Living life with multiple chronic illnesses…. and some other stuff!

Category Archives: Self-Esteem Challenge

Day Two’s prompt was to pay a compliment to a stranger. The idea behind this one is to think about when we’ve been complimented even though we were feeling really bad and thinking that we must look just as bad, but someone had mentioned how pretty your hair looked, or how a certain color looked really good on you, etc. This makes me think back to my friend’s wedding a few months ago. Because of complications from my conditions, I’ve put on some undesired weight and have been feeling really uncomfortable about it. Not only that, I just don’t have the money to be buying new clothes, never mind a dress to wear to a wedding.  I have a dress that I wore to another friend’s wedding and at the time it had been a little big on me, so I decided to wear it even though I still felt really self-conscious.  I continued to feel self-conscious throughout the night, but what had made it easier was people telling me how good I looked, or how much someone like the way I had done my hair. It’s amazing how one little sentence can really perk up someone’s day.

I wasn’t even really thinking about the Challenge the other day, but I did say some nice things to many people at my boyfriend’s folk’s cookout. Just seeing their eyes light up and seeing them smile is so worth it. There is something nice to say about mostly everyone you know, or everyone you choose to hang around. It doesn’t take much to pay them a little compliment now and again.


I am SOOOOO behind on the challenge!!! I feel like such a slacker.  I had planned on catching up with them yesterday and today (after the holiday stuff), however, my appointment at the pain clinic ended up being a 5 HOUR WAIT!!! I kid you not! The doctor was running SO FAR behind and was insisting on seeing everyone one-on-one to check-in with them. Usually I just see a Physicians Assistant to get refills and talk about what’s working and what’s not working. I don’t know why, but he decided to do it all in one day.

I met a young woman at my last appointment and it turns out she lives in the same town and has offered to take me too appointment’s if we schedule them at the same time. That way my poor grandparents and sister don’t have to drive 45min to get to my house and take me for an appointment (and thank goodness they didn’t have to take me yesterday!).  We get there just in time for our appointment and all nervous because we had been running late and the parking lot was packed and a complete mess. Cars were parked in “non-spots” and another woman was waiting to pick up her husband who was just STANDING outside of the car while the rest of us were trying to get around them. Just STANDING there NOT getting into the car.  Then people started yelling and honking, ugh… I like to avoid confrontation and just be nice to people but even I was getting really angry. We make it up there and there were people in camping chairs in the hallway outside of the office. No Joke! The waiting room was packed and hot and we are waiting in line to check in, then we went back out to the hallway and someone offered me their chair, but then we decided to wait on the first floor where the couches were and they would call us. The building is a big open building and you can see onto the first floor. I tried getting up and got really dizzy, my legs were shaking so badly I couldn’t move, I was having trouble focusing my eyes, and was going into a full autonomic crash of sorts. The nurse let us go into the back where there was an alcove with a gurney that wasn’t being used so that I could rest and cool down and get something to drink and eat. Every time I tried getting up, I lost strength in my legs. It was horrible. Eventually I did start to feel better and we went to wait downstairs. Thank goodness for those couches! I don’t know how else I would have made it through! Thank goodness my friend was prepared with waters, powerade, granola bars, PB crackers, etc! I just hope that it’s not this crazy next time. Sigh!

So, needless to say, by the time I got home I just felt like going to bed. I was so tired and so sore and achy all I wanted to do was put on my pj’s and go to sleep. Today, I still felt really tired and so, so sore.  Tomorrow is going to be another busy day at a friend’s cookout.

I do plan on getting these done! I did work on them! in the meantime go over to Charis’s blog for the Prompts!

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

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.