Self-care doesn’t have to be perfect to be helpful

When you live with chronic pain, it isn’t enough to recite an affirmation in the morning, and hope the pain is suddenly an after thought you can take in stride.

That’s an ineffective approach because it requires you to oversimplify the solution, mask your pain so everyone else is comfortable, and beat yourself up because the switch didn’t flip.

In my experience, the negative thoughts intrude all day long. Although my symptoms may vary in intensity, they don’t stop. So there’s plenty for my brain to react to.

When your mind responds with, “This SUCKS. I hate this!” “It isn’t fair I have to live like this!” I understand.

I have those moments too. I’ve also learned I don’t have to piggy back on these thoughts, and keep this line of reactivity alive.

I can acknowledge the part of myself that’s sick of all this, then remind myself my priorities are progress that includes self-care (refueling), being solution-focused, and empowered.

If you own a car, you need to fill er up or plug er in the make it go, yes?
You work the same way regardless of how hard you try to be unstoppable.

Although a part of my brain is telling me it’s hard to do what we want. Another part is saying, yes, but we can if we do it more strategically.

Both have something to say, one must ultimately be in charge.

Self-care is a habit, a habit that can require daily, and hourly reinforcement to keep going. Even if that’s what it takes, its better than the alternative.

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