Sometimes when you’ve lived with a chronic illness for a long time you generally “know the drill”. It almost seems that even when things get a little wonky, you are somehow able to pull yourself together (my favourite keyword: ‘adjust’) to get back on track. The normal types of stresses are quickly identified: work gets busy, you exercised a little too enthusiastically, etc., and dealt with appropriately (rest, prednisone etc.).
But then there are some things that unexpectedly hit you like a truck. It is stress you don’t have any control over. Your mind, heart and body don’t work well together anymore. Emotions and thoughts in the unconscious mind are in a constant swirl. Everything may be great and normal one minute, but can flip downward at any moment. So, how do you prepare? How do you prevent these constant changes beyond your control from making you sick? What do you do when you know you shouldn’t stress out, you know how you would normally deal with stress to prevent a flare, but now it’s out of your hands.
This is my recent state as of the past few months. Dealing with my own life change has led me down a path of uncertainty and fear. Uncertain of what the day may bring and fear that my body might rebel. I have not had a major flare in this time and I am grateful for it; surprised, but grateful.
My life is normal, yet not normal. I try to keep myself (super) busy by taking art, coding, and language classes. I’ve rearranged my apartment, and engaged in a little retail therapy. My downtime consists of insomnia, trying to keep my cat entertained (or trying to keep the cat from going berserk) and general “blah-ness”.
I’m doing my best. I’ve been meditating for 47 days straight (according to my trusty headspace app). Life throws a lot of things at you and you handle what happens as it comes. I don’t have any answers; everything is still fresh and very confusing. But taking it day by day has left me with this:
Whether you have control or not, whether the day is full of positives or full of negatives, or a foggy mess in-between, take it at your own pace and in your own way. No one can force you to go slower or faster as you work through what’s happened.
Whether you need a moment, a minute, a day, a week, a month or a year, trust that you’ll figure it out.