So I’ll just go ahead and let you know at the beginning of things here that this post is not a story, does not have any kind of moral, will probably not be funny, and has no punchline. But given the fact that I’m writing about my everyday life which does include this whole chronic illness thing, I realized that I need to take a few minutes and document the good things that have been going on lately, for the next time I get Illness Amnesia and forget that my life has ever been any other way than how I am feeling in that particular moment.
1. For the first time in 2 years I had both the energy and desire to participate in the holidays. And I only had some mild backlash of physical symptoms when I got home.
2. I have been able to start taking on household responsibilities again, which makes both me and my husband feel better.
3. I have discovered Bite The Candy sessions hosted by the fabulous Cairene MacDonald of Third Hand Works.
“When we put something off â€“ even a simple task â€“ it can become encased in layers and layers of stories: our excuses for not doing it in the first place, our guilt about not having done it long ago, and so forth.
That unfinished task becomes a giant tootsie-pop of a to-do, yet at the center remains the yummy tootsie-roll goodness of having gotten the thing done.
And we we all know there are two ways to eat a tootsie pop: you can slowly lick your way to the center or you can just bite the candy and enjoy it now.
Sometimes you need to take your time. Sometimes you need to explore what your procrastination and resistance to this thing is all about. Sometimes you need to be patient with the process and yourself.
But sometimes all you need is a period of focused time â€“ along with a bit of guidance, accountability, encouragement, humor and comraderie â€“ to finally get that tootsie-pop off your to-do list. And that’s what Bite the Candy sessions are here for.
Bite the Candy teleclasses are held the last Thursday of each month.”
The first time I ever participated in one of these I had 2 boxes full of all the filing I did not do in 2009. Over a year’s worth of filing that I had pretty much decided was just going to hang around my neck forever, a giant, soul-sucking, forest-destroying albatross.
But thanks to the power of Not Having To Do This Really Icky Thing All By Myself, by the end of the session I had touched every single piece of paper in the box and sorted everything into piles, and by the next day I was able to put everything away. It was truly a miracle. I cannot TELL you what a load was lifted off of my mind.
So now I’ve been using the sessions to work on tax-related tasks, and again-The Power Of Not Having To Do Icky Things All Alone has been coming to my rescue. You should definitely check these out.
In The Interest Of Full Self-Disclosure: Because I am still me, I do still tend to get a little over-excited when I’m feeling better and have energy to do things, so I do FREQUENTLY have trouble stopping The Doing before I get a migraine or a pain flare-up or both. So I’m still working on that.
4. A couple of weekends ago I drove myself, all-by-myself, up to North Carolina for the first time in 2 1/2 years. There was a speaker I wanted to hear coming to a church near where my parents live, and I really wanted to go see her. And so I did.
Extra Bonus Yay: This was the also the first time in 2 1/2 years that I’ve wanted to go and do something fun like that for myself.
So I made it there, and I made it back, and I made it through the two days of the conference. And I was so relieved to know that if I ever HAD to take myself somewhere, I could. It’s been really hard-and scary-to be so dependent on other people.
Extra Bonus yay: I went to go and hear Angela Thomas, who is a pretty well-known author and speaker in certain circles. But before she was well-known she was just out of seminary, where her first job was as Minister to Senior High Girls at the church I attended at the time. She was there for the fall of 1987, and then she left to go on to other things. So I was 15 when she knew me.
Now I am 37, and yet: when I went up to talk to her before one of the sessions SHE TOTALLY REMEMBERED WHO I WAS! Which was just so cool.
In The Interest Of Full Self-Disclosure: While this turned out to be a totally awesome long weekend, I can now say with certainty that what I did was just a tad overly ambitious for where I am in my recovery, as upon my return I spent pretty much the next week and a half in abject misery, with every medical issue I have all trying to kill me at the same time. But at least now I know what my abilities and limitations are right now.
So there you go. It’s really nice to be able to document some Yay! items for a change.
so glad to her you are feeling better! yeah for that.
and big heaps of empathy for finding that sweet spot where you’ve gotten some energy and not wanting to use every ounce of it while it’s here because you don’t know when it will return again. so normal to over spend yourself.
the other thing i continue to learn from you is how you realize when it’s time to take some steps that are truly rejeuvenating and restorative – maybe mid stream – but you manage to take care of yourself through all these changing times in creative ways. it takes a ton of self awareness to work with the symptoms of fibro.
you’re doing it and showing others how to do this through your writings. the world is a better place because of you!!
Ana Schrick says
Those yay moments are awesome ones – sorry when you came back you had a difficult time. I love Angela Thomas – I didn’t know about her until January and our company brought her in for our annual banquet – it was a treat to have her there. How cool that she remembered you!
I might have to check out the Bite the Candy Sessions – that sounds awesome. I’m reading through a book right now a coach recommended called “The Power of Full Engagement” – so far it’s great and I love some of the principles I’m learning. I’m hoping I can use some of it to facilitate change!
Thinking of you.