We need to be a bit less judgmental of ourselves!

Just looked at my profile and the last time I posted I referred to myself as stupid. At the side, there were the 'related posts' with loads of us calling ourselves stupid.

And berating ourselves for making a fuss.

My heart nearly broke for all of us!

We're not stupid and we're not making a fuss.

We're people who have had some really bad luck with our health that isn't our fault at all.

It's hard to remember this, because it's so much easier to see someone else's disease as much worse than our own, and to forgive everyone but ourselves.

I know I'll probably be calling myself stupid and useless again tomorrow, but just for a moment I'm going to try to be a bit kinder to myself.

Lots of love to all you exceptionally brave, kind and courageous people!

16 Replies

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  • It's so easy to berate ourselves isn't it? I used to do it all the time, without being aware I was doing it. About 22 years ago I had a nervous breakdown. A neurologist diagnosed me with catitonic hysteria brought on by the death of 2 babies and a micro prem baby.

    I had spent 5 years before my breakdown on automatic surviaval mode. The day my 24week gestation baby turned 2 yrs old, the neonatologist said my son has and will survive his early birth. A week later I had a nervous breakdown. I could not look in the mirror nor could I look at pictures of myself. I did look at picture of myself one time and I got scared. My eyes looked so happy in the photo, but I knew it was fake, a mask to hide emotional pain.

    I spent a good 2 years in therapy holding a mirror to my face. I couldn't look at my eyes in the mirror. I was told my eyes are the window to your soul and you can not lie while looking in your eyes. How true this is. It took 2 years to look at my eyes in the mirror and tell myself that I love myself.

    Sounds wierd eh? This is the best therapy. I have shared this with friends and co workers who are having problems with self image. I look in the mirror every morning and say I love you to myself. It's not about vanity, It's about loving and respecting yourself. Once you love yourself, you except your mistakes, forgive yourself and you don't allow people to disrespect you.

  • Wow, you've had so much to deal with! No wonder you got so out of focus about yourself!

    But look what a brave person you've been! All that would've destroyed a lot of people but you fought back!

    You're a hero! Genuinely!

    How is it that we can't be a bit nicer to ourselves?

    I think it can be worse for women, although I know men have trouble with this too and I'm not dismissing the pain men have dished out to themselves.

    But if you're a mother, the pressure is on to be capable all the time. If we even falter we feel like failures. If the kids haven't got a brand spanking clean pair of trousers one day, when you're not well, or something really irrelevant like that, that doesn't actually matter a bit.

    Women have been conditioned so much to put ourselves down and put ourselves last.

    But whether we're male or female I think we need to consciously praise ourselves for what we've done right, not the things we feel we've been terrible at. xx

  • Sorry, that wasn't intended to be a feminist rant! It's equally terrible for men to live up to society's expectations of them. Being the breadwinner for example. So damaging if you feel like you're failing at what you 'should' be doing.

    I think we're getting better as a society about this but it's a slow process.

  • Yes we are conditioned to ignor our feelings and put others first. I was force to forget my traumatic events as they bothered other people if I remembered. This of coarse is very emotionally distructive and I learnt the hard way.

    I raised my children to love and respect themselves so they can love and respect others. Life is not about always being right or perfect, it's not about getting your own way. It's about being the best you can be. Faults and all.

    Life is good now, even though I am suffering with painful RA. Instead of being depressed, I look at it with the glass being half full. I consider myself lucky to have developed it in my late 40's when my children are grown. I also am grateful that it is treatable.

  • Yes,I had terrible daily, panic attacks and agoraphobia when my kids were small but at least I could pick things up and open a tin.

    My friend got diagnosed with RA at 16. I'm very grateful that even if I've been a bit rubbish as far as mental health is concerned, my physical health lasted out until my late 50s.

  • You poor darling sending big hugs to a very brave lady xx

  • It is so easy to say that we are stupid isn't it and we're not we are just people who have tried for so long.xxxxx

  • Indeed it is. What bullies we are to ourselves!

  • Yes I couldn't agree more about this tendency so many of us have to beat ourselves up. I was listening to a well known radio soap (the one about country folk!) and one of the main storylines is about an abusive relationship. The person looking back at the psychological control she was subjected to by her ex really reminded me of what I put myself through regularly ie "it's all in your head you stupid woman - get a grip!" Being kind to ourselves doesn't come naturally to many it seems.

  • Gaslighting but only ourselves! It's astounding how many psychological contortions we can do, considering the physical ones are beyond us!

  • I think in my case a lot of it comes from continually pushing myself to find natural ways of getting control back over my health, because I have been unable to tolerate any RA drugs I've tried to date. And although I know logically that this is not my fault because I gave each medication my best attempt before 3 of the drugs hospitalised me. Yet somehow I feel that others are blamimg me for this - whether a few doctors or a few here who once described me as anti drug brigade in the past. I'm certainly not against drugs for others and would willingly try more if I was recommended to. But doctors don't like the drugs hospitalising their highly allergic patients understandably.

    Also I haven't ever really believed my diagnosis of five years ago, but it's taken all of these five years to realise that my doubts were absolutely correct. I've had to learn the hard way to trust my instincts over the medical profession's and that doesn't come easily to me at all. But my confidence to stand up for myself is growing again thanks to many good people and very good new doctors.

    So now, newly diagnosed with a rare type of primary Sjogren's I am able to remind myself that I knew I had this disease all along, and that I regathered myself at every knock and fought my corner somehow. So I feel a bit like I imagine someone feels who has taken an abusive individual to court and won hands down!

    Now I have days when I feel much improved so the little niggling voice starts up again inside my head (in my case my late mum!) saying I'm fine it's all a big mistake and I'm stupid for making a fuss to doctors. But then the more dominant voice of reason, that has been backed up by medical evidence at last, kicks in!

    So I, and others here, must document our patient journey properly and then read it back to ourselves on days when we get our doubts and slide back into a negative cycle of low self esteem.

    Many of us with autoimmune diseases feel this way I guess - after all our immune systems have turned against us so it does feel like a kind of self harm is at play - and we can then go to the other extreme trying to over compensate I believe.

  • Thanks for that timely reminder... very much welcomed 😎

    Ali

  • You're welcome! x

  • What a great post. I think we get it in our heads that we should be able to deal with anything and everything and when we can't it frustrates us. Well done for posting this x

  • Thanks! xx

  • Hi Attatel - Ah man - Just reading your post made me think of my mother in law (God rest her soul). I can hear her every time she tried to do something difficult for her just saying "Oh, Monica!!!" After taking care of her for a few years I realized I was starting to do the same thing "Oh, Carol!!" ha ha - Thank you for the timely reminder...

    I think a lot of it stems from having an invisible disease that even medical personnel cannot see sometimes. So we start to feel like it is in our heads after all, when empirically we know it isn't.

    Thanks again for the reminder

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