After more thought, and feeling much love, I realized hearing the “criticisms” about my blog, and/or me, hit home because I was feeling critical about myself. I don’t think of myself as a negative person, but I was feeling it, and didn’t even realize it. My life has changed drastically over the last 4 or 5 years, and the one thing I felt I held on to was my ability to see the best of the situation. I never asked “Why me?” I said, “Why not me?” This is very important to me. This is a part of my very essence. I was afraid I was losing me.
Let’s face it, the past couple of years have been very challenging for this household. Yes, we’ve met these challenges head on, but they just kept coming…..and coming…and coming……..often the solutions have not been as easily forthcoming.
It has been wearing me down. Much more than I realized. Not one to dwell on things, I normally allow myself to feel the emotions that go along with a challenge then I make a plan, and deal with it. “How do I handle this?” “What can I do?” “What’s the best way….????” Unfortunately, many of the challenges I’ve had to face recently have been completely out of my control, or the resolution is not easily obtained.
- My husband lost his job…..what can I do? I asked myself that often. I felt guilty that I couldn’t work. I tried to get disability and was denied. (yes I’m appealing, but it’s taking a long time.) Totally, out of my control. No easy fix.
- Sandy died. My best friend. My constant companion. I felt lost. In many ways I still do. I felt guilty. I felt I let her down. I know that’s not the case. The grief has taken a lot out of me. Out of my control. No easy fix.
- I’ve had added health issues. Out of my control. No easy fix.
- My health issues have gotten worse. Out of my control. No easy fix.
- My father was diagnosed with cancer. Out of my control.
Yep, I was having a hard time being me. I’d look in the mirror and think, where are you? I know you are in there somewhere….come out! I was ready to hide. After everything, I felt broken. And I could not admit that, not even to myself.
I talked on here about my fears, my pain, everything. I’ve been honest. However, inside I could not wrap my head around the fact that I was really and truly scared that things would never get better. No matter how many times I might have said it, and wanted to believe things would get better, the fact that they may not was driving me crazy. The thought that things would not get any better…..that was just not acceptable.
Then I realized, I’m looking at this all wrong! I’m thinking too much in the future. I don’t know what the future may hold. I have been freaking out over what has been happening, and I have been building up these stories in my mind about how my future might unfold. These stories have not been great. This is not a healthy way of thinking! I cannot live in the future, no more than I can live in the past. The only place I can live is in the present. Yes, that sounds very Zen. Yes, I’ve been reading a lot about this, but it makes sense. If I’m constantly thinking about what tomorrow might bring, good or bad, I’m going to miss out on today. That doesn’t mean I can’t make plans, but it does mean I’m not a slave to them and I’m not going to get all bent out of shape if something happens to change them. It also means I’m not constantly looking back thinking, “I just want my old life back.” that’s not going to happen, I’ve known that for a long time. Focusing on the present gives me the opportunity to enjoy my life as it is, without disappointment about dreams that didn’t happen, or romanticizing about a past that I can’t have anymore.
In short, my outlook is changing. Luckily, so are things around me. Would my outlook be changing if things were continuing to be spiraling downward? Yes, I think it would. I think it has been, I just haven’t been writing about it here as much as I probably should have been. It’s a work in progress, or to put it more correctly, I’m a work in progress. I always will be. So will this blog.
I want to share with my readers, my friends, this side of me. It is time to share more of the side that is brave, positive, compassionate, and thankful!
Yes, I will continue to come here and speak open and honestly about everything – all of it! I can’t help it, it’s who I am. If you would have suggested that I close the blog, I would have turned it private and continued to write, just for me. This stuff has to come out somewhere! However, I want you to see how I am handling the rough patches, how grateful I am for all the little things in my life, and how much I really do enjoy my life….”ants” and all. But there will be times when I don’t handle things well, and you will continue to hear about that too. It’s all part of living with chronic illnesses!
I’ve decided to challenge myself a bit. Each week I plan to write a post called Attitude of Gratitude. These posts will include things I’m grateful for that week. These posts may include pictures, drawings, stories, words…..or some times it may just be one word….who knows. I want to make sure I never let a week go by that I don’t think about things for which I’m grateful. I try to do this every day, but we all know some days we just get a bit overwhelmed.
You are welcome to join me in this challenge. We can make it an official challenge if people are interested. I’m going to do it, for me, and hopefully to inspire others with chronic illnesses to look around and notice the little things that they can still be grateful for.
Thank you all for taking my Poll! It was an overwhelming landslide that I should continue to write as I do. I promise I will continue to write as open and honest as always. I will continue to show the bad and the ugly sides of my illnesses, but I want to even it out and show the more positive sides too. Yes, there really are some!
I’m so very grateful to have such wonderful friends! (many who I have never met in person)
The comments and emails I received after my last post amazed me! Thank you all so very much!