No Goal Is Too Small When You Live With Ehlers-Danlos


My goals used to look like: write a speech in a day, go running with Jenny, clean my room, get straight A’s in all my classes. I look at those goals now and need to remind myself to take a breath, and then take two steps to the side – maybe three.

I say take steps to the side because I’ve moved away from where I used to be, but I refuse to move backwards. There are a lot of things I have had to get used to with my newfound chronic illness, and a big one is accepting the things I cannot do. You might be tired of reading my writing about this. It comes up a lot, but I’ve always heard the phrase “write what you know.” Well, like it, love it, want to chuck it out the window, this is my life and this is what I know.

Today’s goal was successful. However, I did have a day last week (maybe two, I can’t remember) where the same goal was not successful. What was this goal? To take a shower.

Yes, yes, I know. Mundane. Simple. My dad can crank out a shower in like four minutes and be clean as a whistle. However, the life of a person with chronic illness is not always easy.

The car accident I was in on Saturday triggered my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome to go into another flare. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. I’m still figuring all this stuff out, too. Moving on, what that means is more pain than normal and more fatigue than normal. What that means is easy tasks like taking a shower leave me out of breath.

It took me until this afternoon before I got in the shower and I had to rest for about 40 minutes afterwards just to recover from that. I’m not complaining. On the contrary, I was so proud of myself! I did it. I accomplished my goal. So what, I had to rest afterwards. That’s life.

I don’t know what tomorrow’s goal will be. That will be decided when I open my eyes. It will probably involve going to my morning class. Whatever it is will be good enough. My goals don’t have to be climbing mountains. That’s not my job. My job is to do what I can to take care of me. Today that meant taking a shower. It may seem small, but it was good enough for me.

Don’t worry about your goals. Don’t compare your goals. No goal is too small.

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Thinkstock photo via maroznc.

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