Have you assigned a personality to your chronic illness? Do you let it define who you are as a person? Do you find yourself apologizing for the limitations imposed on you by crippling chronic pain? If so, it may be time to hit the disconnect button. A short while back, I realized that I was treating Lupus like a roommate in my body. It was like I’d let in a burglar and invited him to steal my life away. Attitude and perspective make a great deal of difference when fighting chronic pain and illness. Is it time to take back your life?
Changing your perspective.
When I realized I was subconsciously, yet willingly co-existing with Lupus, I knew I had to change my perspective. Lupus was not my friend. Why was I treating it like one? Why was I bowing to it’s limitations? That’s when Lupus and I started our new relationship. That’s when I went back to kicking Lupus out of my life.
Denying that you’re sick is not the answer.
I’m not saying that you should deny your illness. You have to fight it. You have to be strong. You have to be aware. You have to take your meds, eat right, exercise and do everything you can to beat this thing. I’m just saying, you may need to take a step back and stop treating chronic illness like a part of your identity. It’s not. It’s an invader that needs to be dealt with.
Are you wallowing in your illness?
There’s no shame in admitting it. Spending every day in pain wears you out. Being sick is a convenient reason (notice I did not say excuse) for not living up to your full potential. While it’s true that you can’t be expected to do everything as you did before, you can at least make some kind of effort toward living a normal life.
One day, I automatically took a backseat to Lupus.
One day, when contemplating a project, I immediately dismissed it, due to my limitations. The project involved working on my hands and knees on the floor. I can get down there, it’s just the getting back up that I have trouble with. The next day, I said to myself, “What are you doing? You can do this. It’s just going to take more effort than normal. That never stopped you before Lupus. Why are you letting it stop you now?”
Separating yourself from the chronic illness you are fighting
Chronic illness can quickly absorb itself into your identity without you even realizing it. In my case, I realized I was treating Lupus like a roommate in my body. Others may find chronic illness playing a different role for them. It’s important to see that c hronic illness is not a natural part of you. It’s an invading force. Making that separation in your mind can help you fight it.
More from Jaipi:
Fighting Chronic Illness – Be Patient With Critical Loved Ones
Exercising With Chronic Illness
Understanding Chronic Illness From the Outside