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.