I’m still sometimes amazed at how awkward me being sick can make other people. Usually resulting in them either slowly cutting themselves out of my life and once in a while popping up on Facebook to wish another Happy Birthday or noncommittal ‘lets get together sometime’ OR they ‘try to help.’
By this I mean sending me links to studies that will show how thyme is going to change my life and reverse my autoimmune disease or how if I only sleep on my left side with 3 pillows in strategic places all my gastrointestinal issues are going to disappear. All of us who have been handling chronic illnesses from migraines to arthritis to IBD to anxiety/depression for a while already have a sort of “been there, done that” relationship with these sorts of articles. Hell, most of use have already spent a great deal of time trying them all out, hoping and praying that against our better judgement there might actually be a miracle cure somewhere in that pseudoscience.
In the end though, we know better than to believe any of it is a CURE. In the end it can sometimes even feel like our trouble and pains are being minimized and discounted by our loved ones by them assuming that A – we haven’t thought of that already and B – it’s that easy to “fix” us.
There are though, some people that totally get it…. Like my wonderful friend who sent me this.
I was having a really shitty day (actually if you really need to know I was having a really vomitty day..nothing is heading the other directing… my fault, I tried to eat solids) and it was just what I needed. In that moment I felt much better than any article on dietary changes, environmental factors or Chinese medicine could have made happen.
Do I expect to suddenly happen upon something that is going to miraculously make me feel permanently better? No of course not, but I do think it’s possible to get rid of my illness… at least for a moment. There are a few things I can do (thinks I have to FORCE myself to do when depression kicks in) for myself that do not need to take things as far as kale up my ass!
Looking at something beautiful. It doesn’t take much, there is a lot of unfiltered beauty out there (but hey, go look at all the filtered stuff too… I’m not gonna judge) and taking a moment to be in awe of what nature has to show us. That for me gives me a moment of peace.
Goof-off, giggle and groan! There’s a lot of serious shit going on in our lives right now and sometimes we forget we need to unwind and just let loose. It doesn’t really take much. A foam nose and some really bad puns had all of us in stitches (the kind of stomach pain I can surely put up with). Laughter is by far my most important ‘medicine’ when physically I’m at my worst. When I have a hard time finding the humor in life, it’s when I know that mentally it’s time to get some help because things are at their darkest.
Be with the ones you love…. even if they drive you crazy. It’s easy to want to push people, even family, away when you’re ill because you don’t want to be a burden. If they leave you, it’s their own damn fault, but if they stick around, hold them close. Do I feel up for outings, visits, active family time etc. often? No…. but I make the most of it when I can, even if that means sacrificing the days afterwards. Being able to hold on to those memories of the good days while you’re stuck going through the worst of it is well worth it.
Yea… even the loved ones that you sometimes hate to love… Tomorrow marks a week he’s been gone and I guess what they say is true, absence DOES make the heart grow fonder. While our relationship is tense, crazy and a major case of opposites attract… he is my person. Last night after the worst of my time spent curled over the porcelain throne he video chatted me about 20 minutes of himself attempting to raise a single eyebrow (a skill he does not possess) just because he knows it makes me smile.
I don’t know what the future holds, I’m actually assuming it’s still going to get worse before it gets better. It’s disheartening and I’m slipping into a pretty dark place with a lot of shit going on. Right now though I can try take comfort in knowing there are people out there that get it and I can take advantage of the few moments in time where I ‘get rid’ of my illness.