For many years now society has had an influence on setting standards women are expected to abide by. Cooking, cleaning, childbearing, and cuteness are a few fundamental C’s when being scoped out by a potential mate. There’s a predestined mentality programmed into our minds, and despite the evolution of modern thought patterns, these basics still stick. So when a woman is unable to complete these essentials, she is left with a feeling of emptiness within.
Physical disabilities and other life situations can leave a woman unable to complete certain tasks. Since my disease has destroyed my hands, I have difficulty doing the things I once did every day. Our hands are the central point of our livelihoods, and I didn’t realize that until mine became almost useless.
Troubling thoughts come to mind when I think about being a dependent, helpful spouse. I question my ability to keep someone happy based on the fact that I come to the table needing my spouse to also be my caregiver, and this isn’t the norm.
Social media creates an illusion of flawless, filtered women who resemble supermodels with six-pack abs, three kids, a five-bedroom house, three dogs, and who cook three-course meals every day in the perfect marriage. This is an illusion, creating a feeling of doubt that can negatively affect our confidence when comparing lives. How do we break the standards we’ve set within ourselves to heal broken thoughts?
Come to terms with limitations
One of the first steps to solving a problem is acknowledging there is one. As we accept our limitations instead of denying them, we’re one step closer to peace. We have to own and embrace the journey in our lives and figure out how to make the best of it. Every day spent in denial is another day we can’t get back. I may not be capable of having children, but there are so many worthy ones waiting for adoption. Cooking is difficult, but there are a plethora of home meal delivery options nowadays that make preparing a meal less intimidating. Maneuvering around the obstacles silences the intruding thoughts of doubt.
Realize you are more than enough
Being disabled can leave a huge feeling of worthlessness where our confidence once was. It has also forced us to view the world through different eyes. The amount of patience, gratitude, and humbleness we bring to the table is incomparable. We can problem-solve on a whim and work through any maze of a situation. Let your disease be your teacher and seize the powerful lessons brought before you despite the circumstance. We have to love ourselves before anyone else can.
Comparison is the thief of joy, as Theodore Roosevelt once said. I’m at a point in my disability when it has done permanent damage, so I’ll never be the person I once physically was. If I compare myself to everyone else’s life, it only deflates my ego and brings on feelings of inadequacy. When we tune into our own life and zone in on accomplishments and small feats, it fills in the empty spaces. The people you see on TV or social media get paid to be models of perfection in the public eye. Nurture your mind with love and respect to understand your self-worth, on your own terms.
We are beautiful, deserving, and capable of loving and being loved. If we are rejected by someone based on our disability alone, that situation was never meant to be. Hold yourself high on a pedestal and remember that you are worthy of all the love this world has to give.
Note: Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Scleroderma News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to scleroderma.