The Importance of Self-Compassion
Self-compassion. A concept that so many of us struggle with daily. I am sure that every person on this earth has had to learn to show themselves some compassion at one point or another. We live in such a fast-paced world, filled with expectations of success and achieving, with being perfect and doing everything "right."
This is something I had been trying to practice long before my narcolepsy diagnosis but has become so much more important since. As someone who definitely identifies as a perfectionist, and who used to be infamous for burning the candle at both ends until she made herself sick, I learned self-compassion the hard way.
What would you say to your best friend?
Anytime you feel as though you are beating yourself up, or going down a path of self-judgment, imagine your best friend in the same situation. What would you say to them if they were in your shoes? I can guarantee you would not be as mean to them as you are to yourself.
I know that in the past I have caught my brain being incredibly mean to me over the smallest of things. A low mark in high school, or having a sick day off from work would result in an internal monologue involving words like; "You're useless, worthless, lazy, and dumb."
Speaking that kindly to yourself
Now there is NO WAY I would ever say anything like that to my best friend, so why is it okay to say it to myself? It isn't!
Next time you are having a rough day whether that be due to flaring narcolepsy symptoms, or something else entirely. Just ask yourself what you would say to a friend. I know that I would tell them that it is ok to have time off. I would tell them that they aren't lazy, they are listening to their body and providing it with the rest and love that it requires.
Today is just one of many days
"The sun will continue to rise and set, regardless of what you achieve." This is something that a good friend told me in my final year of high school. Granted, I didn't have narcolepsy then, and we had no idea of the challenges I would face going forward. However, this comment sticks with me every single day.
It reminds me that today is just one of many days. I do not have to achieve big things in order to be worthy, or for my day to have been useful. Sometimes my day is filled with rest, video games, and staying in my pyjamas, and that is totally fine! Giving myself the time and space to rest is enough of an achievement, and I need to remember that I am worthy of self-care and compassion.
So the next time you are beating yourself up, remember that it is okay to not achieve big things all the time. You are strong, resilient, and brave for living each and every day. You deserve self-love and compassion.
What is the hardest part of coping with narcolepsy?