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Please Remember This If Your Chronic Illness Makes You Feel Lazy

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I’m not trying to sound mean, and in fact — if someone is trying to use the word “lazy” to hurt you, I have a little bit of advice for you.

Stop talking to that person immediately.

If possible, anyway. It turns out a lot of people think like that, don’t they?

In today’s day and age it seems like if you’re not moving as fast as you can every second of the day then you’re probably doing something wrong — and even worse — you’re lazy.

Why do you think we have so many products being sold to the masses to improve “energy and productivity?”

We’re kind of obsessed with it.

With that said, we would sure think twice before calling anyone lazy because it’s truthfully a very hurtful word.

No one wants to be called lazy, am I right?

You’re not lazy.

Am I chronically ill or just lazy? That question has been bouncing around in my head for the past few weeks, partly because I knew I wanted to write this blog post – but also, I’ve been battling this very question in my own mind because I live with a chronic, invisible — and undiagnosed — illness that can sometimes knock me down for days.

The most recent flare-up lasted about two weeks. It’s been a while since I’ve had a flare up that lasted more than a few days. These moments can make or break my ability to practice radical self-love. It’s a constant battle.

Join the Spoonie Life Hacks group to get tips for tackling everyday tasks from other people who live with chronic illnesses.

When my body doesn’t allow me to get out of bed due to pain or extreme fatigue for days on end, it’s tempting to fall into a pity-party which then can spiral out of control. Eventually, I start allowing my mind to wander and I start asking myself if I am just lazy.

I mean really — aren’t we all tired? Aren’t we all fatigued? Wouldn’t we all rather stay in bed sometimes? Feelings of guilt bubble up in my heart when I think about how hard my husband works and some days it looks as if I’ve barely moved a muscle all day.

These are the things I think about as I lay in bed waiting for the next wave of energy to come.

And trust me. I know how blessed I am that I am able to stay home and heal from these health issues. That does not change the fact that I am used to working — constantly. I spent the past five years as an independent contractor and full-time business owner. Prior to that I was a single mom who worked eight million jobs just to stay afloat and even prior to that I always worked two or three jobs because — why not?

That’s who I am.

It’s who I’ve always been and I have to remind myself of that when I don’t recognize my life sometimes.

When the worst is over.

As soon as my two-week long flare-up was over I could feel my body experience some reprieve and I immediately got back to work. I caught up on most things I wasn’t able to do around the house and got busy finishing up the spring cleaning I had started.

This is what they call “recovery stage” right after a flare. Basically, even though I’m still slow and needing breaks often— I’m finally able to get things done without needed to sleep for hours between tasks.

Truth be told, the full spectrum of self-love doesn’t happen right away or all-the-time for me. It isn’t until the flare is over and I’ve had a few days to recover that I quickly realize I am totally not lazy.

The pep in my step begins to reappear and I’m reminded of who I am. I’m reminded that I am a hard-working businesswoman, a devoted wife, and a totally stellar mama despite my chronic illness.

I wish I could tell you that this process is easy.

It’s not.

I wish I could guarantee that the next time a flare hits I won’t go through these self-deprecating questions once again.

I wish I could show you how to always be “self-confident” and “never doubt yourself” while dealing with chronic illness.

But I can’t.

This process is one that I will most likely continue to go through, and there’s no shame in that.

This post isn’t about when other people call you lazy or question your illness. This isn’t about the haters (as mentioned above). This post is something I’ve been pondering for weeks because I literally just walked through it.

I started thinking to myself – I can’t be the only one.

Living with a chronic illness that knocks you down and keeps you cooped up in the house can wreak all kinds of havoc in your mind and I just wanted to pop in and tell you guys that I’m with you.

We can’t control how other people view us but we can change how we talk to ourselves and we can change what we think about ourselves.

Negative thinking puts a total damper on my day and can do a lot of damage so I just wanted to encourage you to trust your body, allow yourself to rest, and most importantly — love yourself.

This story originally appeared on Rubye Dreams

Unsplash photo by Brent Gorwin


Originally published: October 11, 2018
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