Again, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. My emotional energy has been so depleted for the past few months that I could never bring myself to share “doom and gloom” with you.
In my last post, I shared a bit about a life change I was going through and trying to figure out how to be flare-free while dealing with stress I couldn’t control. I’m glad to report that I am STILL FLARE-FREE and that physically, I haven’t felt better in a long time. I am still taking all of the same meds in the same doses, but my body is being kind to me. My labwork is even awesome. It’s still not all normal, but no flares and boring labwork is always a win.
So I got to thinking…ok…was someone (or something) trying to tell me I needed this change?
For all my “expertise” in managing my lupus, there was a part of my life that I guess I overlooked as a major stressor. I didn’t recognise it. For the past four months, I’ve found the following helpful in trying to find peace:
Learning to be present: I practice meditation every day.
I am not very good or consistent in my concentration, but between meditation and a book (The Untethered Soul) that a good friend recommended to me, I am working on shutting out the negative voices in my own head and taking each day as it is.
Walking just about anywhere: Walking has been a great release for me. These days, it takes a lot of energy for me to walk into the gym, change, do my routine, etc. Don’t get me wrong, after I’ve worked out, I feel great! I feel strong! But lately, in order to deal with things, I take a walk.
Example: I walked from the Hospital for Special Surgery where I had my infusion to dinner with a friend at Haru Sushi. That’s 70th street to 18th and Park Avenue South. I did 17,000+ steps that day! (I love my Fitbit)!
Reconnecting with friends: The first two points show how important it is to have friends. Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while, it’s a chance to hang out with good peeps. Sharing stories, giving/receiving advice, eating or having a cocktail, and generally enjoying each other’s company.
Being open: In reconnecting with friends, I’ve decided to open up and not keep to myself so much. I figure that I might as well share my feelings and be a sounding board for others as well. It feels good to get things off my chest and it’s awesome to have others trust me with their experiences as well.
Learning to stand up for myself: This is a tough one. This involves me not being fearful that if I say something someone doesn’t like they will reject me. It has been absolutely terrifying to say things directly and strongly or even yell at people I hold very dear to me, but not doing those things and holding things in was bad for me emotionally and physically.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of inner work over the past few months. I certainly can’t say that I’ve done any outer work because my apartment is a HOT MESS!
…the journey continues…