The other day I was asked to rate my health on an enrollment form. I immediately marked, “Healthy” and then paused. “Am I healthy?” Why would I immediately assume I am a healthy person?
When I share the type of medications I take just to get out of bed each morning and be a productive person in society, I might not be considered “healthy.” In fact, according to others, I might be considered “pitiful” as my friend Rick shares.
I decided my first instinct was probably right and went ahead with “Healthy.” However, it left me thinking, “Why do you automatically think you are healthy when you are living with an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis?”
After letting the idea brew a bit, I came to this conclusion: Health means a lot of things to me and when I look at the full picture of who I am, I am healthy.
- Medications have definitely stabilized my symptoms for now. I have days where I feel achy and swollen, but in general, I don’t have a lot of complaints.
- I am working out regularly and feel in control of my body. Plus, I am building back some flexibility and strength.
- Gratitude rules my life. I can’t go a day without listing out multiple things in my life that are wonderful.
- When I have rough days, I am not afraid to share them with others, have a cry, and figure out what needs to change.
- My soul feels at peace. It is always searching for ways to improve, but there is a sense of purpose that guides me through my days.
- Over the years I have been attracted to “friends” who didn’t have my best intentions at heart. It was a one-sided relationship. Meditation has helped me understand I want good things for myself and others but I need to surround myself with friends who want the same thing. Slowly but surely, I have found them!
- By learning to cut hurtful friends and family from my life, I have also learned to forgive them and wish good things for them. They were in my life for a reason and I appreciate that.
- I have always loved my job because it is one that helps others. I know this is who I am and I honor it.
- I am proud of myself for leaving teaching, which I love to a support position. I am learning so much!
There is more I could list here! The important thing that my heart and mind knew immediately is that health is not centered on just one part of who we are. It is a complete picture.
What about you? Do you feel “healthy”? Why?
12 thoughts on “Am I Healthy?”
I love what you shared here Cathy. I share some of your philosophy, but I’m struggling lately. Thanks for your optimism and gentle reminders. ~ Kristina
Always. I think part of being healthy is realizing you are struggling and seeking out others that can help you through it. Sending you loving thoughts as you work your way through things. I am always hear if you need an ear.
Hi Cathy…I have followed you for quite awhile love that you have a blog. I need to start exercising more. I would like the help of a small gym or studio but can’t afford a trainer full time. How do I find someone that can understand some limitations I have due to RA flares and soreness. What do you do?
I don’t go to a gym. As an introvert, I do better at home. However, when I have gone to yoga classes, I share right away that I have RA and have always been given instructions in how I can still do the poses while being gentle with my body. Here are tips I use at home: https://www.healthcentral.com/article/how-to-listen-to-your-body-when-working-out-with-ra/?ap=2102. I hope you are able to find someone to help or figure out a type of workout that feels good for your body. It definitely makes a difference. Thanks so much for following me and for commenting. I appreciate it! Keep in touch.
Thank you for the helpful info…you are an inspiration to me.
Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
So I did this mandala once that rated 8 areas of health.
PHYSICAL – did I exercise enough, get enough sleep.
EMOTIONAL – Do I take care of my feelings in a healthy or unhealthy way.
FINANCIAL – am I paying bills, saving money, spending money on what makes me happy?
MENTAL – do I take care of my mental health?
SOCIAL – do I spend enough time with friends and enough time alone?
INTELLECTUAL – do I pursue new studies and continue to learn new things?
SPIRITUAL – can be religious but also spending time outdoor and connecting to nature.
FAMILY – do I spend enough time and is it quality time with my family?
I think health is fluid, and within each category it is subjective. But I also know you Cathy, and I would say you are healthy and you help my health I’m many of these areas.
I love these Stacey! And yes, I agree, health is fluid and therefore my answer might be different tomorrow. But for now, I am relieved I can say that “Yes, I am healthy.” We are a team. We help each other. I would be lost without you.
On the scale of rate your health?
excellent, could be better, neutral, fair, awful – I always ask Sheryl. It is my belief that if says fair or better, I am still kicking. The day Sheryl rates me awful will be my last day on earth. Because iI know for certain the day I am awful, is the day I have really made her angry. Even after 41 years of marriage I still fear her, I mean seriously fear her, and if she says my health is awful, I must have really done something wrong. 🙂
This post is SO GOOD Cathy. I came over to your blog today as I haven’t “caught up” on reading it in awhile and I knew that doing so would give me the positive boost I need(ed) to get through today! I’m so grateful for friends like you. Asking hard questions. Thinking critically. Living life with a good, hopeful outlook. Knowing when to take a break, relax, and practice self-care. Thank you for inspiring us all to do the same! I so appreciate your reflections.
Kenz, thanks so much for all your kind words. They mean so much. Love and hugs to you!