30 Days of MD: Be Kind to Yourself for Your Mental Health’s Sake
Day 12 of 30
This is Sarah Bennett’s (@muscle_dystrophy_mom) story:
It’s tough to choose just one subject of significant importance to me because of my many different experiences living with muscular dystrophy, but I have decided to focus on mental health. Since having a baby, I have started to struggle much more with mental health, mainly due to my physical condition becoming more problematic in everyday life and my attempts to be the mother I always dreamed of being, but failing to meet my expectations due to those difficulties.
I think it’s something many of us with muscular dystrophy go through. Our physical condition understandably is going to affect our mental health. For me, I get a recurring feeling of guilt: that I’m not doing enough, that I rely on others to help with so much, that my condition is a burden on their lives, that I’m a nuisance.
This spirals to many other thoughts of “Why me? There is no cure or option? Can I enjoy life anymore? Nobody cares! I feel so alone!”
We need a lot of reassurance sometimes from those who can help us but, unfortunately, that doesn’t always come quite as often as needed. I recently started cognitive behavioral therapy to help me with my spiraling thoughts. It’s become quite clear that I am too hard on myself at times. I ask myself: What would you say to a friend struggling in the same way? Try being your own friend and say those things to yourself.
I think we have to be our own counselors too and simply be nice to ourselves! We have a unique journey unlike so many others. It’s important we learn to embrace what we do have and not what we don’t. The struggles actually make us more humble, caring, and empathetic to others. This is a super-human power.
Muscular Dystrophy News’ 30 Days of MD campaign will publish one story per day for MD Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofMD, or read the full series.