Selfish

Everyone has something happening in their life right now. I have to remind myself of that, especially when it feels like whatever is happening in my life is much greater than the occurrences in their lives.

At times I feel that way because what’s happening to me is guaranteed to be an one-time occurrence…or because what they are going through is something I feel they should be accustomed to by now.

I know I’m not the only person who falls into this way of thinking; but, it’s wrong.

Yes, everyone needs to take care of self and tend to their needs/desires; but that does not justify the selfish behavior

Stress induced flare

Ok so here’s the deal, in less than 10 days my dissertation defense will happen and my angst is high

I’m not nervous about what I know as it pertains to my dissertation; but I’m concerned about the what’s next questions that are flooding my mind

This is bad because the illnesses that reside in my body react badly to stress…really bad.

My thoughts are jumbled; I’m frustrated and I’m ready to scream

I must find a way to calm my mind and balance myself.

I must relax or else I won’t make it through my dissertation defense because I’ll be nursing a flare.

Why are my illnesses stress- sensitive ?

Chronic illness identity

Chronic illness warrior, chronic pain survivor, spoonie, chargie, dis-Abled, fighter, and all of the other labels used among individuals who face a myriad of long term illnesses….

It matters little how I refer to myself when I’m at a place where I feel there’s nothing I can do to overcome, conquer whatever my illness has brought to me.

The labels tend to carry little meaning when I’m facing the implications of my illness alone

They matter even less when I’m sitting in yet another physicians or alternative health professionals office and/or waiting room…

So why do I find such comfort in whatever label I choose for the day? Although it seemingly doesn’t change the trajectory of my chronic illness or the acknowledgment of my pain by others?

These labels may have little meaning outside of the communities they create which often transcends an individual’s immediate surroundings.

These labels thrive in cyberspace and it’s easy to see how certain events in the real world are crafted around these labels.

Personally, I’ve found them useful in cyberspace and I’ve enjoyed the disconnect in the connections I’ve created through these labels.

I consider it a disconnect because I only checked into these communities when I felt the desire to…otherwise, I stayed away.

Some years, I was connected to various chronic illness themed communities on a daily basis…I was even an administrator of one such community at one point

But once I received what I needed or at least once my outside support system stabilized, I relied on the amazing community less.

Now, I’m not a part of any particular community of chronic illness individuals. At times, I miss the relational aspects of the communities, I miss the feeling of being a part of something bigger, the feeling of not being alone…but for the most part I don’t miss it enough to immerse myself into any of these communities again.

It became overwhelming as I shared my story, my experiences with so many who could relate…it was sometimes overwhelming to witness the pain and suffering many of those individuals in these groups shared.

Now. I’ll mention various chronic illnesses or pains I endure, but I don’t want to be consumed by it anymore.

My illnesses impact every facet of my life daily…but my needs are different than they were years ago when I had to plug into the communities to maintain a semblance of sanity.

I’m forever grateful for the groups and the amazing people I’ve had a chance to interact with throughout the years of my intense involvement.

The Memo

The chronic illness related pain failed to read and/or comprehend the memo which stated:

To Whom It May Concern:

The deadlines are fast approaching and must be met. There’s no acceptable excuses for said person to miss these deadlines. Reasonable accommodations were made and any extensions beyond those suggests that said person is unable to adequately perform the tasks.

Signed,

The Deadline Committee

Well, back to the chronic illness related pain that failed to read and/or comprehend the memo and decided instead to flare when I (aka said person) desperately needed to write in order to meet the deadline committee’s demands.

Clarity statement: NO committee or individual gave me such a deadline notice…IRL

Push and Pull

I’m somewhere between out of steam and full of life.

Constantly being pulled in opposing directions; attempting to decide whether to lean in to this or that.

On one hand I am making significant progress, while at the same time experiencing major setbacks.

No one prepared me for the tug of war called life

I’m somewhere between out of steam and full of life.

When XYZ happens…

I’ve lived long enough to grasp that waiting until the “perfect” time to do anything leads to disappointed.

It took some disappointments for me to realize this. I spent many days, weeks, months and years waiting.

There’s the time I waited until I thought I looked “attractive” to say hello to the person I had a crush on! That only led to more waiting because I always had to feel attractive before speaking to this person. I’m sure I’m not the only one who fails to feel attractive on some days.

Yes, I know that I’m attractive…but some days I feel that I look like ahh…what? Needless, to say me and this person did not have many conversations! Either I failed to run into them on the days I felt attractive or quickly convinced myself that I could not converse on the days we saw each other.

Popular culture, comforts me by suggesting that if it’s meant to be it will be! Lol! How would I know I was too busy waiting for XYZ to converse with my crush.

That was years ago, I was much younger, less secure in my newly formed body (of course it was not a new body but the curves  ascribed to femininity certainly felt a lot different than my previous form) and quite frankly I was shy.

Stop! I could easily hold a conversation with most people, but when it came to those I was remotely interested in…I was tongue tied.

Thats over, I conquered my romantic pauses behind a keyboard and a screen! Interestingly or not, I was much bolder and I talked…I’ve been talking to this crush for years now -I even talk in person with ease. So maybe it wasn’t the waiting…shrug!

Oh but I’ve waited for perfect conditions for other things also…especially, my academic writing.

Anyone whose written a dissertation knows that waiting until the surrounding is perfect, your thought process is clear and everything else is Perfect to write sections of your dissertation, leads to major procrastination and often deadline crunches.

My dissertation is nearly finished now. Finally in the editing process!!! Yay!!! But this has been a long 18 month journey.

Ok so I’ll get back to writing my dissertation now…waiting on the perfect moment that never comes

Emotional Captivity

I warn myself – It’s Not Safe to be Vulnerable.

I ask myself – Why is it Unsafe to be Vulnerable?

I sense somewhere deep within that I need to be vulnerable

At least I need to be vulnerable with this individual whom on my days of clarity I love very much.

I find anecdotal evidence to support the anxious thoughts I have about vulnerabilities

I even find ways to suggest that being vulnerable with this person is far more dangerous than it is

Through the years I’ve created an emotional prison. I built walls around my heart in an attempt to protect it from the hurt I’ve witnessed others experience

Yes there were times that I’d allow extended visits to my heart so some have had access to it

But I have always been in an emotional prison of my own creation

Sigh.

Now I have to destroy the prison I created because my desire to fully love outweighs my urge to protect myself

I let this person have an extended visit with my heart and my heart enjoyed it very much

But then my mind reminded of the possibility of being hurt and I denied this person any future visits

Now it is time for my release from the prison and all I can remember is those moments that my heart felt free even while I was yet captive

This person makes me want to be free from all undue pain

This person makes me want to destroy my emotional prison and redefine what it really means to be safe.

Emotional captivity has cost me a lot, but now I’m ready to be vulnerable

Although I’m afraid of living outside of my self-made emotional prison.