Hello loves. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to spend time with family and friends.
Today I felt the need to write (even though I just finished writing a 7 page paper, lol), but instead of writing for someone else, I wanted to write for me…and for you guys of course! This post is reflective, and I hope it inspires you in some way, no matter what your suffering from at this time (stress, mental illness, physical illness, the business of the season) – whatever your going through – this post is meant to encourage you and to help you see that there is good in everything.
Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to do a lot of reflecting and thinking. Let me back up for a second…yesterday afternoon I had a doctor’s appointment, the BIG doctor’s appointment…the kind that you wait months for and have to go in with a list of questions. This was my first appointment that I had with my doctor after receiving my new metabolic disease diagnosis in August. Since then, a lot has happened. I have had to schedule appointments with a nutritionist, take a whole bunch of new medicines, change my diet, and the list goes on and on. However, this is not about me and the instructions I need to follow in dealing with my condition. This is about a realization that came to yesterday.
My doctor’s appointment went well, but it caused me to have a lot of mixed emotions. For starters, I received another diagnosis: Raynaud’s/Antiphosphlipid antibody syndrome. The doctor wrote me another script so I can take more medicine (perks of chronic illness…lol), and I had the opportunity to discuss everything I have been wondering and concerned about for the past three months.
I left his office feeling heard, validated, and encouraged, which is not always the case when I leave the offices of some of my other doctors.
BUT, when I got home, there was a heaviness inside of me. I was thankful that another piece of the puzzle has been solved, but sad to receive a new diagnosis. I was hopeful for the future, but afraid of the uncertainty. I collapsed on the couch, exhausted from the day, and I felt sorry for my body. Yes, you heard that correctly. I felt SORRY for it.
I have spent most of my life hating my body, destroying my body, hurting my body, and doing everything in my power to change it. And here I am now, feeling sorry for it. And I thought to myself…what brought about this change? This shift that I have been working towards, hoping to one day achieve?
Yes. Exactly that. Now let me start off by saying that physical illness is not at all fun. It can be downright horrible. I miss doing all the activities that I used to do. But maybe this curse is actually a blessing in disguise. And I say this because, for the first time in a very, very long time, I have some self-compassion. My doctor helped me to see that I NEED to take care of myself, that I NEED to love myself. Because I have to have my own back. My body has been through hell, and it is time to show it some care. Maybe it took a physical illness for me to see this truth and come to this realization, because I would have let my eating disorder kill me out of denial. My last time in treatment was my saving grace, even though that is where I got sick. I am learning that it’s okay to rest and take care of myself, which in the past has been a completely foreign concept. Most importantly, I am learning that I am deserving, that I deserve to treat my body with respect. It has done nothing but keep me alive for all of those years when I starved it and tried to harm my body any chance I got. Physical illness has shown me that it’s time…time to start taking care of me. Time to realize that I AM enough. That I DO enough. Even with my limitations. I need to accept myself the way I am, illnesses and all. And, as my doctor said, I need to NOT feel guilty. I am doing the best I can given the circumstances. Only I know what I can do and not do. Only I know how much I can and can’t take. So it is time to take charge of my health. Of my recovery. Of my life.
And if I can learn to love myself, after I thought it was IMPOSSIBLE, I know you can too.