What Would You Tell Yourself 10 Years Ago?

The beginning of a new year is always a time for reflection.  You look back, you look ahead and you try to find the big picture.   For patients living with chronic health conditions, a new year can be an opportunity to implement and share lessons learned along the way – about how to cope, manage symptoms, find support, maintain perspective and much more.

It's a new year.  What will you do differently?

Here are a few pieces of advice from members of our Mental Health and Behavior Community in response to the thought-provoking question, “What do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?”

  • Guilt drains your energy and doesn’t accomplish anything. Let it go.
  • Take your meds as prescribed for your sake – and your family’s.
  • Don’t like your provider? Trust your instincts and find a good one.
  • Just taking a shower or going on a walk can make you feel better.
  • Pick up the phone. Only you can break the cycle of self-isolating.
  • Things can get better with the right treatments and care team.
  • Get help if you’re self-medicating with alcohol, drugs or self-harm.
  • Remember, you’re not crazy or lazy – you have a chronic disease.
  • If you’re unable to keep working, apply for disability right away.
  • Be kind and patient with yourself because life is hard enough as is.

Is there something you wish you’d known earlier? Chime in on the discussion or share your thoughts in the comments section. Here’s to getting a little wiser in 2013!

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7 thoughts on “What Would You Tell Yourself 10 Years Ago?”

  1. “In 10 years…you will lose the ability to walk….I know you don’t want to believe it…but it’s true. Never take anything for granted…take a long walk…you may not be able to later!” Wish I’d known, although I probably wouldn’t have listened!

  2. “In 10 years:::you won’t be able to work any more, nor will you be able to pick-up your grandchildren or do the crazy spur of the moment things you live for. Your family will have a hard time with the changes in you and your new life style and shut you out from time to time because they don’t/won’t take the time to understand. Your husband will be the best person in your life and HELP you every step of the way!!

  3. Follow my heart….
    Listen to your gut intuition about if someone is using you etc.
    Appreciate every day as much as possible…even if just noticing a pretty flower or your dog having fun swimming…enjoy and appreciate it.
    Be honest in conversations …nice but honest…stop worrying if it is going to hurt their feelings…they don’t about mine.
    Hug my dogs, friends and trees! Let the special people in your life know how much you love them and why.
    Keep moving, okay to cry but try to laugh daily

  4. Accept joy and/or healing in whatever form it comes. I spent soooo long looking for THE CURE, the fix that would restore me to the form I was in before I got so sick. It took me at least ten years to learn to accept healing energy that might make me feel good for a few hours or days; this was the energy I dismissed before because I thought it wasn’t perfect. Think of all the time I missed out in enjoying what was fine in the moment. I wish I had told myself that we are just like rivers…and we can never stick our toe in the same river twice. Thus, there is no possibility of restoring myself to the precise form I was in before I got sick. Now, instead, I focus on the the elements of joy and healing in the world the way a bird zeroes in on shiny things from a distance. Whenever the light catches a fleck, my heart is on fire (even if the rest of me hurts).

  5. Slow it all down. Don’t push yourself. Be in the moment. Rest. Stop searching frantically for the right doctor,treatment, supplement, diet that will cure you. You are only setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, go within,listen to your inner voice. Be honest with yourself and everyone else. Don’t hide your truth and stuff your emotions. Don’t worry so much about whether or not other people understand your illness and limitations. They never will unless they get sick,too. You are beautiful and worthy. The way you were before you got sick was not the best way to live your life so honor the real you and stop trying to be who you were. Be at peace and learn the lessons this illness can teach you. Let your light shine.

  6. In 10 years,,,I never thought; I would miss me.

    For some people this sounds crazy! “No one”, understands unless they suffer from a chronic illness. Some days I feel so alone and lonely!
    I use to be a go getter, ran everyday, loved my career, a leader in the community, laughed and loved life. Being there for others and their needs. That person does not exist anymore! Family and friends say, You can’t give up! I agree,,, But, what you can’t explain or get people to understand, Too much activity will put me in the bed for days. I cry not because I have a chronic disease, I cry because I miss me.

  7. Ten years ago I was in better health than I am now, I don’t know what happened to me. And ten years from now, I don’t want to know where I will be.

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