I’m having one of those days where I just feel weary and depleted in every sense of the word. While I desperately want to be around people or actively engaged in something, I can’t find the capacity to talk to anyone or go do anything. I feel like a shell of myself on days like today, and it is perhaps one of the most frustrating things I face with chronic illness, as well as its compounding impact on my mental health.
Self-care is so important, and I know that — but self-care doesn’t always look positive or “fun.” In fact, I find that most of the time when I have to make a choice for my own well-being regarding both my physical and mental health, the choice that is more self-care oriented is the least appealing of the options I have.
There is an interestingly complex identity crisis that comes with illness, both physical and mental. This internal struggle of who you were versus who you are now. Oftentimes, because that change was forced rather than consciously made, it leaves you longing for a piece of normalcy.
The kind of normalcy that allows you to do the tasks you love without reaching your physical breaking point five minutes in.
The kind of normalcy that lets you wake up before noon and function productively without needing two naps over an eight to ten-hour period.
The kind of normalcy that lets you do basic physical human functions like chores, cooking and showering without crumbling and deteriorating physically.
But the truth is, chronic illness took that normalcy a long time ago.
It took away the routine that felt mundane and monotonous until you woke up one day and couldn’t fold the laundry, cook breakfast or bathe without massive amounts of weakness or pain.
And now the basic functions you once didn’t want to do are the things you long to be able to do without having to count your spoons and worry about depleting the energy you need for later in the day or week.
Because nothing is routine, nothing is second nature, nothing is free from thought and planning. That’s reality now.
Your body itself is unpredictable, making even the smallest tasks of your day-to-day life hard to plan.
But you keep waking up.
You keep trying your hardest.
You keep giving every minute of every day everything you have to give.
Even when it doesn’t feel like enough.
Because maybe, just maybe, even on days when you feel completely drained and you can only give one percent…
That one percent reminds somebody else that you are equally worthy and valued whether you are capable of giving one percent or 100 percent.
So, even on days where you feel like you have no worth because you can only give the tiniest amount of yourself, remember, that your one percent is loved and needed as much as your 100 percent.
Your worth doesn’t decrease based on circumstance or sickness or symptoms.
Your worth is constant– even when nothing else is.