I'm an optimist. I'm usually all glitter and kittens and rainbows and smiles. I usually think positive about my disability. But even the most optimistic of us have bad days, pessimistic days, 'can-this-possibly-get-any-worse' days. Sometimes, having a chronic illness is downright miserable.
"I work two jobs and go to school full-time and help raise my little sister. What do you do?""You work from home. Can't you like, spend most of your time in bed?"."Chronic Fatigue? You're just tired. Everyone gets tired!""Well maybe if you took better care of yourself you wouldn't feel so bad"."I work full time and clean the house and cook most nights. I have an illness too, but I don't have the luxury of staying home and doing nothing like you do".
Most of the time, I brush these comments off. Or I argue my side of the situation ("I'm the one experiencing this. You can't tell me my experiences are wrong, that I don't understand what I'm going through"). But sometimes they hurt, and make me feel awful about myself. I wonder, could I live a normal life if I just push myself? Am I making a choice when it comes to staying home as often as I do?
Rationally, I know the truth: I push myself to exercise and eat healthy and be productive. I've read all the studies and take all my meds and see doctors regularly. I am doing the best I can. Sometimes rational thoughts (read: the truth) just don't register.
All I can do on days like today is practice Radical Self Care and tell myself tomorrow will be better. Because it will be.