Sometimes with chronic illness it’s easy to focus on the bad stuff about ourselves and forget the good stuff. I’ve done it far too many times over far too many years. A couple weeks ago I wrote about chronic illness and self-esteem. Based on the response to that and other articles I’ve written about this, I think a lot of you know what I’m talking about and you’ve had the same problem.
So today we’re changing that. I want you to do two things.
First, write down 10 great things about yourself. Write them, type them, record them, dictate to someone else who will write them. Your format doesn’t matter. Just do it. If it’s too hard, then start with 1, build up to 3, and try to get 10 over the next few weeks. These aren’t about your looks but about who you are as a person. Think about what makes you great. Keep that list and reread it every month, every week, every day, whenever you feel down – or whatever works for you. Add to it whenever you think of something else that should be on the list. When someone compliments you for something specific, add it.
Second, write at least one of those things in the comments below. You can write more than 1 if you want, but please share one. This will help you and others in so many ways. It will show others that it’s possible to still be awesome when you have a chronic illness. It will give them ideas of things that are great about them, too. And when you declare to the world (or at least to the readership of this blog) that you love these things about yourself, you’ll be taking it heart and believing it more strongly than ever. So go for it!
To be fair, I figure I should probably share my own list. So here goes.
- I’m a good daughter, always there for my parents and helping them when I can.
- I’m a good friend. Even when I can’t do much physically, I listen, I offer advice, and I’m there for my friends.
- I’m a great crocheter.
- I go out of my way to help others, even people I don’t know very well.
- I’m a good cook. Ok, I have a limited range, but I do a good job with what I know.
- I’m strong. Life has made things tough for me, and sometimes I’ve given up temporarily, but eventually I always go back to trying hard to get better (or to at least not get worse.)
- I try my best to be a patient and health advocate for others.
- I’m good with kids.
- I’m interesting. I read a lot and have different hobbies, so I always have a variety of things to discuss with people. (Hint: this is handy for changing the topic when I don’t want to talk about my health.)
- I appreciate nature. Put me at the shore and I can happily sit and watch the waves for hours. Even pictures of trees make me happy. I always stop to smell the roses (literally!)
Ok, now it’s your turn. Take some time and create your own list. And remember to reread it whenever you feel a bit down.