A friend recently asked if my physical conditions got me to be anxious and my response to her was “Actually no, it got me to be resilient… it’s all about one’s mindset!” And every bit of that answer is true.
Whenever I used to get sick, be it a flu, stomachache, migraine, I used to find refuge in bed and wait for my pain to ease and heal. The same happened when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia! I was afraid of walking to avoid pain, afraid of leaving my house to avoid stares, afraid of talking about how I felt to avoid pity… and it all changed one day, the day I decided to face my insecurities and change my mindset.
I told myself that if I was to live with a chronic illness all my life, I had to change the conditions around my daily routines to make this “new life” work. It’s my sanity and mental health that were at stake, more than my fear of pain as I got used to it after a while.
Being in pain and still getting out of bed is a mindset.
Aching from fatigue and still finishing that physiotherapy session is a mindset.
Walking awkwardly and still taking that stroll is a mindset.
Feeling frail and still attend that social event is a mindset.
Aren’t we all disabled one way or another? Think of it, why can someone speak ten languages while someone else struggles to learn his native mother tongue? Why can someone be better at running, singing, dancing, mathematics, football… while others aren’t?
I could have stayed in bed, ached from fatigue, not took that stroll, kept on feeling frail and stayed home alone, but I chose not to. It’s not because I suddenly recovered or felt better, it’s because I wanted to “feel normal” … I want to be back to my old self. So, I accepted my disabilities, there’s no shame of accepting your incapacities, and changed my mindset. I learned how to live along pain and to fake being ok because it made my loved ones worry less and I wanted to spare them the agony and spare myself the remorse of seeing them suffer with me.
Let’s normalize our attitude towards chronic disease warriors, let’s respect their boundaries and support them without showing pity. Let’s change that shaming attitude and embrace a new mindset, that of treating them as “normal”.