“Chronic illness is exactly that. An illness. No amount of self management will ever = a cure. Relapsing doesn’t mean we failed at self management. Relapsing just means that we are sick.”
My most recent post (Oh, to be “normal”) has been playing on my mind over the last couple of days so I’d like to elaborate and perhaps clear up some of the negativity around self management and more importantly, self blame.
This whole blog originated from some crazy idea of mine that maybe writing down how I feel would help me come to terms with my own situation in a neutral sense. Allow me to look at my own life from afar and thus find positives where I didn’t know they could exist.
Sometimes it can be really hard to maintain a positive attitude, you know there are good things right there in the centre of your vision but your focus is out and you can’t bring yourself to separate the foreground from the background. For me, writing things down is like putting on a new pair of glasses when you’ve been delaying that trip to the optometrist for months. And as for now, writing is my favourite form of self management of my illness.
Self management comes in all different shapes and sizes and we can’t always get it right. Sometimes, we can be doing everything perfectly. We could be maintaining a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, resting often, basically just owning the whole “listen to your body” thing, and yet still we find ourselves relapsing.
I want to remind you that chronic illness is exactly that. An illness. No amount of self management will ever = a cure. Don’t take that the wrong way, I certainly don’t mean it’s a waste of time. More often than not self management is the strongest and most reliable way forward. But that doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. Relapsing doesn’t mean we failed at self management. Relapsing just means that we are sick.
In my last post I commented on the self blame and guilt that I feel when I let myself do something that I know might cause me to relapse. Even if it turns out okay and I face only minor consequences I still can’t help but wish I was more disciplined. It’s human nature to want to blame someone or something but it’s much more healthy to simply let go.
Somewhere in my aimless Facebook scrolling today I saw a post that said something along the lines of,
“I spend my days stuck between not wanting to let my illness worsen my life and not wanting to let my life worsen my illness”
and I think that pretty much sums it up. Sometimes we must listen to our bodies and sometimes we must listen to our minds and regardless of which we choose, we must know and believe for ourselves that at that moment in that day we made the right decision.