Crying man bends over and reaches for a mirror on the floor and In the reflection he is smiling not crying.

Living Well With AxSpa: My Best Tips

I've been living with this chronic illness now for many years. I believe it started when I was young. Going through high pain days on a daily basis and not being able to do the simplest things sometimes brought me to a dark place.

Here are some tips that have helped me to keep going

Take it one step at a time

Please don't stress yourself about the future, don't worry about the next year, don't worry about next month or even next week. Take care of each day, one at a time.

Stop blaming yourself for what is happening to your body

It is not your fault this is happening to you. No matter how many times you think "If I did things differently..." maybe you would not been diagnosed with this disease. You are only putting yourself down. It is not your fault. Stop wasting energy on blame, shame, and regret. Use your energy to heal, to repair, and to built yourself back up again.

You do not need to keep up appearances

There is no shame in you not being able to attend events where you are not feeling like yourself, in a flare, or you just can't make it. It's ok to say no. Your situation has changed. You don't have to impress people that won't try to understand why you can't make it or have to say no.

Ask for help if you need it

It's not easy, it really is hard, please don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, or your community.

Stay true to yourself

I know for me, I lost myself through all this. It is so important to try and find yourself again. Finding myself took a lot of work. It became easier when I started putting myself first. Telling myself I am important, I matter, and I am worthy.

This meant doing the work to find myself again, trying new things, moving my body slowly again, going outdoors in a different way, spending time alone and learning to love it, letting myself feel what I need to feel, letting myself get angry, cry when needed, scream if needed. Most of all, being kind to myself and reminding myself every step of the way that I GOT THIS. Living with AxSpa every single day makes me a warrior.

Remember you are enough

I know going through all the pain, through all the doctor appointments, going through all the tests, going through all the let downs, going through all the dismissals, going through trying to explain to others that you are not well, and going through something that no one can understand is so hard to get through. Remember that you are enough and worthy to continue to seek answers, asks questions, and to advocate for yourself.

No matter how many times that takes to get where you have to get. You are capable of anything you are willing to work towards. You are worthy of happiness and to live the best life you can, however you can.

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