15 Sep

Keep Pushing Forward

keepingonWhen can we stop “working” on getting “better”?

When can we say, “I’m all better!”

I’m sure you already know the answer to both of these questions.  Never!

You may never get “better”.  You have an illness, or a disability, or a chronic condition, that will not go away.  There is no cure.  It is a permanent ailment.

How about we change the question to, “Now that I feel “better”, what’s next?”

You feel better, that’s great!  It doesn’t mean it is time to stop working.  You need to remain on medication(s) that have been prescribed to you.  You also NEED to keep doing the things that helped you get to this point.  It is these practices that were a big component of helping you feel better.  They are the non-medicinal ingredients of your wellness treatment plan.

Medication is never enough on it’s own.  It can help relieve some symptoms. Some of the symptoms of your condition went away or were relieved by the extra things you DO to feel better.  To stop any of these activities would mean you are stopping a part of your treatment plan.   When medicines are prescribed to patients with chronic illnesses, the patients cannot stop taking the medication because they feel better.  A great example…..I take anticoagulants.  I will take anticoagulants FOREVER!  If I stop, my blood would clot, the clot could travel to my lungs and a Pulmonary Embolism could kill me.  I survived this once.  I am not testing that fate again.

When you have found activities that help you feel better, make them habits.  Make them an important part of your daily routine or part of your life in general.  These activities can help keep you well.  So many times over the years, once I felt better, I stopped doing the things that were partly responsible for how I felt.  I was better!  I didn’t need to do that any longer.  This time, for me, is not about getting better.  It’s about finding what works, making permanent changes to my wellness treatment plan.

What activities do I add to my medication regime to have an overall effect on wellness?  Reinstate old practices that you thought were no longer needed.  If it helped you before, make it part of your plan.  This practice can now help you every day.  Here are some ideas if you need inspiration; try a new craft, take a course on a topic that has always interested you, read a book about the same topic, join a group with similar interests, to name a few.  Just don’t give up!  Find what works for you.  Incorporate this practice into your wellness treatment plan.  Your wellness treatment plan will be longer-lasting than medicine alone.  It will help you feel better!


01 Sep

There Is More To Your Day

A lot has transpired today that was unplanned.  I’m not even sure, right at this moment, if I’m wanting to write about any of it yet.  I think I need more processing time.   What does that leave me to write about?  How about the lessons I’ve learned?  Great idea!

  1.  Do not walk into situations with expectations.  There is no need to make assumptions about the pending situation.  You don’t need to dwell, wonder or even think about what might happen.  There is nothing you can prevent or change.  The amount of time you spend on “what ifs” takes away from the actual event.  You know what you have to do; appointment, task or date of some sort.  The rest requires faith.  Faith that what is meant to happen, will happen.
  2. Embrace everything as it unfolds.   With no preconceived notions, you are not mentally blocking what is happening around you.  Nothing will be a curve ball. Nothing can blindside you.  It happened EXACTLY how it was supposed to.
  3. Don’t give up.  Sometimes, I lose things.  Names of websites.  Email addresses. These are not tangible items, I know.  Yet, when you can’t recall these pieces of information, it really feels as if they are lost.  Google is a wonderful thing.  Use it! Draw on what you can remember and search.  I found a website I wanted to find. I didn’t give up.   Recently, I desperately wanted to find an email address.   It was important I reach this person.  I searched old email accounts.  I was having NO luck.  I had completely missed searching one account though.  The name I used came to me.  I remember the password.  I found the email address I needed.
  4. Call upon your strength and faith.  When needing to do something that terrifies you so intensely, reach deep inside yourself.  In you, there are reserves of strength that will allow you to handle the toughest situations.   If you are of the belief that everything happens for a reason, have the faith to know that this is part of your journey.

I really am enjoying that I can find the positives.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing about my day was negative.  If I didn’t sit back and thick about what today meant to me, I wouldn’t see everything there was to see.  I’d only see the surface.  There is depth. Underneath the surface is where the richness lies.  Waiting for you to see it.  Waiting for you to bring it to the surface.  Waiting for you to accept it and acknowledge it’s presence.

Writing this, dear reader, was very helpful.  It was a way of processing my day.

Thank you!

28 Aug

What It Does, What We Can Do

It’s that strange feeling in your brain.  It makes your brain feel a little numb, almost like you are wearing a strange hat, or a hat that is too tight.  It can cause you to feel confused.  It can cause you to want to close your eyes, in the hopes it will go away.

Sometimes it feels like it could be in your chest.  It makes you wonder if there is something wrong with your heart.  You check your pulse.  It makes you wonder if there is something wrong with your lungs.  You take deep soothing breaths, in….out….in….out.   You may even go to the doctor or emergency room because you just can’t breath.

There are days it keeps you from being spontaneous.  There are days it keeps you from planning.  It will ease up to allow you to do some things, while lowering it’s veil to prevent you from doing others.  The veil it lowers can cause you to sit in a chair, or lie in bed for an entire day.  There is nothing else you’d rather do.

It has a way of misguiding your thoughts.   You have doubts about positive interactions.  You have issues trusting those that you should trust the most. You find it easier to believe the negative things that you tell yourself.  Who knows you better than you?  You must be right.

You wonder at times what it would be like if it didn’t have a place inside you.  You wonder if it will ever just leave.  You wonder if you will even recognize yourself when it is gone.  What are you without it?

You can change this.  You don’t have to let it win.  Fight it when it is in your brain, when you have that fuzzy feeling.  Stop, tell yourself it is just a feeling.  Sit in an office chair or any chair that spins.  Spin around until you know you will be a little dizzy.  Stop.  How does your head feel?  It’s the same feeling, only this time you put it there.  You know how to stop it.   IT didn’t put it there, you did.  So when IT does it, remember YOU can make it stop.

When you have pain in your body, you need to breath.  You need to focus on that pain and just breath.  You will find the pain will subside or even move.  Proving once again, you are in control of how you feel.

Do you try to plan things for yourself?  Do you end of cancelling or postponing these plans?  Try to do less planning, just do it when it feels right for you.  If spontaneity is an issue for you, do the opposite, plan.  Either way, find a way to stop it from taking over your life.  Have safe places, and safe people.  These are the places that you can get to with no issues.  These are the people that know you and you know them.

When your thinking is challenged, make every effort to combat it with positive reinforcement.  Gratitude lists allow you to find the positive in your day.  Use dry erase markers and leave yourself messages on your mirror for the morning. Find as many positive quotes as you can.  The internet is full of them.  Print them and make a collage.  Learn calligraphy and make yourself little posters with these sayings.  Post them where they will have the most beneficial impact on you. Whatever method you choose, put the positive words in front of you.

These are not simple changes, I know this.  These are the some of the things I struggle with and some of the ways I try to manage.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  The point is to try.  And keep trying.  Things that didn’t work a month ago may work now.  Have your tool bag of things that help you manage!  Recognize in yourself when the tool bag needs to come out.  Even if only for a day.

Take charge of your illness and your methods of coping and recovery.  Don’t let medication and therapy be the only tools.  Know what YOU need to do, to help YOU!