I survived my first Graves Disease relapsed and I’ve had to learn to accept something – I have an autoimmune disease… and, since it’s incurable, we’ll have to learn to live together in relative harmony.
Here’s why accepting the fact that Graves Disease is incurable was the best step forward:
The challenges of my autoimmune disease relapse in 2014 tested me in ways I never imagined and ultimately left me shattered.
But in examining the pieces and lovingly patching myself up again I have learned that I love my vulnerability. I often tell myself that I am a warrior – I can storm any battlefield that life brings my way and I know that I will emerge victorious; albeit a bit scarred at times, but victorious none the less.
And I have focused on that victory; that feeling of growth and satisfaction throughout all of life’s hardships. This idea brought me comfort. But facing my first Autoimmune Disease Relapse had me feeling more wounded than glorious. For the first time in a long while I felt overwhelmed with doubt regarding my future, my capabilities, my health and my values.
Revisiting Graves Disease at the end of 2014 was incredibly difficult. Accepting that flare ups may be an inevitable part of my journey has not been easy. Especially considering my usual victory focused mindset. For me wining meant defeating this disease and returning to the carefree life that I had before. Accepting that that was ultimately unachievable has been admittedly difficult. But it’s also an important step in moving forward and living in harmony with this autoimmune disease.
And so I rang in 2015 with a commitment to myself, a devotion to self-love and acceptance. Change and acceptance have been paramount to this commitment; an arduous undertaking if I’m being honest.
I have always clung to the familiar and appreciated stability in my life. But I am learning that just because something is familiar doesn’t mean that it is the right path for our journey. I am so pleased with the progress that I’ve made so far and grateful for the incredible people that this new ideal has brought into my life.
Most importantly, I am incredibly happy with the changes I’ve experienced in my own way of thinking. And I achieved remission again fairly quickly thanks to my incredible doctors and the changes I fostered.
I am no longer fixated on the idea of being disease free.
I am in remission and of course being healthy is still my main goal. My mission is simply to feel good, to be happy and to maintain a loving and health supporting relationship with my incredible body. I have an autoimmune disease and I always will, but I will thrive with it regardless.
If/when I face a flare up I am ready to make all necessary changes and let go of whatever is no longer serving me. If Graves disease and I must walk together through this life, then I will let it guide me in the right directions. The challenges I have faced so far have brought me to places I couldn’t have imagined and helped me to surround myself with people that I never would have met otherwise.
2015 has taught me that accepting ourselves as we are (incurable autoimmune disease included) is necessary, for our health, for our sanity, for our lives.
Whatever your challenge, whatever your unique story may be, know that it can have a beautiful silver lining. Embrace yourself as you are. Learn from your vulnerability, examine the pieces of your hardship and accept the change necessary for your own well-being.
This will take practice and time, but you are worth it.
You are incredible and worthy of happiness and love. And loving and accepting yourself as you are is an important part of that. It isn’t easy to look at something difficult from a positive angle, but the hardship is well worth the reward. And although the journey will continue to have its difficult moments, joy is a fundamental factor in maintaining your health. And damn is it ever a beautiful thing to surround yourself with.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: I embrace the change necessary to reveal my true path. Accepting myself for who I am is an important part of that journey.
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