The best form of self care is learning true self love and acceptance

I've spent a lot of time reflecting lately. Especially as I sat in yet another emergency department waiting for neck x-rays to ensure I hadn't dislocated anything recently. And I've come to this conclusion: the best form of self care comes from true self love.

Actually, it's that ALL self care should stem from self love.

You might be surprised to know that a lot of the self care I've done in the past didn't come from a true place of love and care for myself. It came from things like, "To care for others we must first care for ourselves" (it was focused on being the best I could for other people). Or it came from feelings of guilt if I ever was unwell ("she wasn't taking care of herself").

But I'm learning, slowly, that there's an entirely different and wonderful level of self care that stems from truly loving, valuing, and CARING for myself.



Sometimes my self-care doesn't look the way other people think it should

And that's ok.

Yes, self-care, for me, can look like eating healthy and moving my body. But, sometimes, it looks like playing in the snow, going to the beach, or painting.

Sometimes it might even be something that could hurt me (I get injured easily), or exhaust me (I don't have a lot of "spoons" to get through the day). And sometimes that means I can't do the things I "should" do or that I look like I'm not caring for myself. But I am.

As someone with a chronic illness, I need to balance the different types of needs I have and the different types of "care" I need, very delicately.

Sometimes I need to care for my physical self but sometimes it's more mental or emotional. And that's OK. I get to decide what my balance is.


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Sometimes self-care means doing the thing I'm afraid to do

I've made a lot of trips to the ER in my life. Sometimes it's a sprain, sometimes it's a GI problem, sometimes it's a subluxation. Sometimes, though, it's just not quite an emergency and/or they really don't know what to look for. Sometimes I go because they're is nowhere else to go. Sometimes I go because I'm not sure if something is out of place or if it went back.

One thing that I've experienced a lot, though, is doctors assuming I'm exaggerating, drug-seeking, weak, or wasting their time. Mostly because a lot of them didn't know or understand Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and all that goes with it. Especially BEFORE my diagnosis, this happened quite a lot.

I was shamed.

I was humiliated.

I was taught not to trust myself.

And so the very idea of going to the hospital or calling a doctor to get checked out brings on anxiety and self doubt.

True self care is loving myself enough to take myself regardless. To love myself enough to stand up to the doctor and assert my knowledge of my condition.

True self-care is rooted in self-love.


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