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7 Things to Tell Yourself When Coping With Your Illness Is Getting Difficult

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Having suffered in silence for so long with my autoimmune diseases (20 years with celiac disease and five with Hashimoto’s disease) before eventually deciding that enough is enough and going to the doctors, I realized that I was downplaying my symptoms and the pain I was in, in short, how sick I really had become.

Even now, having being medically diagnosed with both autoimmune diseases for just over a year, I still need to tell myself that I’m not just making up my symptoms, I’m not a hypochondriac and I really am chronically ill!

Ignoring my body for so long has put me into a habit of pretending everything is fine, when in reality, sometimes I’m really not, and I’ve learned only recently that it’s OK to admit this, it’s OK to cut myself some slack, to not call myself weak or get frustrated at myself. I have coped on my own for so long that it’s time I stood up for myself and voiced my pain and frustration that I go through on a daily basis.

I realized that I probably wasn’t the only one who felt this way and that it was time that all those with a debilitating or chronic illness learned this, too. So I made a list of things to tell yourself when you feel like coping is getting difficult:

You don’t need to pretend you’re fine when you’re not.

It’s OK to not be OK.

It’s OK to let others know you’re in pain or sick.

It’s OK if you don’t have the energy to do anything today.

You don’t have to struggle in silence.

You are not alone.

We are warriors, battling every day — be proud.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Grandfailure

Originally published: March 2, 2017
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