Implementing Radical Self Respect with chronic illness

I was reading about radical self respect in regards to feminism when I realized that is was a concept that I really needed to implement in the rest of my life. So I hereby give myself permission to apply radical self respect with regards to my chronic illness.

This is what my radical self respect looks like:

– It is not my job to prove my chronic illness to others. They can believe me or not believe me, it’s not my problem.

– I will not hide my symptoms in public. I will no longer take off my arthritis gloves when I leave my house. If my hands are hurting I’m going to wear them even though it’s not fashionable.

– I accept myself and my body for who I am. I do not accept that I am broken or somehow less because of my illness.

– I will not accept the restrictive box that other people try put me in.

– I will not feel guilty for failing to meet others expectations.

– I deserve to be loved and appreciated for who I am and not what others want me to be.

– I will not hide the parts of my illness that make people feel uncomfortable.

– I refuse to feel inferior when doctors/pharmacists/nurses/a** holes belittle my pain.

– I will not let others define what God has in store for me. I abide by my God alone.

–  I will put myself, my family, and my friends (in that order) at the top of my priority list. Anything else is at the mercy of whether or not I have the energy.

– I will say no when I cannot do something and will not be talked into saying yes out of guilt (I’m terrible at this one, but NO MORE will I be guilted into things against my best interest).

– I will take medication when I need it. Other people’s opinions be damned.

– If there is a toxic person in my life, radical self respect means that they are gone.

What does your radical self respect look like?

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9 thoughts on “Implementing Radical Self Respect with chronic illness

  1. Thank you so much for your blog Shelley!! I found you via Pinterest and you have been a God-send to me. You lift me up when I am at my lowest and let me know that it is all right to feel these things and that I am not alone in feeling them. Having A.S., Fibro and Lupus, life stinks a lot of the time and I have lost a lot of friends because of my illnesses. I try not to get involved in making new friends because they just let you down. I always try to "lie" my way through how I am feeling and since finding your blog, I realize that that just ain't cutting it for me anymore. I have illnesses and you either take me with illnesses or leave me with illnesses. You have helped me realize that this is who I am, I am a person with Chronic Pain, and no matter what I do or don't do, it shouldn't define whether you like me or not, or whether I am worthy or not. Thank you for your words of wisdom and please keep up the good work. You are helping whether you realize it or not. You are truly a blessing!! I am sending my Love and Appreciation to you, my sister in pain!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, they made my day! Sometimes I feel like my blogging is just me talking to myself, so I really appreciate hearing that I've helped even a little bit. I too have lost a lot of friends through my illness so I know exactly how you feel.

  2. I appreciate your comments, Shelley. When I had Fibromyalgia I often felt defined by my illness. We are all so much more. Often trying to explain and justify my pain to others who doubted its existence, was in itself painful and exhausting.
    Finally after trying everything I could find, both medical and holistic, I found what worked for me. I have been in remission, both pain and prescription free, for nearly 15 years. Keep hope alive. Continue to inspire and comfort those who read your beautiful articles.

  3. Just discovered you in the last couple of days. I messed something up because I am not getting your blogs in my email so I came here to read since I am having such a hard day today. It has been really bad since last October and keeps getting worse. I am deteriorating and feel like I a barely holding on to my sanity from the constant unrelenting agony. But your blog helps so much. Reminding me of things I can no longer retain for any length of time. I don't feel so isolated and alone on an island of pain. I am not alone in juggling the needs of my children and the demands of my pain. Thank you.

    1. I know what you mean about barely holding onto your sanity. Some days I just can't imagine living like this forever and I feel so discouraged. I try to take one day at a time, though some days that works and some days it doesn't.

    2. I know what you mean about barely holding onto your sanity. Some days I just can't imagine living like this forever and I feel so discouraged. I try to take one day at a time, though some days that works and some days it doesn't.

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