I make the same uninspired resolution every single new year: “I will exercise and eat healthily.” Isn’t that everyone’s goal? Isn’t this something I do every year? Or at least attempt to?
It is. And I will be honest, 99% of the time, it does not happen. However, 2017 forced me to make these changes. Receiving an official diagnosis in March 2017 required me to make these adjustments in my life.
So, as I sat there waiting for the clock to strike 12 on New Year’s Eve, I wondered what I would do differently in 2018. I thought of how 2017 was filled with many ups and downs. Unfortunately, it was mostly downs. I recalled every tiny obstacle I faced: what I let my health hold me back from and what I wish I could be if I didn’t have an illness controlling my life.
I thought to myself, “How can someone with a chronic illness even make a resolution?” I already am forced to eat a special diet and have a workout routine that suits my pain. What else can I promise myself when my illness cannot even promise me it will cooperate?
And in that simple question, I found my answer. I have been so focused on my physical health and managing endometriosis that I have disregarded my mental and emotional well-being. I have lost track of what makes me happy and who I really am.
So, this year, I am leaving my bad habits behind. I am still starting the new year with endometriosis, but I am determined to improve my mental and emotional health.
Have a more positive frame of mind
Negative thoughts have been weighing me down for a while now and I have forgotten how to see the positive. It is time to let those negative thoughts go and embrace all of the good in my life.
No more expectations
I killed myself in 2017 with all of my high expectations. What I let myself forget was that I had a lot of achievements throughout the year, whether they were big or small. So, from now on, I will celebrate every victory.
Stop overdoing it
I have always been one to overdo things and push myself far beyond my healthy limits. It is time to learn to take breaks, relax, and then continue when I am ready. Without feeling guilty.
Stop worrying about what others think
Having a chronic illness, you tend to feel as though people are always talking about you. For me, I have always cared what people thought. I always find that I am explaining myself to others and hoping they will understand. In this new year, that will be coming to an end. I have an illness and I do not need to explain myself to anyone!
Stop saying I am fine
In a past column, I wrote about what it really means when I say I am fine. It gets stressful continuously telling others I am not having a good day. However, I should not have to hide when I truly am not OK. From now on, if I am having a bad day, I will be honest.
Be more honest with myself and stop feeling guilty
I need to learn to say no. For so long, I have had trouble saying no to those in my life. Even if it was something I truly did not want to do or honestly could not do. It is time to be honest with myself and do only what I feel comfortable doing and what makes me happy.
Focus on what I can do
There is so much that I can do but I find myself focusing on what I can’t do most of the time. This holds me back from so much in life. It is time to throw away those “can’ts” with the negative thoughts and start focusing on all the “can’s.” Endometriosis has taught me one thing: I am strong and I am a fighter.
Most importantly, it is time to focus on my dreams. I lost who I was in the midst of becoming sick. From that time to now, I have started to find my passion, build goals, and set dreams. This New Year’s, I will keep looking forward, toward these dreams. I will no longer look back at what could or should have been. There is a reason those things never worked out.
You can follow my journey at www.myendojourney.org
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.