Tag: self

Let’s talk about today…

I’m in the land of the living; however, most of my residence today is in the I Am Chronically Unwell camp! That’s no problem!

Well it’s a bit of a problem…let me explain.

I’m what most people would consider invisibly unwell. Meaning that there’s not many external markers that give away my membership in the club of chronically unwell and/or sick individuals.

There’s millions of individuals who have invisible illnesses so that’s not the problem.

The problem is that at times my acting skills are so good that even I forget that chronic ailments take up residence in my body. Yes, acting skills! Day in and day out I purposely put on my best face and I muster up all the strength I can to downplay my membership to the chronically unwell club.

Through the years I’ve worked hard to not allow my ailments to define me. We’re not going to get into how psychological, physical, and emotional damaging this mindset can be when it has limited impact on the true state of illness.

I won’t say that this acting is a bad thing, neither will I declare it a good thing…I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I’ll just say the acting is what I do on a daily basis. Acting as if I am free of any ailments despite the fact that my body is riddled with ailments became my way of life decades ago. So much so that presently acting well is simply a habit now.

Sigh. So when I have days like today when my illnesses outweigh my acting skills and I must pause…I struggle.

I struggle because I’ve spent so much time pretending to be well that I forget how to tend to my illnesses.

I struggle because no one is used to me saying no or being unable to participate in whatever activity they want me to.

I struggle because on those days (today) I’m forced to look at myself and see the illnesses that I fight so hard to ignore.

I struggle because the illnesses impact my entire being.

You’d think I’d only experienced days like today once every three years, the way it seems to knock me down. You would think that there’s no warning signals and that I’m always caught by surprise based on my reaction to days like today.

None of that is true.

I frequently experienced days like today. There’s generally always warning signs and I even take steps to prepare for the life interruptions. Yet, I’ll never get used to the toll days like today take on me.

Days like today will be familiar, yet foreign.

I’m Walking Away

Walking away from everything and everyone sounds so effortless and effective…it may be. I’ll never know.

So much of my identity is tied into things and people that walking away from all of it seems like an awful lot of work. I’m not interested in recreating me.

I refuse to walk away from everything and everyone

However I am placing everyone and everything in an appropriate position in my life.

I’ve noticed that I’ve given too much to some and too little to others. I’ve used some things too much and other things not enough so balance is what I strive for.

Balance in my relationships with people and relations with things.

At times it feels like walking away from everything and everyone is exactly what I should to remedy my situation. But rarely is the seemingly easy, easy.

Independence

I’m a bit rusty on child development research; however, I know that between the toddler and preschool years children stake their claims for independence.

Oh yes they want to prove that they no longer need their caregivers to help them with anything. Most of us in the United States are very familiar with the coined phrase, “mommy wow, I’m a big kid now” thanks to a popular advertisement.

This time of independence is often challenging for the caregivers. This stage is one of the first times, caregivers get a glimpse into the future when their child is less dependent on them. This stage comes quickly; however, many caregivers feel like its sudden.

As you know I’m certainly not a toddler, nor a preschooler but I’m once again staking my claim for independence.

I’ll explain…I’ve had a various jobs throughout my life but the next job will be the first position I have where I’m also not simultaneously a student.

That’s all great but it has little to do with my claim for independence.

My claim for independence stems from the fact that I’ve reached a place in life where I’m not concerned about being identified by my family or any attributes.

I don’t want to identify myself as X’s daughter or a member of X organization.

So my independence embodies the fact that I’m stepping out on my own and I’m defining who and what I am. My family and friends don’t have to hold my hands because like the child attempting to prove that they are a big kid now; i am showing my Family and friends that I’m able to do these things I’ve set out to do,

I’m a big kid now!

Worry Less

As I prepare for my next phase in life, I have several concerns about how things will be.

One of the reasons I have so many concerns is because my financial state at the moment is pretty sad.

I’ve never been in a situation like this before. I worry how my future will be impacted.

This is a credit score driven community and with each day that I’m literally waiting on my job to start, my credit sinks.

I’ve spoken to my debtors, I’ve explained the situation thoroughly multiple times. For the most part, they’ve been understanding and treated me well.

They are all running businesses so I completely understand if they are unable to wait until my situation changes.

I worry about my ability to have a smooth transition because of my current credit woes.

I’ve punished myself far more severely than anyone ever should for the financial decisions I made when I had income. I punished myself for helping others who faced unusual financial situations. Oh I’ve punished myself for buying any unnecessary item when I had income.

I punished myself for months and I must say that didn’t help my financial situation. If anything the continual stress weakened my immune system which led to sickness, which led to more expenses I was unable to cover.

At the moment, I’m not in a dark place and I do not feel doomed…but it has taking months to get here.

I cannot make my job start any sooner. I cannot make temporary employment appear. I cannot change the decisions I made when I had income.

However, I can make the most of my days. I can enjoy my family and friends before I depart for my new adventure. I can respectably inform my debtors of my situation. I can accept any consequences I must face during this time.

I can take care of my health to the best of my ability. I can help others and I can smile and laugh.

There are times in life when it seems that we are sinking further into a dark hole. In these times we feel like there’s NO WAY we will get out of this tough spot or perhaps there’s no way we will survive.

You and I are not privy to what the next hour, let alone the next day will present to us and our lives; however, we can do our best to make the most of this current moment.

I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m sure you do as well. I’m not telling you to keep fighting or stand strong; I’m merely suggesting that you cherish the moment and try to enjoy it.

It is too difficult for me to tell myself to have a great day and/or make this day count….at this time in my life a day is too long to even really think about so instead I attempt to make the most of a moment.

