Updated: Oct 3
When you are overwhelmed with pain, stress, burnout, all of the above- the last thing we usually feel is deep love and empathy towards ourselves. The issue with that is that self-love and understanding is sometimes the only weapon we have to dig ourselves out of this place of resentment and dissonance.
I've outlined some things below that have helped me move from a state of anger and hate towards my body and its capabilities, to forgiveness and understanding. Love.
The Grieving Process and Permission to be Angry
Here is your permission slip (not that you need one but just in case- I've got you!) You have permission to feel all of the emotions around a chronic illness. It doesn't make you weird, worthless, incapable, or anything less than the beautiful person you are.
Sometimes it is gradual and sometimes it slaps you in the face. When you realize you feel different, off, in pain, demotivated, exhausted. When we go through something chronic, it can feel extremely isolating and like your world has stopped. Life doesn't feel like it once did, right? With deep change, comes grief and the more we block it out and act like you can power through, the worse it will catch up later.
Grieving, releasing anger, and taking some time to process what you are going through is a form of loving yourself.
Here are a few ways to process
See a therapist! It really helps to have someone sort out your feelings with you! This was transformational for me.
Journal about it. I felt it very healing to "brain dump" my thoughts on paper without correcting or thinking. What came into my brain went right to the page. I didn't read it over but it cleared my head to make space for other things in my day.
Try writing a letter to your chronic illness as if it were a person
Schedule alone time. In our busy world, this feels impossible, especially if your chronic scenario is stress/burnout. We need quiet time to just sit and be with ourselves. Let your mind wander and think its thoughts. Try to minimize the judgement of your thoughts as best as you can.
Write a letter to your chronic illness. Yell at it if you have to!
Cry your eyes out. Punch a pillow. Snuggle with your pet. Release that emotion!
Give it time. If this is a new diagnosis for you, understand that in time, it will get better.
There is no timeline
I want you to release expectations and timelines. Whatever you have in your head. The timeline is your body and listening to it's signs and directions will strengthen that inner compass/timeline.
Timelines can add to the stress your mind and body are already under. We need to do what we can to combat that, not fuel it.
Here are a few ways to release that pressure
Write a list of what you have accomplished in your life this far
Find a community (online/in person) that you can relate to, who can meet you where you're at
Turn off social media notifications and reduce scrolling time
Everyone's highlight reels are feeding that "FOMO timeline" stress
If you have a significant other, talk to them about the pressure you are feeling
Breathe and practice things to get you into the present moment. When we worry about timelines or past things we haven't accomplished, we are not living in the present moment. Meditation or something physical (creating/exercising/singing) can help you regulate your breath and pull you into the moment.
Take a personality test! I found a sense of belonging and it calmed down my anxiety when I realized I am not the only one in the world with certain tendencies like stressing over lists I make, feeling uncomfortable in a room full of people, setting too many goals too quickly. Ect....
Most of these tests you can find for free online, and it will not only give you traits that align with the questions you answer, but it will give you things to grow your weaknesses and hone your strengths!
This isn't set in stone or meant to be studied like a bible, instead, use it as a helpful guide and blueprint into understanding yourself better.
When we have a deeper understanding of who we are as a person, we open up space for empathy and love to flow in. Thus, releasing the anger, hate, and resentment to the chronic chaos in our life.
What was helpful for you during this time? Or maybe you have tried a few on this list. Tell me about it in the comments below :)
ps. If you are looking for a custom plan and accountability to help you transition into a new creatively clear identity, not defined by your chronic condition, I offer individual and packaged coaching sessions. You're also welcome to join my growing Facebook community!
#chronicillness #selflove #timelines #fomo #personality #selfcare #meditation #diagnosis #stress #burnout #chronicstress #chronicburnout #chronicfatigue #ehlersdanlossyndrome #autoimmune #invisibleillness