I am more than this illness!

Having a chronic illness is challenging. The cloud of your symptoms is always lingering over your head, no matter if your illness is visible or not. Worry and anxiety always come hand in hand with stigma, and it certainly does not make it any easier to stay to find your way through life.

Today I want you to remember that you are more than this. The illness is a part of you – but don’t let it take over your identity. What are the other things which make you your unique self?

Speaking openly about my struggles always keeps me worrying that this could be all people see of me. As if I need to try extra hard to prove I can still be: a good worker, friend, partner or dog mum. This neverending pressure is mainly put onto my by myself, instead of my environment. Like in so many other cases, I am my harshest critic, and I know of many people who have experienced this too. Have you?

In my life, I fulfil many roles. I am a recruitment professional, a partner, a blogger, a dog mum, a coffee lover, a friend and so many more things. Then there is one other part of me which is mentally ill. This is probably part of my identity I struggle with the most. It is a constant tug-of-war game of me denying that part of me or letting it overshadow everything else.

I am striving for balance. I don’t need to be 100% of either ill or fully functional. I can be both, and both aspects of my life are valid. They are for you too!

Do you ever find your mind caught up in this tug-of-war game? It does not have to be.  You are more than your illness – you are your unique self and a combination of everything, including the activities and people you love, make up your identity.

 

 

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3 Replies to “I am more than this illness!”

  1. I can relate to that. I really don’t want the ED to be my identity. It really is a tug of war sometimes! I’m just trying to keep my eye on my recovery, that’s my goal and this ED WILL NOT win this battle!

    Stay Strong ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been suffering with anxiety for at least 6 months. I’ve always been a little anxious but it’s morphed into this big thing which I’m getting therapy for. Anyway, I’m so stuck inside my head most days that I do feel it defines me. I try to fight but anxiety seems to win the day. I know someday I will find a solution to live with it but not have it control me, but lately it’s very much apart of me. Even though I’d rather it wasn’t. Sometimes it leaves me feeling detached and unhinged and I don’t feel like I matter at all… That I could just disappear or be swallowed up by it. Who would care? My therapist suggested I find things about myself that make me valuable.. Reasons that I matter. I made a list but ignored things like “mom” or “wife” because those roles could disappear. Instead, I focused on my character. I’m kind, thoughtful, I seek fairness and advocate for those I love, I am funny and witty and creative. Those things exist whether I’m a mom or not or married or not. I think it’s helped a little. I hope I continue to get better.

    Like

    1. I am very sorry to hear you feel this way. It is hard to draw a line between something so big and ’demanding’ like anxiety and your identity. I also suffer from anxiety and am learning even more about it these days. Many character ’flaws’ I thought I had been due to this. I love the list you wrote, and you are right, some of our roles might be temporary in life. I am currently trying to figure out how to balance it all. It indeed is a journey.

      Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience on this.

      Liked by 1 person

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