I accomplish so much more when I have support from loved ones, friends and my community. As I reflect on all of my accomplishments in life, I have noticed a common factor – I had at least one person backing me up, supporting me, and pushing me.
During the years following my lymphedema diagnosis, I isolated myself as much as possible due to shame and embarrassment over my disease. I believed that others would only find my condition disgusting; so, I tried to protect myself by telling myself that I didn’t need anyone. “I am completely self-sufficient. I can accomplish great things on my own,” I would tell myself. The problem was the opposite was true.
The subsequent five years after diagnosis I really didn’t progress. My studies, work, health, and social life all plateaued during those years. Of course, I continued to make big goals for myself, but without any accountability, I didn’t really get very far. Failure in reaching my goals led to frustration and a severe decrease in my self-confidence. I struggled to believe that I could accomplish anything.
Fortunately, after a long period of time mulling over what I needed to do, I figured out what I was missing – the ability to trust and depend on others for support and accountability. I was sick of feeling sorry for myself. I was sick of complaining. I craved progress and wouldn’t be happy unless I pushed myself past my comfort zone. However, I needed a support system to lean on when I began to doubt and to push me when I wanted to give up.
You all have played a part in my support system. I hope you all know how much you have helped me and how grateful I am for your support. I receive so much motivation when I talk with you or hear about your own accomplishments.
This leads me to the purpose for this post. I have two requests for you.
- In the comments section of my blog or on my Facebook page, share with me your successes and what helped you to live a better life despite lymphedema. What made you decide that you didn’t want lymphedema to define you? What or who helped you through the early days after your diagnosis? Who or what motivated you to push past challenges and reach your personal goals?
- Continue helping me in completing my goal next week. I am ready to run this race, although I am nervous for the outcome. Doubts easily creep into my mind about my capabilities, and I am worried that I might sabotage myself with negative thoughts. Oh, and hey, if you’re in the Phoenix area, why not come and run the last six miles with me. Just meet me at mile 20, because we all know that the race really only begins at the 20th mile.
Anyway, long story short, I needed (and still need) a village to raise me. I need others to push me. I need accountability and motivation from others. I believe we all do. We accomplish so much more together than we ever do on our own. I am so excited to finally finish my goal next weekend. You all have helped me get to this point and I thank you.
Seriously, who’s going to meet me at mile 20?