The Mighty Logo

5 Ways to Maintain Your Sense of Worthiness When Your Body Is Unwell

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I’ve lost track of when I was offered the chronic neurological Lyme disease diagnosis at this point. Was it four years ago or five? Maybe three?

I do remember that despite all of the mindset work I had facilitated with countless people (and myself) was suddenly called into question.

I would spend the next few weeks going from attempting to come up with a plan to absolute complete denial. I remember vividly crying on the bedroom floor and my husband telling me that he didn’t care if he had to carry me, we would get through this!

I’ve since become acutely aware of the negative opinions of others who have little to no understanding about what Lyme disease is or what it entails.

Instead I’m just stuck in this body that collects toxins like it’s the second sock in the missing sock club.

In those next few months I was absolutely bombarded with suggestions and recommendations, including but not limited to: follow the medical medium, just eat juiced everything, don’t ever eat carbs, sugar is evil, yoga cures everything, essential oils can completely eliminate the anxiety of living with this, if I would just exercise that would fix things, and my all time self-destructive suggestion…just lose weight.

When everyone around you has an opinion and a cousin’s, uncle’s, neighbor’s long lost relative who cured it using something creepy and unheard of; it begins to take a huge toll on yourself worth.

At least it began having a negative impact on me and many of the clients I work with report similar things.

It’s one thing to live in an unwell body that’s constantly baffling the medical community and doing the exact opposite of your diligent efforts – and it’s a complete other story when you are constantly bombarded with unsolicited advice and recommendations from everyone you meet.

In my experience, living in an unwell body, it is more important and more necessary to not feed the negative beast that sometimes lives in our heads.

I’d love to share this and many other recommendations for how to maintain your own sense of worthiness. Because when we allow our worthiness to become depleted the disease wins and things go downhill quickly.

My recommendations are:

1. Don’t internalize people’s advice and suggestions. So many people have the best intentions. They just really want to help and seeing someone who is unwell makes them uncomfortable. However, unless they’ve reviewed your extensive blood work, don’t give their opinions a second thought.

2. Cut yourself some slack. I remember when I first was given a handicapped placard. It felt so wrong to use it. I mean to the outside observer it looks like I’m just overweight. Clearly, I was worried more about what other people thought than about what was best for me. I remember clearly when one of my doctors told me to take the handicapped spot because I didn’t have any excess energy to waste on walking distances.

So whatever you’re unwellness is, cut yourself some slack. Forgive and don’t give it more of your energy.

3. Batch as much as possible. This was literally a life changing concept for me. It was the beginning of me conserving so much more energy and making better decision for how I spent my time.

In its strictest sense it means that never do something just once.

For example, on Saturdays when you cook, cook one or two bigger meals to have left overs during the week.

Other examples: If you take something downstairs, don’t do it unless you have at least two things to take down there also.

Don’t go to the post office or the bank unless you have multiple things that need to go to those places.

Batching can change everything for how you feel.

4. Remain cognizant that nothing determines your worth. Your ability to work, your ability to be productive, your ability to establish and maintain healthy, your sense of hope, your weight, etc. None of those things determine or establish your sense of worthiness as a human being.

The fact that you are breathing and living are all the criteria you need to establish your sense of worthiness.

5. Set yourself up for success. I will be honest with this one, in the beginning I absolutely sucked at this. I thought anything worth have was worth working (really hard) for. One of the ways that I have been able to continue to work, engage with my social support system, and do things with my family is by setting myself up for success.

Examples include: scheduling in an afternoon nap, not scheduling clients before 10 a.m. the morning after an IV, getting plenty of rest, taking baths at night, washing my hair over the side of the bathtub, setting my clothes out the night before, taking all of my supplements for the week with me to the office, putting everything together for my protein shake the night before, etc. Whatever allows you to show up in the world in the best possible current version of yourself, do that!

In all of this, the one thing I need you to remember and take to your heart is…You are worthy. Whether you live in an unwell body or not.

I hope you’ve found some tips in here that resonate and make loving yourself a bit easier. And just know you are not alone in this.

Photo by allison griffith on Unsplash

Originally published: September 25, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home