5 things to remember when you're feeling better with chronic illness

5 things to remember when you are feeling better

 I’ve been feeling really good lately. Not normal good, but good for me. For the first time in a year and a half, I do not have a kidney stone and so I’m only dealing with my normal health problems. After multiple kidney stone episodes, my normal problems make me feel like I’m on top of the world. I’ve really enjoyed being able to get everything done that needs to get done for once. I’m clearly doing much better than I have been for a long long time. And yet, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what will happen when I start to feel badly again.  In order to deal with my anxiety I’ve developed a few coping strategies that I try to live by when I’m feeling better:

1) Don’t wear yourself out


It’s tempting to try to fix all the things you neglected when you weren’t feeling great, but this is a fast way to put yourself back in a flare. You need to respect your limits. Most likely you know what they are, so you need to listen to your body and stop when it tells you to stop.


2) Don’t spend all your time anticipating feeling bad again

It’s easy to have that secret fear in the back of your head when you are feeling well.  You wonder how you are going to handle it when you go back. When you start feeling awful again, are you going to completely fall apart after enjoying freedom? What if you lose access to the medications that are helping you feel better, what’s going to happen to you? These thoughts will likely make you anxious, they don’t do any good, and they don’t help your health. If you are feeling anxious, try to take things moment by moment and not worry about the future.

3) Maintain your important relationships, don’t get sucked in to toxic ones


You know who has been there for you and who hasn’t. Continue to build the important relationships and stay away from energy vampires. Continue to maintain the boundaries that you have set and prioritize self care.

4) Focus on what you can do now, not on what you should have done when you were feeling bad.

It’s easy to berate yourself for all of your “failures” while you were feeling bad, but it doesn’t do any good to dwell on the past. You need to focus on what you can control right now. There are always going to be things left undone because you are not a superhuman. Remember that you are a good person and you have a lot to offer the world.

5) Remember that even if you feel powerless, you still have power.

When you don’t have control over your own body it often makes you feel powerless. Remember that even if you can’t control your health, you can control how you react to it. You have the power to react positively or negatively. You have the power to run your own life, even if you have to work around doctors appointments. You have the power to decide who you are and how you are going to handle the challenges you are facing.

 

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