Battling the Insecurities of Chronic Illness

Battling the Insecurities of Chronic Illness
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Day is breaking and my uncertainty unfolds. If I’m lucky, I’ll silence it with a productive morning. If I struggle, the doubts echoing in my mind grow louder.

Sarcoidosis batters my self-confidence. It’s an ongoing tug of war between my goals and symptoms. It begins every morning, convincing a body aching with fatigue that it’s time to rise. 

I won’t know whether it will be a day of victories or frustration until I get up. Awakening to a sky more fitting for dusk than dawn, I’ve already failed once.

The phrase “seize the day” was probably first uttered by a morning person, which I’m not. My siblings wanted no part of waking me up as a kid because I would “bite their heads off,” as they put it. I chuckle at the thought that maybe my younger self knew that pain-free, worry-free rest was something to cling to for as long as possible. 

Sunlight has spread into my bedroom, signaling time lost to daydreams and memories. I stretch and my once frozen shoulders, brought back to active duty through physical therapy, crack in protest. Their lengthy recovery instilled the same knowledge as sarcoidosis: I’m better off not comparing my progress to others. 

People heal differently for a variety of reasons, as reported by U.S. News & World Report. Using others as a measuring stick sometimes does more harm than good, especially to my self-confidence. I focus instead on my effort, which is weakening with each passing moment in bed. 

With the back of my head still planted in a pillow, I feel for the water bottle on my nightstand. Finding it, I guzzle the contents, drawing one step closer to escaping my cushiony captivity. 

Remaining motivated and confident while managing chronic health issues is difficult, especially during periods of severe illness. After years with sarcoidosis, I still don’t have a foolproof plan to keep doubts at bay. I just keep trying. I keep setting goals, which research has shown can rewire the brain for success, as Inc. explained. After an achievement, I move the bar for success higher. 

Getting a later start than usual, I finally get out of bed to “seize the day.”

***

Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.

  • Swipe right: A handy personal protective equipment (PPE) device by a Pennsylvania firm will be put to use in the National Football League this year, Patch reported. The “Orbel” clips on and dispenses hand sanitizer through roller balls, which users just swipe their hand over. Fusion PPE is selling the device in bulk on their website.
  • Pollution to products: A French start-up is turning COVID-19 pandemic waste into new products, according to France 24. Plaxtil’s recycled more than 50,000 face masks, which are ground down to create new uses. Since the end of June, the firm has produced between 2,000 and 3,000 recycled products. 

***

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

Athena, a former journalist and Pennsylvania native, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002. She’s admittedly addicted to books, Marvel, and football. She tackles life with humor, passion and curiosity, and hopes to reach others through her writing.
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Athena, a former journalist and Pennsylvania native, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002. She’s admittedly addicted to books, Marvel, and football. She tackles life with humor, passion and curiosity, and hopes to reach others through her writing.
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  • healthy streak, medical marijuana, lung care, insecurities, employment, managing a disease
  • healthy streak, medical marijuana, lung care, insecurities, employment, managing a disease
  • healthy streak, medical marijuana, lung care, insecurities, employment, managing a disease
  • healthy streak, medical marijuana, lung care, insecurities, employment, managing a disease

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