Sometimes once the day ends I noticed that I had a good day…but it’s a blessing when I can simply have a good moment.

You know? Like during the few moments that I wrote this post, I breathed a sigh of relief from my current situation. I don’t know if I’ll have a good day and I’m certainly not going to make myself have a good day…but thanks to you, my readers, creating this post for you, provided me some good moments during this day.

I was able to worry less, if only for a moment.

Can we talk…more?

It’s been said once or twice that I keep to myself and don’t open up to anyone.

The individuals who’ve said this share familial ties with me.

Each time I’ve been told that I need to talk more, let people in, share what’s going on with me; I’ve actively addressed it.

I’m the type of person who’ll heed your advice until I see that your opinion is baseless so I would purposely talk to these individuals and try to share my world with them.

Each time I’ve tried I may as well be talking to the wall because these individuals actively ignored me. At times they would find ways to busy themselves in order to escape the conversation.

Don’t you recall that I told you these individuals would say I needed to talk to them more

Yet when I try they decide that there’s better things to do than listen to me.

I’ll never say that I’m untouched by this reaction; I am. Through the years I’ve gotten better at not taking it so personal…but it still bothers me.

Maybe I presented myself wrong or I have bad timing. These are the things I tell myself when a conversation flat lines or never materializes.

I guess I should stop responding when these individuals suggest I open up to them more and share my world; but that would be out of character.

Sigh, if you suggest I converse with you more…please attend the conversation when I make an attempt to have one with you.

Friendship Failures

It’s commonplace to hear about long-lasting friendships and about the beauty of friendships in general.

That’s wonderful…but where’s the conversations about those friendship failures?

I’ve had quite a few of those in my life. Honestly, I’ve had more of these failures than I’d admit publicly.

The first question I’m asked when I mention the many failed friendships I’ve had is – What’s wrong with you?

Trust me, I’ve asked myself that many times. I’ve concluded that I’m certainly not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to being a friend; however, I’m also a very good friend.

My lack of expressiveness sometimes causes problems in my friendships. Also my love of solitude and quiet time doesn’t bode well with many individuals. Not to mention, how the chronic illnesses which take residence in my body can sometimes make it difficult to spend time with friends.

I remember the time I changed the plans to hang out with a friend at the last minute due to my unpredictable chronic illness flare. Notice I said I changed the plans, not canceled outright!

That was the last time me and this individual hung out. I thought we were on our way to becoming lifelong friends…our relationship didn’t make to two years.

There was another lovely individual that I bonded with nearly instantly. We were fast friends! Well during the second year of our relationship we had a disagreement about lifestyle choices. After that fateful conversation we never said as much as hello to one another again.

This particular situation was difficult because during our brief friendship we’d made plans to be in each other’s lives for major events like marriage, children, career milestones. Oh we were so optimistic, yet we chose to terminate communication with each other after just one conversation that highlighted a disagreement about lifestyle.

Then there was also this individual who I called my best friend and felt like they were a sibling to me…our friendship lasted for years. Honestly, it was on and off so when I really consider the times we were actively friends I must say it lasted only about four years.

This particular friend and I had a disagreement about my choices and the relationship ended, never to be mended. The reason I say it will never be mended is because I have no real idea why it ended. We grew apart rapidly and I continued to be friends with our mutual friends. Much to the dismay of this individual

I often hear individuals say that people enter into your life for a season. That may be true, but even with that understand friendship failures are difficult.

I can often be overly optimistic when it comes to friends. I’ve also been known as someone who is too forgiving and always there for individuals even if they are no longer my friends

For example one of my former friends called me early one morning – around 3am – I was asleep. The ringing of my phone woke me up, so I answered. Short of a few significant others who worked early mornings or late night, no one called me at 3am unless it was emergent.

I was shocked when I saw my former friend’s name on the telephone screen; but I answered. This individual was having a hard time and needed a friend. They even told me during that conversation – that although they no longer talked to me they knew that I would be there whenever they needed me.

It was a long call but the crisis was averted before the conversation ended. I didn’t end the conversation expecting the flat lined relationship to suddenly gain life. I’m very thankful that I didn’t hold a grudge and I was able to be the friend I desired others to be for me.

I have many wonderful friends and I’ve learned how to be a better friend. No lessons were quite as impactful as my friendship failures.

Reveille

Listen to your body. That’s advice I give often to my friends and family.

Somehow I don’t believe it applies to me!

Ok, pause! I’m not suggesting that I’m immortal and I have no reason to listen to my body

However I am suggesting that my actions often suggest that I do not have to listen to my body.

Here’s the craziest part about this dismissive attitude I possess when it comes to listening to my body…wait for it…the same body that I refuse to listen to is filled with chronic, autoimmune illnesses.

To me it’s laughable that I actively don’t pay attention to the glaring signals my body gives.

It’s laughable because individuals like me whose bodies possess chronic, autoimmune illnesses are often and always told to listen to their bodies.

My stubbornness decides to ignore my body. Part of this is because living with chronic illnesses some which cause chronic pain individuals learn to ignore their bodies. We honestly cannot react to every single signal our bodies send out

But we have to find a balance to know when to pay attention to the signals our bodies give

And this is where my resistance is strongest.

It’s nothing for me to make an appointment 10 weeks after experiencing abnormal swelling that gets worst during that time. Health professionals often look at me in amusement and disgust when I tell them how long symptoms X started.

Maybe it’s a signal from my body but I’ve forgotten what I planned to place here so I’ll just end it!