A funny thing happened when I was busy just trying to survive: my health took a big step forward. And suddenly, instead of being in one of the negative health cycles we all know so well, I’ve practically fallen into a positive health cycle.
First I left the hell of benefits applications. I got the last approval letter this week. I’m done (for now, at least.) That reduced my stress level more than I could have imagined.
Then I started with a new CPAP setup for my sleep apnea. With a couple weeks I was noticing a difference. I still have some problems with it and, with a couple of exceptions, I haven’t been able to use it for more than a few hours each night, but it’s helping. (As a side note, I saw my sleep doctor today and I’m hopefully we’ll be able to fix those problems soon.)
Then, as I was feeling less stress and more energy, I spent a week dog sitting. I took 2 walks each day and was more active in between walks. And while it was tiring, I actually felt pretty good!
Yesterday I saw my naturopath and today I saw my sleep doctor. Unlike many of the other doctors I see, each of them ask a lot of questions about how I’m feeling take the time to consider all of the details. And that means that I have to take the time to consider how I’m feeling and to answer their questions thoroughly and thoughtfully.
I knew before this week that I was doing significantly better, but when I compared how I feel now to how I felt at my previous appointments with each doctor I saw the change more clearly than ever.
And the thing is, it’s not just that I feel better. It’s that because I feel better, I’m doing more! So you know that health cycle I mentioned at the start of this blog post? Well, it goes something like this:
Feel better physically –> Be more active –> Feel happier from extra activity –> Feel even better physically from extra happiness and from extra activity & exercise –>
Isn’t that a wonderful cycle? I won’t know how long it will last, but I hope it lasts a long time!
Suddenly I’m going out with friends more, doing more volunteering for a couple of groups I’m involved in, helping others more, exercising more (I’m trying to take a medium walk every day) and generally feeling happier! It’s not perfect. My doctor today asked if I’ve thought about going back to work. I know I’m not ready. I’m not keeping up with a lot of things around the house. I haven’t been writing here as much as I’d like. There are so many things not getting done. If I can’t find balance between extra socializing (which is still less than what most people my age do,) extra exercise, household chores, and a couple of hobbies, how can I possibly add work to that mix? I’m still hoping to get there, but I’m just not there yet. And that’s ok.
It’s ok because right now I’m seeing positive changes. I want to embrace those for all they’re worth. I’ve dealt with a lot of shit lately. Loved ones have died. I’ve had excruciating pain. A promising relationship ended suddenly. There’s been some tough stuff. But now, finally, things are looking up. And I’m going to focus on that and enjoy it as much as I possibly can.