There are many different types of abuse in our world. Sadly, the list is long. Each with their own trace of horrible scars that must be hurdled over. When it comes to having a disease like Ankylosing Spondylitis I have noticed, not only for me, but for many others with a chronic illness we find ourselves doubting our equal value in this world. The self-abuse attacks us at our weaker moments. Meaning, we “torture ourselves” for not being perfect.
Are we any less? In reality we already know this answer. ABSOLUTELY NOT! We’re just as valuable to this world as the “healthy”. On the days we can barely move, when we have to cancel plans, or we cannot be the super hero we want to be, the doubt rises. The exhaustion and pain has set in and it looks like their is no light at the end of tunnel. Rolling up into a depressive ball seems like the only answer at that moment. It’s controlling you, and you don’t know how to make it stop. I want to first say, that these days can happen, and it is okay and understandable to have these feelings. We are people who constantly must fight to get through each moment with a little less pain. Even the strongest person can only face so many challenges at a time. For me, when I experience a flare there is little to comfort me. When you have an illness which begins to limit your abilities, it can give you a feeling of being inferior. The frustration and exhaustion of not being able to do all you have planned can be extremely overwhelming. We talk ourselves down into a state of self hatred. We not only tell ourselves we are not worthy, but begin to take it out on our loved ones. Why are they wasting their time with us? Why do they stand by us when we cannot always do the same for them? They are better than us. It’s not fair that they can jump, run, even do yard work whenever they want. Nothing limits their lives…except for us. If they loved another they would be saved from our inconvenience of burden surrounding them. Again, we know this answer. They love us! An unconditional love that exists during the good times and the bad. They are there to help us through this horrible experience. They are the rocks that we do need, whether we want to admit it at the time or not.
So, how do we get past this abusive hurdle we bestow upon ourselves? To be honest, I haven’t fully figured it out yet. Each time I think I have cracked the code, I fall back into the state of doubt. I know how strong I am, but the flare peaks and down I go. It’s as if I’m outside looking in, watching this horrible scene take place. A nightmare I can’t wake up from. When I was younger, I was never a person who was known for a lack of confidence. In fact, I was known sometimes to be a little over confident whenever a new challenge occurred. I wouldn’t say my ego was big at the time, but I did feel I could conquer something no matter what presented itself. So what happened to the young girl who was ready to rule the world? I AM still here…I just forgot who I am and can be. I have a voice, I have courage, I can jump each hurdle! I CAN do this without feeling less than any other. I won’t say it will be easy. I know it will be a little harder. I will not give up and remember that I am somebody! My illness doesn’t define me. I make the choice of who I will be in the days ahead. I choose to stop abusing me. I will accept that my loved ones are there because they chose to, not because they have to. I’m worthy to love and be loved. Things may not always turn out like I think they should, but it doesn’t define my worth in this world. I was put here for a reason. I may not know completely what that reason is yet, but I know I have the power to direct it in a positive way. It is up to me to take hold of each limitation that presents itself, adjust, and move on. I’m not broken. In fact, I may get dropped, but I will not allow myself to be permanently shattered.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.