At the Kelly Packowski Foundation for MS, Kelly described how her conversations with grant recipients helped her to realize that she hasn’t accepted that she has this illness.
I talk about this a lot with clients — and other people who contact me — so I was really intrigued by this. She said that she still behaves as if she doesn’t have an illness.
I commented that maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. In my experience, some people are afraid of pushing when they have an illness. And in the effort to keep it under “control”, they lose all sense of hope and engagement.
But she didn’t buy that. She thinks that when she pushes too hard, she gets sick and she’s got to learn to stop before she gets to that point – for her two young children and her husband.
People come to me worried that their job is making them sicker — it’s so stressful. We don’t need a boss to tell us the deadlines have to be met or that we’re not doing enough.
Now, Kelly doesn’t have a boss. Her jobs include, among other things, taking care of two children and running the foundation. Yet, even without external pressures from co-workers and a supervisor, she finds that she pushes herself to her limits and beyond.
You don’t have to be sick to struggle with this. But illness makes it even more important that this not be your struggle. It helps to have a vision. Start by asking yourself: in the next year (or 3 or 5) what do I want my life to be?