August 31, 2015
It isn’t always absurd. If a friend tells me she’s sick, and we just saw each other the day before, it makes some sense that I might worry I’ll get sick, too. Of course, what doesn’t make sense is when I immediately start feeling symptoms.
What makes less sense is when a friend mentions on Facebook that he’s sick and I start feeling sick, even though he lives 3000 miles away and we haven’t seen each other in a year.
It hasn’t always been this way, but somewhere along the lines, my anxiety about health issues snuck up on me and now I often feel sick at just the mention of illness.
Tonight was even worse: I felt sick as I listened to the narrator in the audio book I’m listening to describe feeling ill. She’s a fictitious character in a novel, and she probably isn’t even sick (or if she is, I’m guessing that it’s relevant to the plot in a very specific way, but I digress) and even those imaginary germs from a character in a novel got me feeling queasy.
It’s absurd. It makes no sense. But it happens all the time.
If anyone can explain this to me, I’d really appreciate it. Maybe if I understand it, I could learn to somehow avoid it!
August 29, 2015
Sometimes it’s hard to miss out on good things. Ok, it always sucks to miss out on good things, but when you have a chronic illness and you miss a lot of them, it can be really hard. After all, it’s not like I’m missing out on one good thing because I’m busy with something else. No, I’m missing it so I can sit at home in my pajamas and feel lousy.
I’ve been handling these days better lately, and the trick for me is to remember that this isn’t the last day of good stuff. Yes, I know I would have had a lot of fun at my friend’s birthday barbecue in this absolutely perfect weather. And tomorrow I’ll probably miss out on several things that I know I would have loved. But I’ll have other nice days. There will be another day with friends, another day of good weather, another day of sunshine. It won’t be the same, but that’s ok.
I’m sure this approach won’t work for everyone, but it works for me. Today I’m missing something I’d been looking forward to for ages. But next week or next month or some other time there will be something just as good or better. I just need to look forward to that.
And until then, there’s tv and food for comfort.
August 23, 2015
One of the hard parts about being unable to work at a job is feeling like I’m not doing anything substantial. Sure, I do favors for friends and offer advice online and do other intangible things, but it’s rare for me to do anything I can point to and say “I did that” and be proud of it.
I started knitting as a child. My grandmother made such beautiful things, and she loved knitting so much, that I thought I should try it, too. At the age of 6 I learned the basics. Unfortunately, I never progressed much beyond those basics. Then a few years back a friend taught me to crochet, and I really got the hang of that. Before I knew it, I was making some complex items.
I spend a lot of time sitting on my ass. It’s sort of inevitable when you have chronic fatigue. So while I’m sitting and watching tv, sitting and listening to an audio book, or sitting and talking on the phone, I’m also knitting and crocheting. I always have multiple projects in the works at any given time, and I love creating them. The best part is, I’m making something useful! At the end of each project I have a physical, tangible item that I can say I made, and I can be proud of it. I sell some things and donate others. It feels good to donate hats and scarves to a local homeless shelter and know that I’m helping people.
Last year I taught a friend with chronic illness how to crochet. Like me, she knew how to knit, and wanted to learn something new. Now she feels the same way I do: excited to be able to make something, especially because she can no longer work.
Crocheting and knitting doesn’t solve all of my problems. But it solves one problem. And I’m grateful for that.
What do you do to feel a sense of accomplishment? Please comment below so we can get ideas from each other!
August 21, 2015
I had a nightmare last night. It happens from time to time. Sometimes it’s easy to go back to sleep, but often it’s not. Last night was easier than usual, thanks to the handsome guy in the photo.
I happen to be dog-sitting this week. This adorable fellow was asleep, with his little tongue sticking out (isn’t that cute?) at the foot of the bed right around the time I went to sleep. Hours later I woke up, startled and upset. Before I could even remember where I was, he got up from the foot of the bed, came over to me, and cuddled up by my chest. I reached out to pet him, and he began licking my arm.
Before I had time to think about it, I was asleep again. I woke up hours later with this guy back at the foot of the bed. I don’t know when he moved. I just know he was there when I needed him.
How lucky can a girl get?