Autoimmune disease. Millions of people are affected by this condition, and the numbers just continue to grow. I imagine, since you are reading this, that you are one of the millions affected by an autoimmune disease.
Approximately 50 million Americans, 20 percent of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected; some estimates say that 75 percent of those affected–some 30 million people–are women.
Each autoimmune disease is different, but they all take a toll. It takes a physical toll, but it can really affect your mental game. Have you noticed more depression, loneliness and grief since your diagnosis? If so, you are not alone.
But how can you find your self-worth when you have an autoimmune disease?
First, find a support system. This can be different for everyone. For some, your support system may be your spouse or your family. For others, you may need to look outside the box. Find a group to participate in on Facebook, or join a forum that discusses issues related to your specific autoimmune disease.
Second, find things to be grateful for. Keeping a daily gratitude journal can show you how many things you have to be grateful for, despite your autoimmune disease. For example, here's my gratitude for today. I am grateful for:
1. Warmer temperatures outside. (It's been a rough winter).
2. That our new business has been successful this year.
3. The ability to take care of my family despite disability
Keeping a list of at least three things you are grateful for on a daily basis can really help you find your self worth, despite whatever autoimmune condition you may be facing.
Third, find a hobby or a purpose. It could be as simple as crochet or cooking, or you could even start your own blog like I did. A lot of people suffering with autoimmunity are forced to quit their jobs and depend on disability benefits or other income. This can be so discouraging and can really rob you of your joy and self worth.
Do you have valuable things to give? Knowledge, especially about your specific disease. You can start sharing with others what you have learned, and what keeps you going.
My joy is found in building websites and maintaining blogs like this one. For example, I mentioned that we started a new business in my gratitude list. We started a custom furniture and metal fabrication company called Carbon and Grain, LLC.
My autoimmune disease has taken some of my physical ability, so I won't be building or delivering furniture. But I was able to find a way to contribute despite my disability, I built the website for our business. This gave me a sense of worth in our new company.
It may take a bit of brainstorming to find your hobby or purpose. What are you good at? What do you already know how to do? What have you been dying to learn how to do? Make a list and start narrowing down your options.
Keeping your self worth is so important. I hope these tips help you find and keep your sense of self worth despite dealing with an autoimmune condition