Living with a chronic illness can impact and limit what you do in life. In the initial years of my illness I felt very limited by my circumstances. At my worst point I could barely walk for more than a few minutes per day, I could not work and I was housebound with a limited social life. These of course are more extreme life limitations and nowadays I am lucky to say that my limitations are not as severe.
When I was first ill, adapting to my new imposed limitations was excruciating. Everything I knew about myself felt like it had dissolved (something I would like to discuss more in another post).
However, over time I started to see the benefits of having what I call a “personal limitation barometer”. By having health limitations I started to learn what was good for my health and what wasn´t. For example, sleep helped, small levels of exercise, eating healthy meals. As I had limited capacity to achieve what many others did in one day my barometer helped me to prioritise what was necessary for my overall wellbeing.
As soon as I stepped over the limit, for example, over exerting myself, too much stress, drinking alcohol or too many late nights, then the barometer would drop and I would have to work towards picking my health back up again.
I continue to live by my personal limitation barometer everyday. So why do I see this as an advantage? Well I look around me and I see so many people who do not notice their own barometer. With stress at record levels, people working many hours, drugs, alcohol, caffeine hits and lack of sleep, this has all become part of our normal society and for those who do not live with a chronic illness, they do not necessarily see the damage that is being done to their health by living this way.
So I give thanks to my barometer for helping me prioritise and guide me on doing what is good for me. On the whole it helps me to live a healthier lifestyle
Even if I admit I do like the odd glass of wine!