My friend, Charis, over at Full Frontal Ostomy has created the “30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge”. It pretty much speaks for itself, however, the idea is to reflect on our less desirable personal traits that may have aided us in dealing with chronic illnesses and how to turn them into something positive.

When living with any type of chronic illness it’s very easy to become overwhelmed, depressed, unhappy with our bodies, self-conscious about things, etc. This Challenge created to help pull ourselves out of getting stuck in these feelings. To gain some insight on how we can find better ways to cope with bad news, deal with any setbacks that may occur with our health in a good way, etc.

Here is the Day One prompt:

The prompt has several facets. First, acknowledge your less desirable personal qualities. Second, reflect on how these qualities may have aided in your fight against IBD (no need to get too deep into this yet). And third, begin to consider how these qualities can be used to help raise your self-esteem and allow you to regain control of your life – or at the very least, learn how to control your reactions to the bad things that may come your way. This may not make sense to you right now, but bear with me. I believe this will be a journey worth taking.

Charis is focusing on IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) but I really feel that this can be geared toward any Chronic Illness and decided that I will join her on this Challenge.

My less desirable traits are that I am stubborn, can be moody, often say things that come out wrong or sounding rude, impatient, have a tendency to go on relentlessly about a specific topic, overly analytical, and I’m sure there are many more.

My stubbornness plays an important role as it will not let me give up on myself or the hope that better treatment options for my illness are out there or will be out there in the future. My impatience can often be a good thing in aiding motivation when I really don’t want to do something I need to do in order to stay as well as I can be. For instance, I really hate taking all the medications and supplements that I need in order to feel as good as I can. Instead of hemming and hawing over it, I just get it over with and move on to the next thing.  My tendency to go on and on about certain topics can be really beneficial when it comes to advocating for awareness of my conditions and the fact that there are no cures and no real treatment besides pain/symptom management.  By spreading information that Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is so much more than being flexible or having stretchy skin, that Autonomic Dysfunction is so much more than getting dizzy from time to time, etc. Being overly analytical has allowed me to really learn and understand my conditions, to ask questions when I don’t fully understand something, to speak up when I am uncomfortable about a particular treatment method or medication, etc.

I sort of combined part two and three of this exercise together, but you get the point. As far as some of the other traits like moodiness and tact, I will have to come up with ways to remind myself to think about what I am saying before blurting it out, which I have started doing anyway as I used to be REALLY bad about this.

I have a good feeling about this Challenge in that it will be really insightful and hopefully help me gain some self-esteem and feel better about myself.