Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Two Way Street

Think about these three simple words for a minute, two way street. What comes to mind? I'm sure if we were sitting as a group in a quiet room and we were asked to ponder on these simple words we would all come up with our own definition as to what they might mean to us.

Life in general is a two way street. We are born and throughout life we are faced with so many choices, most of them good, some not so good. I'm sure we could all list many good and bad streets we have traveled down over the years. We love to remember the good ones but somewhere along the way we tend to forget about the bad ones. Human nature has a funny way of doing that to us without us even realizing it. It's easy to block out the crappy streets we landed on compared to the joyful ones. I'm sure we have all said once or many times, "If I could go back I never would have done that." I know I have. I always wonder though, would I really? Lessons learned and roads traveled teach us a lot and give us wisdom, so maybe not.

Relationships are a two way street. Relationships along the way that I thought were beneficial to my life when actually they weren't at all. The problem was I never realized it way back when. I believe if we never had certain relationships we would not be who we are today so it all happened for a reason, right? Then there are the relationships that slipped through our hands when maybe we wanted a relationship and the other person didn't or vice versa. Once again you realize the older you get that if those worked out our lives wouldn't have aligned as it did. We all wonder how different life would have been if... The other day I was talking with someone who brought up a what if like that and I immediately thought to myself, if that persons what if happened it would never have brought me where I am today. I was glad that what if didn't happen to them. Life is a two way street that continues from our birth to our death. All relationships in life are a two way street. This is the way they work. One person gives to help the other person and then the tables turn and that person is being helped. Whether it is in physical ways, just being there, or listening. It's when the 50/50 switch gets flipped and one person feels like they are giving more or maybe it's that people change and relationships dissolve, and relationships end. Many times a person wakes up to realize a relationship they thought was good for them was actually toxic and it's time to break away. The two way street in relationships comes in so many forms. Finding your balance when it comes to relationships is personal and you have to do what is right for you many times that means letting go and that's ok.

You know this one is coming. Ready? 
Illness is a two way street. This is huge for me because I picture myself walking down a gravel road in the country surrounded by a lot of huge lush trees. Up ahead in the distance as I move forward I see the fork in the road. In the moments before the fork is in view I'm lost. Illness has a way of doing that to you. What am I going to do with this illness thing? The thoughts and unknown of illness can be overwhelming at times. Just as I feel like I'm about to fall over the edge the fork in the road appears. If I go left there's a big black opening as I peer down the road. It's the dark side. The side I fight with when I am in pain, who am I kidding the side I deal with pretty much everyday because of the unknown. The unknown is hard for a control freak. It's the side I fight with when I'm so fatigued I can hardly do anything days. It's the road I hate to see. I turn away and look ahead and peer to the right. Ah there you are! This road looks brighter. There are days the road on the right is a little cloudy but the sun is always out even if it is in the distance. I see it. There are the days the sun shines bright and I wonder to myself, "Am I really sick or is this some kind of odd dream?" The right side keeps my head on straight. I like that side. I realize the choice is mine everyday on which way I want to go right. I chose the right on most days but I'm human too. There are the days I pick the left and have my pity party. Why? Because this is so unfair! It is. Blah, blah, blah. Then I realize I can't change it. Look to the light.
The funny part that always amazes me is when I am feeling good, good for me, on the right side of the road, I have a hard time remembering the left and it's darkness. A few weeks ago I was in the depths of the dark side. I had days where I didn't even do my hair or makeup and could have cared less. It took everything I had just to breathe. Sounds crazy I know. Crazy but true. Then last week I began feeling better for some reason. I have no idea why. I must clarify my better. It's my better, not yours, not the kind of better you may be thinking. Better enough to clean my house. Better enough that I could breathe. Better enough that my fatigue went from a level 10 to a 5 or 6. The sun is out on the road I'm on, at least for the time being. The scary part is when I'm on this road I always have that dark dread in the back of my head. The, "When is it going to flip back" kind of dark. The pain is always there but it's funny how you can deal with pain when your fatigue isn't as bad. The energy helps you deal with it in some odd sort of way. Pushing on and doing more feels good. I always need to remind myself to pace my steps when I feel better because when I over do it that is when I am sent back into a tailspin. Ahh, the roads we take when we are chronically ill, some well traveled, some less traveled. 

The two way street or so called fork in the road that we see so often can pose difficult dicisions for us. Staying strong when you feel weak pushes you to make the right choice when you are staring down that gravel road and see the fork. I hope you are able to choose the right side today and if not there's always tomorrow!

God Bless! 


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Don't Believe Everything You Read

Skimming through the social media sites I see everyday there are times I tend to become somewhat frustrated with articles or advice I read. I am a firm believer in educating myself on my illness and learning as much I can about living with my diagnosis. If you don't take that control no one else will. I hope this is true for yourself too.

Today I read something that said, pain only makes you stronger. Really? I'm pretty sure if you asked someone who lived with chronic pain they might say something like this, "Pain makes me tired, pain wears me out, pain makes me angry at times, and on certain days pain controls my life." Makes me stronger? Maybe. I have read, pain isn't for wimps, now that one I tend to believe. Pain causes you to prioritize your life. It forces you to focus more on what is good for your health. It forces you to make choices that work for you. Why can't all these expert advice givers write about the real aspects of living with pain instead of giving their advice about it? I get confused. 

There are the times I read something that is so ridiculous I will bust out in a ha ha ha good one. A perfect example is the sleep cures I have read so many times. When you are in pain sleep is disturbed no matter how many tips you read and apply to your "trying" to get a good nights sleep. Don't watch tv. Don't eat before bed. Only go to bed when you are tired? Really? So I should go to bed 24/7 because I'm always tired, which brings me to the fatigue. Exercise more, do this, don't do that and your fatigue will get better. Ok if you say so but when I'm so weak I can hardly get out of bed how am I suppose to exercise more? I do the best I can with what I have. I get so frustrated with some of this advice I want to scream. It's not like the chronically ill aren't already doing the best we can and we sure don't need to feel put down anymore by people who have no idea what it is like. That's another thing that bothers the heck out of me, the people who write to tell us chronics what we should or shouldn't do are the same people who are healthy and have no health issues holding them back. It's kind of like people who have no kids telling people who do what they are doing wrong raising theirs. Ya that, it makes no sense. Or it might be me trying to tell someone how to do their job when I don't work and have no idea what it is like to have a job. There are so many times I read someone's opinion on my illness that cause me to come unglued. I could go on and on.

I am learning to keep my feelings in check when I read something and snicker under my breath but it sure isn't easy at times. I know for me stress is something I need to control. Having a big heart I tend to get angered quite easily when I feel people are being put down or made to feel what they are doing isn't enough. We are all the captain of our own ship. We are under no obligation to let anyone's opinion rule our lives or the way we live. I'm personally trying to steer clear of advice or articles that do not lift me up and give me hope. Life is hard enough we must take control and push on the best we can.

God Bless!