Seeing the Blessings in the Darkness
For as long as I can remember I've been in pain. Nerve pain, headaches, sinusitis, asthma, muscle pain, back pain, overwhelmed by light, not as strong as peers, and just not able to keep up. I've always hated my body because of this and it has taken me a long time to accept myself the way I am. I admit its not an easy road and I wish I didn't have to go through all those valley's. Now I have somewhat of a pain tolerance and that works in my favor. I've put the dishes away with a full blown migraine and son calling my name. I have learned to adapt to this crazy unpredictable body. Now loving the pain it causes me will never happen but realizing how much this illness has taught me is beyond valuable and has come in handy more than once. I wrote a list when I first started this blog about 4 years ago. So I decided it was time to update that list and remind myself of the blessings in my life and lessons I've learned. I've come a long way and its good to be reminded of your personal growth and increasing physical health.
1. I can now say I have some endurance physically and mentally.
2. I have learned more and more what kinds of friends I wanted in my life and how to let go of the ones that just don't help me.
3. My health is not perfect and I may have more treatment in the future but I don't live my life waiting for impending doom. I live life the best I can to the fullest extent. And take each day as it comes.
4. I've learned some people can help and some people are so overwhelmed themselves they have nothing left to give.
5. I am trying to make time for my own interests, passions, and hobbies.
6. Marriage is affected by Lyme Disease let no one tell you different. The impact is real. Even watching a movie together and cuddling can be the best time ever, playing scrabble, or just laying down and talking. Never underestimate the small things they add up.
7. Lyme anger/rage is real and I am no exception. But saying your sorry matters to those you love and hurt with your words and actions. So its worth going to bed and trying again.
8. Forgive yourself and others often.
9. If you haven't worked on past hurts or pain to heal old wounds when you are sickest all that crap comes back. So be prepared!
10. If you need anti-depressants, counseling, or intervention be honest with yourself. Nothing wrong with taking a helping hand.
11. Be who you are and Lyme does impact that, it can change and warp your personality in a negative way or can help you grow and be a person who can in time pay it forward to those who need the help you've been given.
12. Be your own best advocate.
14. Don't settle for any doctor settle for "the" doctor that you feel can work with and they can work with you. Its a partnership and its a long journey make sure its someone you like for the ride!
15. Ask other patients who they like as doc's sometimes it can reduce your research time.
16. Online supports groups and in person groups can be a great resource and help and support but people are people and they can also hold drama so don't make them your world. See them as a resource and help.
17. Don't under estimate paying it forward, give the help you were given to someone else. You never know the impact it will have.
18. I feel a little bit wiser than I was 4 years ago. I thought there was no hope of getting better. Now I realize "getting better" wasn't the answer to my illness, it was being willing to be taken on this journey and see what it could teach me. It is about the journey and not the destination.
19. I don't yell as much as I used to :) I am proud of myself about that.
20. I talk things out instead of running away or getting mad. Believe it or not it works, really it does.
21. I am grateful for all the new friends I've made. There are people out there who get me. They see beyond the fog brain and tired eyes. They see me not my illness. And I see them and not their pain. Its amazing!
22. Be open minded about everything! I never thought I would try acupuncture all those needles but I loved it.
23. Twitter is a great way to not only make new friends but help others Retweeting does matter and help others.
24. When you can focus and feel okay take a moment to take care of yourself, then do something nice for someone else. It feel greats.
25. Whatever you believe find what works for you and don't let anyone tell you anything different. I went Unitarian I was Evangelical. You never know what will happen.
26. Oh the Jokes forgot about those! One day I was so sick and had body twitches all over and thought great what the hell is wrong with me now. My husband looked at me and said what do you have Tourettes now? He read my mind and I laugh so hard. I felt horribly sick but he made me laugh. Priceless.
27. My son has cuddle with me along my cats love those moments. They have helped me heal.
28. Take the help when you need it, I know I hate being needy too, but believe me it can be a blessing to have a few moments alone as a mom especially as a sick one.
29. My photography as been one of my biggest blessings. I see the beauty from my house, car, walking, sitting. NO matter how sick I've been photography has helped me see outside my world and see the good out there. My icicle photos I took from inside my house and I could barely stand up. When I looked at the picture later, I smiled. It was amazing and I felt I was able to transcend my surrounding even though my couch was my perch. Find that thing that allows you to escape your pain. Its worth figuring out.
30. Lastly don't forget your Angels they are out there, no joke I've had strangers tell me how pretty I look when I feel completely horrible, compliment me on what a cute son I have, or say how kind I am when I just yelled at my son. I am amazed the kindness still left in the world despite all its problems.
So I will keep holding on and I am right there next to you.