This post will be a bit of a change from my normal ramblings about cooking or gardening or binge-watching tv shows. Like many people I know, I have an account on Facebook. This social media platform helps me to keep up with the goings ons of family and friends who live far away. Younger daughter lives in Tennessee; most everyone else a minimum 4-hour drive south. Yeh, 4 hours doesn't sound like much, but it is. It's not a "day trip."
I bring up Facebook because I also follow the updates of friends and acquaintances. There are some amazing folk in the world and I feel it a privilege to know of them. And some of them live with illnesses or conditions or lifelong health issues and yet, they fairly sparkle with joy. There are many people in this world who live with a chronic something. I'm one of them and I wanted to talk a bit about living successfully with something you can't get rid of.
Chronic simply means persisting for a long time, or constantly recurring. I know of folks who live with the pain and discomfort of Fibromyalgia. There are those who live with COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder]. Or things like:
However, you can live with them. You can even have joy and fun and adventure and love. You can have a garden, be a chef, race cars and bring smiles to those you love. For me, the key is in how to manage the grey days. The black cloud days. The pain days.
I can hear you asking: okay, Linda, so how do I get through the days I wish I could wipe off the calendar? I do have a few suggestions. I practice them myself and they do help. I offer these just as 'food for thought.' If you have others, please share them in the comments section.
Sounds simple, but living with a chronic illness is uber challenging. Sudden falls out of remission, or sudden recurrences, or unplanned ER visits...these can all put giant holes in your carefully crafted agenda for the week. Figure out your stride, and take it all in your stride. Be happy with the one thing you are able to accomplish on a day rather than be upset about the 4 other things you couldn't get to. Make your goal quality of life and not quantity of productivity.
My chronic illness means that I had to retire from work I enjoyed because of the damage it did and because I cannot commit to set schedules. I never know...never have advance notice...of a grey day or black cloud day. Sucks, I know, but hey. I have so much joy in my life, so many blessings, I can't complain.
Do you live with a chronic condition or illness? What is your best coping strategy?