“I think I can” and “I know I can” – Life with Illness causes doubts and a battle to remain positive

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Welcome to the second day of the National Health Blog Post Month hosted by WEGO Health.  Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based upon given prompts provided by WEGO Health.

Today’s prompt reads:

Little Engine Post: Write 3 lines that start with “I think I can…” and then write 3 lines that start with “I know I can…”

Living with a chronic illness is not a life choice but instead becomes a lifestyle; high heels and a little black dress is replaced with a comfortable pair of slippers and a pyjamas.  Not only does it become a lifestyle but also changes the way you not only see yourself but also the way you view the world.  It affects self-confidence, and once in areas of your life you were entirely confident in, now fills you with self-doubt.  So, sentences which started with “I can…” can sometimes turn into “I think I can…” or sadly sometimes “I can’t…”.

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I think I can remain positive despite chronic illness.  Yes, this is still one thing that I know I can do yet.  Living with illness is like riding a rollercoaster; there are plenty of ups and downs.  One day you are able to remain upbeat and positive despite all the things that we have to live with but the next day that upbeat and positive attitude disintegrates into a puddle of depression and low self-worth.

I think I can cope with the dizziness.  But sadly the dizziness is starting to get the better of me and my coping strategies that once worked so well is now not doing its job and is making me miserable as well as leaving me in tears nearly everyday.  Everyday feels like an upbeat battle; feeling like a war instead of simply being able to enjoy the day and all the positive things that happen.

I think I can write a list of all the things I like about myself.  It sounds like an easy question, right?  However, during all the times I have been asked to do this exercise, I have had a lot of trouble to write the list of everything I like about myself;  however give me a list of all the things that I don’t like about myself and I can write quite the list!

But what about what I know I can do?

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Well, I know that I can push myself with a successful outcome.  This week I found out exactly this.  I have missed several weeks of the weekly group that I attend because of illness and particularly the dizziness that I have been struggling with, however this week saw the annual Halloween Party and wanted to attend despite the severe dizziness.  On the day I really wasn’t feeling well and the dizziness was still very bad so really had to push myself; and I did and I managed to not only stay there but actually enjoy myself!  Even celebrating a win at Bingo as well!

I know I can use and stay in the wheelchair.  This used to be big problem for me because of the dizziness in which I live.  A concern of mine was that although I really need one due to the weakness and severe trembling in my legs I would never get used to it, and be able to stay in one for very long, despite the real need for it.  However, not only have I been using the wheelchair for sometime now but can also stay in the chair for some hours despite the dizziness.  I now am going to more places and able to stay out for longer.

I know I can rely and gain a lot of support from a wide network of friends.  Twitter has been a real lifeline for me, as I have met a lot of wonderful people and make a number of lifelong friendships along the way.  The support I receive from others when I am going through a bad time is truly overwhelming and I am thankful for each and every one of my new friends.

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