We took a short walk by the hoodoos this morning. Not my usual 5km but still I was able to enjoy my beloved badlands. A Lyme treatment lesson for me from the hoodoos occurred:
Today I could wallow about lost muscle mass, flabby babesia weight, and pregnancy symptoms but that is not only useless, it is counterproductive. We must speak life over ourselves and marvel at how wonderous life is. I no longer feel betrayed by my body. In fact, I marvel at it. I honour it. I am grateful my body endured the trials of treatment and the stress of obstacles. I have even apologized to God for blaming my body as if it was poorly made and lacking value. Speak kindly of your body and value it highly. That’s how you will heal and make healthy choices. If you value and honour something you will take care of it.
I spend time in person and online with people who have serious, ongoing illnesses who I greatly admire. From their attitudes and experiences, and my own struggles, a few survival techniques have become evident. Putting on a fight face, becoming a researcher, focusing on one moment at a time, and having a strong faith life seem to be some commonalities. I invite any readers to comment with their coping techniques and means of gaining ground. The more we connect and share, the less isolated and scared we will feel. There is power in information and connecting.
“When I get better….” I used to catch myself starting with this phrase a couple years ago. Too sick to work fulltime, too weak to go to the gym, too much brain fog to visit, too many medical appointments to organize, too many pain attacks to attempt past hobbies, too little money, too little energy…. I let the extremes of the illness and stressors cloud my judgement. I kept thinking the elusive “someday” would come soon and with it 100% energy and wellness. I would not do anything but take pills and inject IVs while saying, “When I get better I am going to hike through Scotland. When I get better I am going to run a 5km race. When I get better I am going to teach fulltime. When I get better I will rejoin the band. When I get better I will get my Masters.”
Caught in the trap of “When I get better” can lead to very unpleasant days. Thankfully, early on in my illness I started watching Joyce Meyer. The morning show title was perfect, and absolutely needed, a message in itself: “Enjoying Everyday Life.” Hmmmmm…. can I enjoy this painful, exhausting, everyday life? Is there joy and creativity and inspiration in the average day? With a change in perspective and attitude my everyday does run over with joy. Yes, I can enjoy everyday living. No more “When I get better…” Instead of dwelling on all that is lost and all I am incapable of I find new insight, new hobbies, and even new appreciation for my surroundings. Here are four steps that led me to abundant living and enjoying my everyday life.
If you have NOT been touched by a chronic illness, please take a moment to reflect on all that is going on around you. I have only been “out of the loop” for a few years; my tour of duty is minimal compared to most with this disease, but it did give me a taste of isolation and how inaccessible the world still remains for the disabled. At any moment one of us is next to you in a store, restaurant, or clinic. We are tired, sore, and likely panicking. Perhaps we are standing in a long line-up, reeling from POTs and deciding whether passing out is the best option or to simply go home and try again the next day. Everything feels like an assault yet we appear “normal.”