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The Power of Saying "No" When Managing a Chronic Illness

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

"Sometimes, I'm so jealous of how selfish you are with yourself" - a good friend of mine said to me after I turned down an invitation to a party.

Why did I turn it down?

Well, the following day, our group was supposed to be doing an outdoor activity.

It required me to stand and be active for a few hours.

I knew that if I went to the party, I would:

- get home really late

- aggravate my symptoms from the alcohol

- sleep very little

- feel absolutely terrible the next day due to a flare-up

Lack of sleep in people with autonomic dysfunction tends to aggravate symptoms.

So I knew that in my case, I would feel nauseous and my heart rate would be through the roof. To top it off, I would just feel on edge the entire day. 😒

In the past, I would feel guilty about saying no, but there was no morsel of regret here.


Instead of interpreting the situation as: "I am missing out by not going to hang out with people. They'll probably think I'm such a nerd for not coming."

I thought of it as…. "I stood up for myself and what is good for my body. I will stay in, get rest, and tomorrow be able to function flare-up free the whole day. A few hours of fun is definitely not worth 16+ hours of a flare-up."

That night, I went to bed feeling quite pleased with myself.

I also realized that there were a few other people who didn't really feel like going but just went because everyone else was going.

Take a moment and reflect...

When was the last time you said "No" to something that did not support your health? Let me know in the comments below.


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