In the beginning, we make some mistakes with chronic illness. Then we often repeat those mistakes later on. I have made so many of them because I am stubborn and like to learn the hard way
- Ignoring our mental health– this is a big one. We have say chronic pain or some other illness and we ignore the mental health issue. We feel we can ‘handle it’ on our own. Some of us may think it is a weakness and we have to deal with it ourselves. Some of us are ashamed of it. While others are afraid of all the stigma associated with it or the doctor stigma. This is if your chronic illness isn’t in this category, of course.
- Not pacing– We do the Boom and Bust causing us more pain than if we paced all the time. We feel this Need to be productive on good days and overextend ourselves. It is like we feel guilty for all we don’t do on bad days and have to compensate on good days. Yet it hurts us to do this. If we pace all the time our pain is more level all the time.
- We guilt– We feel guilty about things that are not our fault and we can do nothing about. We feel guilty we are ill. That we cannot accomplish as much as we used to be able to. That we are not as productive. That we do not make as much money as we used to. We feel guilty about a lot. When we should accept our lives as they are now. Guilt comes from this discord of our lives as they are now and our mental comparison to how our lives should be. We need to live in the present.
- We stop doing things– we stop doing things like hobbies or socializing to be able to do more of the things we consider to be necessary. However, doing this can affect mood. Because the things we stop are often the things that are important for our mood. Socializing and being around people we like… good for the mood. Hobbies also good for the mood. We cut these things because they are valued less. We feel that if we do all the necessary things we are still ‘productive’ by socialites standards. We often cut away all the things that are beneficial to our wellbeing.
- Compare– We compare ourselves to our past selves. We compare ourselves to other men and women who are healthy. We compare our progress to others with similar conditions. Comparisons to our past healthy selves and other healthy people is a horrible thing to do, as we will never live up to that. Comparing ourselves to someone else’s progress is a bit better, being apples and apples, but everyone progresses differently and we have to understand each of us is different. The only comparison to make is to yourself and your immediate history. Are You making progress and what you should change.
- Ignoring symptoms– I am guilty of all these but in particular this one. We ignore symptoms we think might go away, are not important enough to worry about or are just wanting to ‘see’. We do not want to trouble our doctor with ‘too much’. Or seen as hypochondriacs. Or just mentioning things of no consequence. But they could be. They could be important. We don’t know. I suggest listing these and giving them to your doctor and let her decide if they are important or not.
I am sure I have made more than this, more than once. In the beginning, denial was my favourite which led to a lot of issues.