Things I’ve learned since becoming ill…


• It’s nobody’s fault. It is genetic. It just happened.

• Do not be too proud or stubborn to ask for help. You need it.

• Brush your teeth and wash your face (even just with a baby wipe) everyday if you’re able to do so. It makes you feel more human.

• Shower or bathe whenever you are able to. Good personal hygiene is good for your mental health.

• Some people will leave. You don’t need those people. Others will stay and they are wonderful human beings.

• You are not a burden. You are not useless. Do not be guilty. Please. Guilt will eat your insides.

• You have not lost who you are. You just now have to make adjustments to accommodate this new thing.

• Accept the fact that you have an illness. Being in denial will only make your mental and physical health worse.

• Clean pyjamas are a divine gift. As are clean bedding and blankets.

• Self care is entirely subjective. If you want to do yoga then do it, if you wanna sit and eat takeout in front of the TV in a squirtle onesie then that’s fine too. Whatever makes you feel good, or at least better.

• If you are tired then rest. Do not burn yourself out. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, if you need a nap then you have one.

• Talk. Write. Sing. Paint. Draw. Dance. Do something to express your feelings. Don’t keep them inside. You’ll explode.

• Don’t worry if you can’t adjust right away. It takes time. A lot of time.

• Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed. Unfortunately illness often has embarrassing symptoms or such. It isn’t your fault. People who allow you to feel embarrassed about such things are terrible people.

• Keep your sense of humour. Some days it’s the only thing that gets you through.

• There will be good days. Grab them with both hands and enjoy them. Savour them. Spend them doing things you love, things that you can’t do on bad days.

• Prepare yourself to the best of your ability. Like…always have a hospital weekend bag packed for emergencies, keep a bed day drawer or bag near to where you sleep, have food or snacks close by, always have a water bottle…

• Take your meds. Please. If you have a serious illness for the love of god don’t listen to the “big pharma” conspiracy theorists. You need your meds. They keep you alive. They enable you to function.

• Research your illness. Keep yourself informed. But don’t dwell on what might happen. Please don’t scare yourself.

• It’s okay not to feel positive all the time. It’s okay to feel down. It’s perfectly natural. But try to be as positive as you can. For your own sake.

• Your own health comes first. It’s not selfishness it’s survival.

• Be kind to yourself.

• The bad days can be horrific but the good ones are beautiful, and so worth holding on for.

• Don’t give up on love. Just don’t.

• You are a badass warrior.

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