Living with a chronic illness and pain can take a toll on our self esteem. It plants doubts of unworthiness and more into our brains. There are times when we struggle to get in a shower and others where we are in so much pain we wonder if we will make it home from the grocery store. Our illnesses have the ability to make us doubt everything about us…. but could there be times when they are lying?
Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups.
Many of us went from living our lives at full speed to crawling slower than a snail within a short period of time. That itself is enough to make us doubt what we are capable of. There may come a time when we might experience an extended portion of our lives stuck in bed, unable to do much at all. While we are thrilled when we emerge from that time, we are also often terrified of having to discover just what we can do.
Look I get it, after spending years unable to walk, stand, or sit for five minutes I had no clue what I could do. I was either over cautious, which frustrated me or I would go full speed ahead and often trigger another flare. Personally, I had to follow a rule of caution. This kept me from landing back in bed and allowed me to create some type of a physical routine.
When I first decided to make walking part of my daily life, I had no clue what I was capable of. In fact I often under estimated what I could do. But I didn’t see that until I my daily ritual had become a part of my life for some time. When I realized how far I was walking without pain or need of time to recover, I hesitated to add more. What if I couldn’t handle it? What if my body freaks out? What if…… the what ifs never stopped. Then one day I decided to slowly start increasing my expectations. Over time my ability grew.
One of the tools that made it possible for me to stop under estimating my ability has been my fitness tracker. In the beginning I used my Fitbit to keep me from exceeding an amount of activity that would increase my pain or trigger a flare. Now I use it challenge myself to do more.
Is your chronic illness/pain preventing you from doing more or are you under estimating your ability because you haven’t tried to do more for a long period of time? When you are ready to challenge yourself, start slow. And even if you end up not needing it, plan some recovery time just in case.
The truth is you won’t know what you are capable of until you try. I won’t call anyone from my fitness group out, but there are many of us who are afraid to commit to a higher number of steps, not because of what we are capable of doing now, but what we were capable of doing at our worst. Don’t let the memories of a bad spell hold you back or make you think that you aren’t as capable as you are right now! You won’t always have a five star day, but every day that you give your all will be a winning day!