I often define myself by what I can’t do. It’s not a conscious thing, but when you’re so frequently limited - be that in work, in socialising, in hobbies, or even in getting out of bed, it can become really difficult to see yourself as having any inherent value. A lot of this is tied up with the way society sees value: the more hours you put in, the more you physically ‘show up’, the harder you’re working and the more value you have. I see this manifest in two ways in my life. The first one, obviously, is with my work. I know that I have talents and skills and things that I can offer above and beyond even healthy people, but because I can’t ‘be there’, or even work anywhere near to full-time when I’m at home, it severely diminishes my self-confidence and how I see my value. It’s bollocks because what I can do can mostly be done from my bed, but I genuinely wasn’t expecting it to be so emotionally hard catching a glimpse of the life I could have been living, while trapped at home trying to make the most of it. It has been hard to accept that I may be producing LESS work, and at a rate and quality that is often below what I know I’m capable of - but that’s unfortunately something I have to get better at living with. I may work slower. I may have days where I can’t function. And ultimately, I shouldn’t tie up my self-worth with my work, but when it’s been taken away from you, I think it’s inevitable that in some way you will. This also manifests for me in my relationships. I often find it hard to accept that I have value in a relationship because I find it so hard to see beyond ‘the burden I place on others’ (WHICH TO THEM I DO NOT AT ALL AND EVEN THOUGH I KNOW THAT IT’S SO HARD TO BELIEVE) and that I can offer anything to them aside from that. Which, obviously is totally bollocks because I’m fucking amazing and supportive of the people I love. But when your body feels like it’s constantly attacking you, it’s hard to forget that ‘showing up’ in a traditional way doesn’t mean anything. We need to shift how we view productivity and challenge our assumptions of value in our society. Continued in comment!