“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
…Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul…
In response to Amanda’s post this morning, I felt compelled to respond in my own way.
If any of you have been following my personal blog, you know that I’m on a journey to transform the way I think. To become better. To be the best person that I can be. At some point in my life, I’m sure I thought I was at that point, but once this journey of medical hell began, I lost my way. I lost me, and so I will be spending the next year filing daily prompts, trying to reshape the way I think, the way I act, the way I respond.
Today, the prompt and the quote were so appropriate to what Amanda was writing about, that I couldn’t help but respond right away. (As an aside, Amanda doesn’t know what my prompts are until after I blog about them, so this wasn’t planned–I swear, she and I share the same brain most days).
“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”
My assignment today is to “be a whole lot kinder to yourself than you had imagined possible.”
This assignment hit me to my core. If you go back and re-read some of my posts, you can almost feel the negativity, the doubt, oozing from them. “I should’ve…” “I could’ve…” “I would’ve…”
I fully believe that we are our own worse critics. We all have standards set for ourselves, and I think that a lot of us (myself especially) forget that sometimes, those expectations have to change to reflect the changes we endure being chronically ill.
Before I became sick, I was on the go from 6 am until 10-11 pm between all of my rehearsals, performances, schoolwork and a part-time job. Now? As Amanda stated, we sleep sparingly, do less throughout the day, but feel equally as exhausted.
We see who we used to be, what life used to be like and we long for that time again–or at least I do.
Most days, I would give my right arm to be able to dance again without consequence. I miss putting my heart and soul on the stage. I miss my old life, but I don’t think I would completely go back to my old life. I was stubborn, I was rude, I had zero empathy, I was a textbook 15-year-old snob (trust me when I say that that’s me being kind to myself considering the teenager I was 😉 )
The point to my hazy, pain-induced rambling is this: I feel like those of us who are chronically ill apologize too much. At least I know Amanda and I do (sorry, Amanda). We apologize for any change in plans. We’re sorry that we’re sick. We’re sorry for being in pain. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. We’re sorry that we had to cancel. We’re sorry we fell asleep. We’re sorry we’re late. We’re sorry we spend so much time in the bathroom. We’re sorry that we’re compulsive about some things. We’re sorry for the added anxiety about going to a new place. We’re sorry for our lack of flexibility when it comes to certain situations. We’re sorry we can’t travel. We’re sorry we’re in the hospital. We’re sorry for the bills. We’re sorry for being cranky. We’re sorry for being negative.
Get my point?
In this moment, in being kinder to myself than I ever thought possible…
I’m not sorry. Not anymore.
This is my life, and if you choose to stay in it and support me, then apologizing is really only for my own good, and I don’t need to make myself feel worse–my body does enough of that physically and starting now, I refuse to add any more strain by enabling myself to be so hard on myself mentally.
So, I ask you the same question Amanda did…
How will you be your best today?