Over the past couple of years I have seen so many people who have had big “stuck” and big dreams. And it has been so cool to watch them being stuck, working through their stuck, and then arriving at the place they thought they’d never ever get to.
And at the same time, I’ve been feeling kind of sad about myself. I know that comparing myself to others makes me feel sh*tty. And I know that I can’t compare my insides to anyone else’s outsides. And I know that I don’t know what’s going on for all those people, what they’ve gone through, where they are now. But it’s still hard.
AND, I feel frustrated because even though I know that I do tons of stuff, and have worked through tons of stuff, it’s not anything that most people see. I’m not trying to “grow a business”, or figure out how to make (more) money, or do some giant, soon-to-be public creative project. And it’s not anything that, say, I could write about in a Christmas newsletter. And that is hard sometimes, especially when I see someone I’ve know for a while get something they’ve really wanted. It’s hard not to be in a place of public achievements right now. It’s hard to be almost the only witness to myself and what I do.
But when I ask myself, I don’t really come up with anything I’d like to do that I’m not doing. I don’t feel like there are things I want that I’m not getting to have. And I’m not feeling like being out in public doing things. Quite the opposite, actually.
This is (and has been) a time of turning inward for me. I’m learning how to take care of myself. I’m learning how to ask for help. I’m learning how to receive help. I’m learning how to be interdependent.
I’m learning how to acknowledge and live within my limits.
I’m learning how to still be me, and still thrive, and still have an everyday life I love EVEN WITH chronic pain and chronic illness.
I’m learning how to be in relationships with all the changes these circumstances have forced on me/us.
I’m learning how to actually live in now-moments. I’m learning how to be here, even though “here” frequently hurts like a m*&^%$-f!@#$%r.
I’m learning how to live in a place of both/and, as in, “I am having a 10 pain day, AND I’m grateful for the sunny weather.
I’m learning how to take advantage of things like the Internet in order to have an outlet for my creative expression, as well as have a way that I can stay connected to people that works with how/where/who I am now.
I’m still taking classes. I’m still trying new things.
I’m still contributing to our household and our life together, just in different ways and at a different capacity.
I’m STILL FUNNY-I still have my sense of humor, and can find the funny in my circumstances, AND write funny stories about them on my blog.
I still take care of my husband and my cats and our home.
I actually do have an everyday life that I really love.
I am still walking my spiritual path. I am still working on myself.
I’m learning how to release treating myself as though I only have value to life and to other people if I DO. I’m learning to see the value I have by simply existing here, and being in other people’s lives.
We’ve figured out how to organize things financially so that we’re ok with my not working.
I have learned how to educate the people around me on how to communicate with me, and how to help me in ways that actually help me.
Hm. When I look at things this way, it appears that I have, in fact, created an entirely new world for myself and the people around me.
Apparently I really do have magical superpowers.
I need some of those magical superpowers. I read an interesting phrase last night, ‘chronic pride’, in the context of activism. It still has me thinking what would chronic pride look like? What does it entail? Your post has some of the qualities I’ve been considering: redefining your life so that is works for you with the chronic illness, learning to communicate your needs to others, teaching others about our illnesses, knowing in our heart of hearts that we matter even though we are ill, continuing to live learn and grow despite illness. Love it!!
Sue Jackson says
This was a great post – I admire your positive attitude and your focus on what you have rather than on what you want. There are still plenty of things I want to do that I can’t right now, but I also try to focus on the here and now and what I can do.
I also couldn’t help but laugh about your comment that you aren’t doing anything you could write about in a Christmas newsletter. Just stop for a moment and imagine a Christmas letter that’s honest from someone with FM or CFS…”I am so excited that this year I succeeded in walking around the block twice!” “We were so thrilled that our son only missed 25 days of school this year!” “It was a good year – I only spent half of my days lying on the couch.” ha ha – this could be good!
Happy New Year!