Yesterday, I had planned to write, but I just couldn’t. So, I gave myself permission to just rest. Resting is important for people like me. It is productive, even when we feel like we are wasting our time. This is what my doctors call pacing – carefully choosing what we have energy for today, what will have to wait until tomorrow or another day, and what might just not happen at all. It’s a reality that all people with chronic conditions live with. We tend to call it counting spoons. Whatever you call it, the reality is it sucks, because of this:
I had another post planned for yesterday, and then intended to write it today. I’m going to come out and admit that I don’t have the spoons for that right now. Today I hardly have the mental bandwidth to write what I’m writing, let alone try to be insightful. So, today I’m being honest instead.
I hurt. I am frustrated because I’m dealing with conflicting advice from different doctors. I’m tired of running out of spoons. Those things are the truth. It’s also the truth that I have a lot to be grateful for in this life. So here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to forgive myself for not getting to everything that needs to be done around the house or writing the post I wanted to write, and I’m going to think about what I’m grateful for in this moment and focus on that. Sometimes, that’s all you can do. It’s OK to have negative feelings, but its best to feel them and then let them pass.
With that in mind, right now I’m grateful for:
- A husband who stands by my side, and watches me hurt. Who drives me across the Midwest to see the doctors I am referred to. Who always asks how I’m doing, and then holds his breath when I give him an honest answer. The guy who learned how to give me my shots before I was ready to do it for myself. The guy who ALWAYS finds a way to make me smile, up to and including drawing funny pictures on the hospital dry erase boards and leaving them up to see if anyone notices.
- A mother who picks up the phone regardless of what she’s doing, even when she knows there’s not a whole lot she can do to make it better. Still, she listens. To both of us, both her children who live with chronic illness.
- Family and friends who GET IT, who accept me as I am (even if I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like to).
- My meds. Of course I’d rather not have to take them, but that’s not the hand I’ve been dealt. I’m grateful for the shot that keeps me from throwing up, and the other one I can take later if the pain gets to be too much. Together, they keep me out of the ER (hallelujah). I’m grateful for my pills because together, they help me get through the day. I’m grateful that we have health insurance, and can afford all of these things. I know there are some who cannot. I am lucky.
Your turn! Whether you are hurting, or frustrated (or both!), or just need a reality check, take a minute to think about all of the wonderful things in your life. Write them down, or tell someone. If you want you can share it below! No matter how difficult or bad it seems, there is always something to be grateful for!