looking back, I now know I was and am more than capable of following.
I think from being sick with physical chronic illness, I have learned to better deal with mental illness. Particularly the fact that I cannot will myself to get better. They are much more alike than I initially thought them to be. Both take a lot work. Medication, exercise, rest, enjoyment and compassion. I’ve never given myself a hard time over the fact that my back was aching so much I couldn’t sleep for nights on end. I didn’t choose for my joints to become inflamed. I also didn’t choose for my brain to be wired in a way that it keeps me up some nights worrying about seemingly superficial things.
I was already on my way to realizing this by the time my arthritis, and then thyroid disease, hit hard. But it didn’t really sink in until more recently. If I can accept the fact that my physical illness has changed my life, I can accept that so has my mental illness. The fact that I have them is well, a fact of my life. I can choose to be easy on myself and accept that sometimes I will just have to give myself a break. Also, that sometimes I can push myself a little bit more and that I will be okay.
It’s really weird sometimes to think about how much of a cheese-ball I’ve become. But it’s so much easier than giving myself a hard time about every little thing in my life. A lot easier.