💕 People who talk about “time management” make very good points, but fail to recognize that it is harder to manage your time when battling unpredictable chronic health issues.
It is a privilege to be able to wake up every day, having your day planned out and following a set schedule. Habits are not as easy to form when you have illness or pain derailing your every move.
All the talk about time management and daily routines is wise and aspirational (and proven to be beneficial!) but these ideas are also an example of hidden/unintentional/subconscious/unconscious #ableism in some ways.
Things can be *simultaneously* ableist, true, and inspiring. Sometimes, comments about positive thinking and time management and fitness motivation are prime examples of that trifecta.
Those day-to-day tasks that you can easily schedule out or check off of a “to-do” list are a lot harder for people who are sick or in pain all the time. So please remember that it is a privilege to be able to dictate (or even predict) how your will days go, to be able to schedule out what your week will look like, to stick to plans, and to be able to choose/decide what you do with your time.
Some of us can’t easily do so.
And I’m not complaining about that. I’m just pointing it out because it is true, and people do tend to forget (or never be aware of in the first place) how much living with chronic illness can affect your daily life, even when you seem to be doing well.
Another issue that sometimes bugs me is when people act like you brought your illness upon yourself or you choose to be sick. The choices I make can certainly affect my health and quality-of-life, but I can’t think myself into curing these incurable illnesses. I make the best choices I can and I think the best thoughts I can, but I can only control the outcomes of those things to an extent.
I am an optimistic realist.
I think the power of positive thinking is real, as is the law of attraction. I also believe in the power of prayer. And I believe in holistic/natural/nutrition-based treatments and remedies. But that said, I do wholeheartedly believe in science and medicine, too.
Trust me, folks: if I could think myself healthy, I would. If it was just a matter of making one or two simple choices a day to make myself better, I would make those choices. I do make those choices. I pray every day for less pain and less sickness, and a cure for me and others. I make the best choices that I can for myself at any given moment of any given day. And remember, I’ve been dealing with this stuff since childhood and will continue to do so probably for the rest of my life, until we see the miracle and a blessing of a possible cure.
But until then, I wish that people, both in the public eye and not, would stop acting like sick people can just think themselves healthy. Or that they somehow deserve to be sick. Or brought it upon themselves. This isn’t always the case. In fact, often it’s not.
I think that being positive, hopeful, faithful, and optimistic sure helps… and definitely won’t hurt. But while it may improve my quality of life, I can’t magically think myself well, or I would’ve done that a longggg long time ago. To me, it is up to God, and perhaps up to science and medicine, as to when and if I will ever be healthier.
Until then, I can only be a steward of my own health, doing as best I can given my situation.
I just want to remind people that health is never something that should be taken for granted. It is a luxury and a privilege to be well, and to not have to worry about how every choice you make will affect your body or your medical condition, or worry excessively and constantly that you will have to cancel plans, meetings, or appointments because you are sick. I hope that your body will never turn on you, that you will never have to have your self-esteem drained because of illness. I hope that you will never know the dread of feeling ill leading up to an impending vacation, holiday, or event. And I hope that your own body doesn’t cause you heartache, wreak havoc on your calendar and schedule, or make you a target for ignorance and ableist comments & assumptions, multiple times daily.
Again, I’m not complaining or blaming. I’m not being negative. I’m not finger-pointing are calling anyone out. I’m not angry. I just want people to think about the things they say, choose their words wisely, and try to practice empathy and compassion by putting themselves in other people’s shoes.
Just venting and being real. I love my life and I’m very grateful for it, and I have gotten used to being sick, but just because I’ve accepted that to a degree doesn’t mean that I like it. Or that it ever gets completely easy. You can live with illness for your entire life and while it gets easier mentally and emotionally, it doesn’t always get easier physically. And we shouldn’t have to be reminded of that all the time or made to feel “less than.”
They say health is the ultimate wealth, and with that I do mostly agree. But I *don’t* agree that without your health you have nothing. I have a lot, and I am very blessed. But would I trade certain things for better health? Absolutely. I hope that you never have to be in a position to consider those things. I hope that you have your health, AND a loving family, a thriving career, physical fitness, great friends, financial security, safety, love, happiness, confidence, purpose, and a fulfilling life graced with all the things that you could wish for. But while you are enjoying all of those things, please remember that not everyone has the same blessings as you. This goes for everyone, both healthy and sick. 💕