Being chronically ill- changing how you value yourself

Yes, I have clearly fallen off the Wego Health blogging wagon. In my defense, my daughter was off school this entire week, and I can’t get in a spare minute to blog because she never stops talking (she’s talking as we speak, so hopefully I won’t get confused and type our conversation instead of the post). So I’m just skipping to Wego Health post #22: Write about change. 

Change is such a hard topic because when you have health problems, your whole life and everything you know, changes. Probably the biggest change for me has been my outlook on life. I am probably more mentally healthy now than I have ever been because of the changes I’ve had to go through in the last few years. Before I got sick I was plenty happy with my life, things were going pretty good, but I always had a hard time being happy with myself. I’ve always been the most critical of myself. When I first got sick I continued to be very critical of myself and all my short comings. I would focus on all the things I couldn’t do anymore and the things that I wasn’t doing “right.” This took me to some bad places. I found myself wondering why I even existed since I clearly couldn’t do anything for anybody. I eventually realized that I was going to have to change the way I valued myself. I could not longer base my “value” on the things I could do. I had to learn to value myself for who I am.

This change didn’t happen overnight. Slowly over the last few years I have learned that even though I can’t do the things that others do, that I still have value. I have found different ways to contribute to the world, and even though they might not be important to anyone else, they are important to me. I may only be able to accomplish half of what a healthy person would, but my accomplishments are that much greater for the extra effort I have to put in.

I wish there was a class chronically ill people could take called “how to change how you value yourself.” The world as it is values accomplishments, success, and money. People who are chronically ill (and everyone else for that matter) need to focus on their individual worth, a worth that is based not on accomplishments, but who they are.

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2 thoughts on “Being chronically ill- changing how you value yourself

  1. Boy, can I relate to this! I have been sick for 20 years now and I have a very difficult time with my feelings of self worth…as a wife, mom, and just as a person in general…it is tough. I get very sad sometimes and like you, have had to reevaluate my purpose. Sometimes I ask God why the heck He keeps me around when I spend so much time in my house or in my bed…then, I think of my daughter and my husband…I am here for them…they give me purpose…there are things God has intended for us that we may never know about…I have to trust His overall plan when it comes to my circumstances…it is hard at times, but when you are sick…like you said, you have to change your outlook…blessings to you and i am glad I found your blog 🙂

    1. Not that I'm glad that you are sick as well, but it is always nice to know that I'm not alone in these struggles! I agree that we never know what God intends, maybe there is some good that comes out of our illness that we never see, but he does.

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