My Self Esteem and Chronic Illnesses

I know I may not be beautiful to everyone.
I know my back may be starting to look funny.
I know my mind may go some days and make me look awkward.
I know my outfits may make me look silly.
But I am me.

I know I am not the skinniest like the models you see on tv.
I know I am not near the average looking beauty.
I know some days I cry when I look in the mirror because I see what my disease [AS] is doing to my body.
I know some days I cry because of the things I have DONE to myself because of my other disease [bipolar].
But I am learning everyday to love me.

You know how I learn to love me?
By watching others love themselves. Others who are less fortunate love their loves anyway. They love life no matter what. Sure sometimes it really makes me so angry they can still be happy, but deep down inside it’s envy. Envy that they can still love life when I can’t at that moment. I can’t right then because my self esteem is so bad right at that moment I want nothing more than to curl up, and hide in the house- even away from my family. To hide my disease ridden body- from everyone. To hide what it has done to me both inside and out.

Yes, I am learning to love me but it is hard. I try to find joy in everything in life, and I can find joy in so many things, but in myself not so much. At least not the last few weeks. Depression has taken it’s toll as my disease has worsened lately, and all because I haven’t had treatment. I have embarrassing nodules on my toes- must wear sneakers- thank goodness it just hit fall last week, though it’s still hot here.. My back is looking and feeling worse. I am swelling everywhere and look quite heavy but no medicine to help. I am living off pain medicine but only when I desperately need it, because I would never, ever, take them all the time. I refuse. So it’s hard to have good self esteem when disease is ripping apart your body and you cannot get your treatment. This makes me think of all those out there unable to receive treatment ever. It makes me want to cry for them. I am sure though, most of them, find some joy in life and move on. This is what I am learning to do. Learning to love myself and find happiness in life.

Most days I hate what I see in the mirror. I will be honest. I hate being in photographs and now I don’t even like meeting others or going in public but I am wishing and praying for a little hope to come my way. Just to be bitten with a little positiveness and find myself beautiful again. There was a time I found myself beautiful. I want that time back, but we can’t have the past back. We can only move forward.

I think my first step will be acceptance. Then I can move on to feeling beautiful. But tonight at this moment- I will accept I am beautiful. Sure, I can do that if even for a few hours alone. I think it could be a start.



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