In my previous part of this series of telling you who I am, I questioned whether or not I had been unkind to people with chronic illnesses as I had received in my experience.

The operative word here is Grace. Sharing grace with others is so important. Because chronic illnesses can teach you a lot about yourself and about others.

2020 will forever go down as a year of challenge and change for a lot of people. Many faced devastations like never before. Our generation as a collective has never had to sustain living during anything so disruptive or destructive in our lifetime. This is not to negate that people have and do suffer losses and tragedies daily, of course. In 2020 the whole of humanity went through it. And many of us were forced to share Grace.

A lot of people also grew through this time. People became better. We were forced to sit with ourselves and deal with our own personal stuff and work through our mess. Even if we only heard our own voices for a number of days, that was us in our own heads, trying to clear the path and understand who we are. Many of us were forced to share Grace and experience awakenings.

Here are a few things I learned about myself during 2020 (and even beyond) about who I am, and also who I am with chronic illness.

I don’t need to defend myself against what other people think of me.

I am who I am and I live how I live. I’m truly not harming anyone else, and those who matter don’t mind. Also, those who mind just don’t matter.

I had to cope with some level of anxiety. I was closed up in the house as many of us were for real-for real and my first voyage out was actually a form of trauma.

I am an introvert who loves people and although their energy can be draining for me (also an empath), I realized I need and enjoy interactions with other people. In doses.

I am highly creative. Maybe that’s enough to say, but I learned that I can make do and come up with ideas to make it.

My Grace was also being gentle with me. My self-talk had to change. Had to! Other people “putting their mouth on me” was enough. I don’t need to do that to myself! Affirmations and journaling help me have Grace with myself.

Time is precious. So, to spend it on negativity, gossip, or fear is wasting time. Keep things as positive as you can and move from a place of love! Eventually, I just turned the television off (news shows) and stopped reading everyone’s opinions of the events of the Pannie (Pandemic). I did what I needed to do to stay healthy and safe, and I focused my time and my energy on those things.

Stress is a huge factor in how I’m feeling like a person with a chronic illness. Stress creates inflammation. Inflammation in the body is what wreaks havoc on my chronic illness status. Stress makes me want to eat, and it’s not always what is healthy. Stress makes me tense, which, as we can read online, releases cortisol into the body … major ugly. Stress weakens the immune system which isn’t a happy state of being for anyone nor for a body like mine which gets thrown into “flares” so easily! Look it up.

So, I had the time and the opportunity to work on myself, from the inside out, keeping as physically active as possible, expanding my knowledge in various areas, and establishing practices that were grounding and habit forming. Good habits.

Health isn’t just about what we go to the doctor for. Even with chronic illnesses, there is a high level of health, still, that can be toned up, so to speak, to bring that holistic balance back to your life. Next, I’m listing/revealing my own chronic illnesses in a timeline format. I mean, how can I talk about someone else’s if I haven’t revealed my own? It’s coming. I promise. Like/comment/share this series. And follow me to be alert to posts to come! Be well.

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