Tuesday, 3 August 2021

My chronic illness wreaks havoc on my self-development journey, here's how I changed my mindset

Having a chronic illness means that no two days are the same so often we chuck our dreams of self-development out of the window. 

Ready-made plans and normal routines are something that just cannot happen as flare-ups can be unpredictable and cancel them at any given moment. 

Because of this, so many people ask me how easy it is to keep up with your journey of self-development… the answer for me, and others like me are it is not.

My journey of self-development has changed dramatically since I was diagnosed last year. 

As someone who honestly believed in positive manifestation my feelings towards that became mixed after my diagnosis. 

I had to adapt to so many different things and challenges causing so many of my beliefs and values to be compromised. 

As well as this, accepting that whatever I did, this illness was not going to change or go away felt like I was torturing myself for no gain. 

Naturally, this set me back massively. 

My hour or so of solitude in the gym to clear my thoughts and work through my brain junk became solely focused on how ill I felt. 

I also do not like people feeling sorry for me so being constantly asked "are you ok?," and being told, "you don’t look well" took a huge toll on my mental wellbeing. 

On days when I felt ok it was as though people did not believe me and so my own mindset was constantly thrown into question. 

All my life I have always tried to be a positive person and project that to others, kindness goes a long way and, "treat others how you would like to be treated" has been drummed into me since I was young, and it is a principle that I wholly accept and believe everyone should follow. 

So, when I was diagnosed it somehow felt like I must have done something wrong to 'deserve' this. 

Self-hate crept in like it always does and my constantly changing appearance was not helping. 

Intrigued by this article and want to read more like it? Check out: 

- Sex with a chronic illness: How to feel sexy when you feel so poorly

- You say 'from Duff to Buff', we say sometimes losing 8 stone is not what it seems: Chronic Illness Awareness

Unfortunately, I could not help but think about where has this illness come from as no one in my family suffers, so why me? I would not wish it on even my worst enemy so why then suddenly am I the one who is suffering?

One night when I was in bed my mum suggested I read a book or something as it may send me to sleep, by this point I have been awake for 43 hours and I felt as though my body was going to completely shut down. 

She gave me a copy of "The Secret" and as I began flicking through it seemed to make logical sense to me.

The Secret preaches that if you think positively, positive things will happen. If you think negatively, the negative will form into your reality. 

I spoke about a positive mental attitude and how it was something I was struggling with and now by thinking more positively it is leading me down more paths of success and happiness, in regards to my self-development journey while battling a chronic illness. 

Prior to my mother handing me that book, I felt as if I had nothing to lose, all I knew is that I needed to sleep and I would try anything to be able to do that. 

Indeed I read every page and then I threw my positive thoughts out there into the universe, and hand on heart I don’t remember anything until I woke up 19 hours later. 

Now that may have been pure exhaustion but the positive affirmations worked like a sleeping pill.

From that day it was like a switch went off in my brain, I needed to stop moping around and try to do small things (that I could manage without hurting myself) that would make me feel good! 

It is not easy, and the journey of self-development when twinned with something with the unpredictability of an illness can feel impossible. 

However, even taking 10 minutes out of your day to slowly build up baby steps to feeling good again can make a massive difference in the long run.

I go by this - when I am at my worst times, I believe it will get better and when I am at my best times, I must stay believing it will be better too. 

It is not a quick fix nor is it right for everyone, but it is something I now try to use every day, even if it is only for 10 mins to take the time for myself. 

At the end of the day, what have you got to lose!

Written by Jessica Murray


1 comment

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