So, this is my vegetable garden (the fully grown area along the back is a line of wildflowers). I had 3 thoughts when I saw what became of my garden this season; “What did I do wrong?”, “Why can’t my garden look as good as my good friend Katha’s?” and “Oh cool, I have peas and lettuce!”. This thought process led me to think about how I often play a similar mind mantra with regards to my health.
I don’t know about you, but my level of illness seems to changes from day to day or week to week. There are definitely times when I feel pretty decent and I am thrilled, but there are also times when I feel pretty lousy. It can be very frustrating because I try so hard to do the right thing when it comes to my treatment, and I still feel crappy a large chunk of the time. Can any of you relate?
Some people with autoimmune conditions can make a few tweaks to their lives and next thing you know, they are in remission, while others, like myself, are very strict and disciplined in all areas, but still struggle with frequently feeling sick.
I tend to spend a lot time trying to analyze what I might have done to make myself feel bad and too much time wishing my health was as good as this person’s or that person’s.
I’ve noticed that questioning myself and being envious of healthier people has been getting me nowhere fast. That type of questioning and negativity ultimately puts stress on my physical body, making me feel even sicker. I want to make a change by spending less time on what I possibly did wrong and more time on what I’m doing right. The reality is I have come a long way from where I was 1 year ago and leaps and bounds from when I was first diagnosed.
That picture of my garden is a huge representation of my life. The growing lettuce and sweet peas show that I’m flourishing and making progress while the barren areas are where I’m working towards healing. But amongst the sparse vegetables is a healthy row of wildflowers representing my family and friends that have been there for me by speaking truth to me and supporting me along the way.
When it’s a bad day give hope by telling yourself it’s only temporary. When your feeling good give thanks for that day. Those of us with chronic illnesses would benefit greatly by spending less time focusing on the negative aspects of the illness and more time on the positives…what we do correctly and how far we’ve come.