Chronic illness changes your life. In many ways it takes what you used to have and devours it. It is easy to have it consume everything you once knew, including your passion if you are not careful enough. You are thrown to rebuild a new life and at the same time being a person of color navigating the medical world can be devastating.
Who I am has changed but the core of my being hasn’t. I am still an activist, I am still a writer, queer, brown & beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong. I struggle. A lot.
But over time, (A LOT of time) I have had to learn and truly re-learn extremely important realities; to cement them in to my being in the hardest of times. If you are one amongst the many who have a disability, you may find these truths that I use as mantras, useful:
- I am good enough. My existence and being is good enough. Regardless of what expectations others have of me, they are not me. They are not in my physical body.
- What I contribute is good & a true contribution. Even when I feel it isn’t as good as what someone who can put in physically active hours, what I do makes an impact.
- I know myself best. Navigating the medical world is complex and often times downright discouraging. Even if a doctor looks at you with transparent judgement, there are countless other doctors.
- I am not alone. There are others with similar disabilities. In fact, there are so many people like me that there are communities.
- Self care is not self indulgence or laziness. It is literally a matter of prioritizing my health & life. Remember, you hurt yourself by pushing past what you are physically capable of. And this is very, very real. A reality that others may not be able to see in front of them but you understand daily because it is your existence.
- Pace yourself. Pace what you do even when you feel like you are being slow and you are being judged. Someone’s judgement of you is not worth being sick in bed for days if not weeks because you pushed yourself that hard.
- Friends are understanding and supportive. If someone is not understanding and supportive of your illness/when you are ill, they are not a friend.
I hope this helps anyone who comes across it that needs it.
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