You may have noticed last that last week I didn’t post – I took a little nosedive off the side of my bed one morning two weeks ago, and even though I was battered and bruised, and took a little trip to A&E, felt terrible, and knew I needed to rest as much as possible because I also have muscular dystrophy, I was still judging myself for not working, and not being able to fulfil obligations I had agreed to do. I hate having the feeling like I am letting people down!
I’ve always been pretty hard on myself, whether it was not understanding and having the courage to say because I am dyslexic at school, or not having enough energy to go out with friends. Giving myself a hard time can help me with personal motivation, but it also can prevent me from moving on in life, and cause me to be afraid of failure and to fail to understand my limits with Muscular Dystrophy.
When I fall short of my expectations for myself, like having to correct an article after it publishes, forgetting an obligation, or saying something I probably should just keep to myself, I have been know to fixate on it and let it occupy my mind instead of forgiving myself for my own human error. By responding to mistakes in this way can imprison you from just moving forward and understanding for future situations.
But when I forgive myself, I don’t trap myself in my own head. If there is nothing I can do about the situation like losing my balance and taking a nosedive off the side of my bed, needing to rest and recover.
Learning to give myself time also applies to living with Muscular Dystrophy. I try to forget as much as possible that I have this muscle-wasting disease, but it’s also a reality I need to remind myself of.
We’re all different and unique in our own way and if we where the same the world would be very boring. So it isn’t fair for me to continually compare myself with others who don’t have Muscular Dystrophy, and reprimand myself when I can’t keep up. Having a fall or being sick affects me more than the average person because I already tire easily. My body takes longer to recover from injuries or a virus.
As much as I want to get back to work faster than my peers, I also need to understand the realities of my condition and body. It can sometimes be a difficult balance to get a grip of and achieve unless you truly listen to what your body is telling you.
I have learnt over the years I can’t change anything about my body. It’s not worth being hard on myself for something I have no control over. Accepting this fact will give me peace and allow me to focus on the things that matter, like family, friends, my job and campaigning.
Until next time.
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