How many times have you forced yourself through something that you really didn’t want to do, but felt like you had to out of social obligation?
How many times have you put others needs before yourself, because you feel that you should be used to whatever it is you’re dealing with right now because you’ve been dealing with it for so long?
How many times have you been so ridiculously hard on yourself for not being able to do things you think you should be able to?
Well I recently came across something in a Facebook group I’m part of, Endo and MEntal Health, called self care September and it got me thinking that most of us are actually a lot nicer to other people than we are to ourselves. We have so much more compassion for other peoples struggles than we do for our own, and that’s not right.
I’m not saying that we need to wallow in self pity and become narcissistic people who only focus on and talk about our own pain. But, with a chronic condition we should recognise and acknowledge the small victories we have, the same as we would if it was a friend in our situation – whether it’s not needing to ask for a seat on the tube cause you can manage your pain, or surviving a difficult shift at work when all you want is to be on the sofa with a hot water bottle.
We need to be more understanding of our own limits, without letting our lives be ruled by illness and symptoms. And we need to realise that by practicing self care and, when needed, putting ourselves before others we can be there for the people in our lives who need us – because we haven’t burnt ourselves out.