You have a diagnosis of some sort, physical or mental illness, and its just like a grey cloud that follows you around. Like you’re Eeyore or something. This diagnosis is what the “doctor” told you, or some other health professional. You where never “this” before, or at least, not officially, as you now have been ordained by a professional. Now what? 

“Does this make me my illness?”, you ask. 

“A victim of circumstance?” 

You don’t go to events and fill out the name tag sticker as “Hi, my name is Bob and I have ______.” No, because:

You are not your illness. 

Maybe you had this illness for a while now and you just got diagnosed, or maybe you just got blindsided by the news, but you are not your illness. You are not Lupus, you are not Depression, you are not AIDS. Even on your worst day when you feel defeated, embarrassed, or beat down and you just want to cry, pick yourself back up! You will not play the victim. You must pivot. 

Maybe your brain does not work as well as it use to. You can’t remember things, you’e not as sharp, you’re in a fog. Maybe your legs won’t let you walk anymore. You can’t climb upstairs, take your dog for a walk, run by the river. But you are NOT your illness. 

You are _______ and you a fighter. You did not come this far, to only come this far. Pivot. It’s time to shift your mindset. 

Look in the mirror and tell yourself. 

“My name is ________ and:

  • I am resilient 
  • I am resourceful 
  • I am proud of who I am, and who I’ve had to become to overcome my adversities 
  • I am a fighter 
  • I forgive myself 
  • Sometimes I feel guilt, shame, and am embarrassed, but I will love myself unconditionally
  • I have done this once, and I can do it again, no matter how challenging 
  • Some days are hard, but I am strong and I will preserver 

Remind yourself each day of who you are, and who you want to be, regardless of your challenges.

Other people may see you and not understand what you are going through. The fight you fight each day. There will be days when you will just want to give up. But remember, you are strong. And you have proven to yourself, again and again that you ALWAYS pick yourself up again. EVEN, if it’s a slow process and you need a helping hand! Give yourself a break for taking the time you need to take care of yourself. 

My name is ________ and I am not my illness.  

Mental Olympian Newsletter

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