I Should Be Doing More And Other Lies I Tell Myself
Psoriatic arthritis and my other debilitating chronic illnesses are not in my head, but they sure do a number on it. They highlight my insecurities and whisper destructive lies. One of those lies is that I should be doing more - moving my body more, doing more chores, saying yes to more appointments and experiences.
I used to believe this lie. My life was spent doing more of the things I did before without regard for the needs of my chronically ill body.
There are so many incorrect things we tell ourselves
Instead of thriving, I made myself sick, trying to keep up with my healthy friends and family. Unable to keep up with the things I thought I should be doing more of, I needed to change my thinking.
I wasn't making my life easier by trying to keep up with pre-chronic illness me. I was making my life harder. With that revelation, I asked looked inward and internally asked, what other lies am I telling myself?
My mental health and physical health don't matter
Let's reframe this thinking because of course they do. They are intricately linked and make a significant difference in your quality of life.
The answer became clear. I needed to spend more time caring for my mental and physical health. This meant allowing my body to rest when needed and spending more time addressing pain as soon as I noticed it. That means not pushing myself and waiting until after it spirals out of control.
Something I hadn’t even considered was spending more time enjoying little moments. I was so focused on significant events that I overlooked all the little moments in life that can provide a lot of joy when embraced.
My body's needs aren't important
Yes, they are. My body and your body’s needs are just as important as anyone else’s, no matter how inconvenient.
I used to believe that my physical needs weren’t important. There are times when caring for my chronic illnesses feels inconvenient, especially to those who were counting on me to do something with or for them. But in some instances, a delay in addressing my physical needs would result in increased pain and possibly injury.
My value is based on my productivity
This lie is something I continue to struggle with. I fight it by reminding myself that I am not in competition with anyone else. And that helps until I begin competing with myself!! It goes hand in hand with thinking I have to do more.
I don’t know about you, but I can be my worst enemy. Setting standards for myself that nobody, not even a healthy person, could meet.
Accepting that my value wasn’t based on my productivity freed me to flourish in other areas of my life that I didn’t have time or energy to put into because I was so busy proving my value to people who didn’t matter.
Putting a stop to the lies
Every day with chronic illness and pain is different, including the amount of what I can accomplish from one day to the next. Although I still struggle with them, I no longer allow these lies to control my life.
Instead, I remind myself every day that my needs are important, I am doing enough, and my value is not based on how much I did today.
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