10 life lessons from my autoimmune disorder (ITP) that helped me brave the Covid-19 pandemic

Series on Mental Health & Mindfulness

©Creative Lettering by Roshna @ https://www.instagram.com/creativeme157/?hl=en


Greetings for the day!

Thank you everyone for the overwhelming response to yesterday’s post through blog comments and personal messages. I was actually not comfortable sharing my personal experiences with a wider audience than the privy person I am. But seeing and hearing the news coming around about pandemic related mental health issues and steroid-induced side effects, I felt compelled and obliged to put a word outside. I remember when I was going through all of these, it was some random article or essay or quote that I came across in the ocean of the internet that anchored me with hopes to look forward. The knowledge that I gained from the online support group helped me understand and deal with the illness. So this series is more like giving back to society or someone in need, the love, that I received from random strangers through words of shared experiences.

Every crisis is here to teach us something and to make us better. Though we might feel excruciating pain through the process, the lessons it leaves us with are always worth an ocean of books.

When I look back to what I was 10 years back, I could clearly see myself as a person naïve and being available for everyone and everything, taking pride in multitasking and clearly running a rat race. Thanks to the FOMO created by the social media platforms too. At one point in time, I was working part-time, volunteering with NGO, upcycling crafts all along while keeping engaged a hyperactive toddler and catering to never-ending household chores with no domestic help. And I was still feeling incompetent or at least made to feel so, as I had suggestions pouring in to take up a full-time job (delegating chores or having domestic help was never in the picture). A woman can do it all was the motto and I went with it and rat raced until a day would come where my hand would tremble and serving myself a plate of rice would feel intimidating (thanks to steroids).

In that one moment when the whole of my body would scream pain with legs too tired to stand, mind trying hard to focus all the energy to just get done one thing at hand—to have that first mouth of food—the feeling of helplessness would make me go weaker. That moment was a turning point making me realize how much I took myself, my health for granted that it never occurred to me to take care of myself before caring or being there for others. It took that one moment to realize that life is a solo journey no matter how many people you have around. It’s only you who can work on yourself. External help from others can be mere add-ons but the source is just you.

That makes me come to the third life lesson that ITP has taught, to prioritize. While setting goals after goals, living as mere status symbols, we forget the essence and the purpose of life, our being. The plane of contentment always looks like a distant mirage. While that’s on one side, there is also this other aspect of people blaming for prioritizing. People looking down upon you if you chose to live a simpler life. Interestingly or funnily, if you notice, it would be an individual person, sometimes even a stranger who would be pushing or convincing you to prioritize materialistic needs and everything else except your peace of mind and blame it in the name of society, telling society will not respect you. People conveniently guilt trip you for prioritizing yourself by labelling you selfish or a miser. I’ve been through the drill but not anymore. Now tell me how can I not prioritize myself and my peace of mind with a body that seems to be a work in progress for a lifetime-threatening to bleed/bruise any given moment? SIGH!

If there’s something this pandemic has taught us all, it’s this: to prioritize our needs, work, and get to the basics. And most importantly, the isolation has made it clear that life is a solo journey. As much as it’s important to live a life without harming others, it’s also important to not take crap from others. Only you can help better your life.

Being alone doesn’t have to feel lonely.

The next two days’ posts will focus on how prioritization can be viewed from two broad lens, basics and boundaries. That said, today I’ll leave you with few questions to reflect upon:

  1. What did you do today (how much ever small task) for the betterment of yourself?
  2. If you were to be remembered for just three things, what would it be?
  3. What do you think is the purpose of your being?

Reflect upon these questions. Maybe put it in your journal or share it as comments here. Feel free to write to me at promisingpoetry5@gmail.com if you may wish to.

Stay safe, take care.

Blessed be!

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon and also part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.