Living Better with Autoimmune Disease

Yesterday I woke up very tired and with pain in my hands, shoulder and back.

I had slept a full 9 hours, hadn't been stressed, and hadn't done any major exercise.

The pain and tiredness has happened on and off since before I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (Sjogren's Syndrome).

My fitness band registered my recovery as 33%, down from 98% the day before.

I'm almost certain it's from the Oktoberfest beer I had the night before since that's the only thing that was different.

Alcohol has been a pretty consistent trigger for symptoms in the past, although I've had a very small amount in the last couple of months without having problems.

What I would have done in the past

Been stressed about being tired and hurting

Thought about how pain and feeling exhausted suck

Beaten myself up for drinking the beer

Been really bummed that I can't drink a beer like normal people

Been worried about how my autoimmune disease affects my life and might stop me from doing what I want

Felt like there's something wrong with me

Either curled up in a ball and watched Netflix to distract from the discomfort and stress

Or really pushed myself extra to get everything done anyway, wearing myself out more so I felt worse the next day

Maybe had some ice cream for good measure since I was already hurting anyway

What I actually did yesterday

Decided that pain is okay

Decided to enjoy the day

Got up and put on real clothes that I like

Treated myself with love and compassion

Forgave myself for choosing to have a beer

Was at peace with having an autoimmune disease and sometimes hurting and being worn out

Believed that an autoimmune disease and pain can't stop me from living my best life and doing amazing things

Made a mental note that alcohol probably still triggers pain for me

Decided to enjoy cleaning my house and enjoy the lovely fall weather

Got a lot done and enjoyed it, but took things a little slower giving my body some time to recover

Met up with friends and enjoyed my hot tea while they had a drink

Had a lovely day

The circumstance (waking up tired with pain) was the same in these two days, but the experience was 100% different because I am different.

This is some of what coaching has given me.

Joyful days even when circumstances don't go the way I want them to.
More self-love and self-compassion.
Peace with 'what is' so I can put all my energy into showing up as the best version of myself in the world. "This is what I've got to work with. How do I want to feel and what do I want to do from here?"
Not beating myself up. Even if I made the "wrong call". Even if it seems "obvious" in retrospect I "should have" done something different.
Getting way more done, even when I don't feel well or when things don't go as expected.
Getting more rest and taking better care of myself.

The circumstance never gets to determine how we feel and how we show up. We always get to choose.

What do you choose?