the storm

lightning strike the ground during night time

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i stand outside as the storm begins to rage

the thunder rolls in sending animals scattering,

yet i don’t move,

lightening strikes,

shaking the earth under my feet,

my body quakes with fear as the world around me appears to shatter into pieces,

strikes hits too close leaving me cowering in a heap,

 

can i within stand the storm,

can i endure the constant barrage of raging winds and ravishing rains that beat at my body……..

no place to run,

no place to hide,

not only from the storm but from myself.

i am soaked to the bone,

cold to the touch,

immense fear engulfs my mind

is shelter worth searching for,

my soul cries out for comfort,

yet, do i need saving?

 

 

 

 

 

no tv news

night television tv video

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January 1st, 2018 I decided to make a resolution not to watch any TV news.  I made this resolution half joking, saying it mainly out of frustration of all the depressing stories I heard day after day.  What I discovered after a few weeks was that I felt a bit better.  My anxiety dropped and I spent less time watching TV.   It was a wonderful experience/experiment and one I plan to carry on in 2019 as part of my……..do more of good and and less of the bad activities.

Wishing you a year of more good stuff in your life!

you

affection appreciation decoration design

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in your arms i experience true peace

no place do i feel safer, not even in my own mind – which creates chaos and worry

my chest full of rapid beats – you wrap your strong arms around me

your presence………

calms my heart

calms my thoughts

calms my soul……

 

I can’t remember squat

analysis blackboard board bubble

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…..and it is so darn frustrating and down right scary some days.  There are times the brain fog is so thick is seems as if I am trying to think my way through oatmeal, and the old-fashioned rolled ones at that.  I can’t remember peoples’ names, words, what I walked into a room for, or what I was going to say next.  These symptoms scare me, big time, and I have to work hard to keep my emotions in check as anxiety can come on strong and put me on a train to nowhere.

So, to assist with my memory, here are a few things that I do:

  1.  I make a lot of lists.  I keep a running list of items needed at the grocery store and  things to do …………….now if I can only keep track of all my lists!
  2.  I keep a calendar on my phone plus one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom.  I also keep separate calendars on the wall for each of my kiddos major projects, homework, and tests.  I realize this is a lot of calendars, but it has taken me years to discover what works for me.
  3.   I try not focus on my mental hiccups as it leads to anxiety which makes every single symptom in the entire world worse!
  4.   I consume healthy fats for my brain.
  5.   I do my best to stay properly hydrated.
  6.   I try to keep my brain active by reading, listening to music, researching, meditating, and trying to learn something new.  Who couldn’t be helped by memorizing some Shakespeare?…..shall I count the ways?!
  7.   I take omega 3 fatty acid every day.
  8.   I take magnesium every day.
  9.   I eat a large salad every day.
  10.   I try to move my body daily with some type of physical activity.

Memory issues, from my experience, seem to go along with many of chronic illnesses.  I would LOVE to hear what helps you………..

 

 

isolation

landscape mountains nature sky

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Synonym Discussion of isolation

solitudeisolationseclusion mean the state of one who is alone. solitude may imply a condition of being apart from all human beings or of being cut off by wish or circumstances from one’s usual associates.

    • a few quiet hours of solitude

isolation stresses detachment from others often involuntarily.

    • the isolation of the village in winter

seclusion suggests a shutting away or keeping apart from others often connoting deliberate withdrawal from the world or retirement to a quiet life.

    • lived in pastoral seclusion

 

ISOLATION this is such a sad and lonely word, just pushing the sounds across your tongue sounds just……….blah.

ISOLATION is what the prison system uses to further punish those who misbehave while behind bars.  It is meant to break people so they never want to do another bad thing.

Many individuals with chronic illness are living isolated lives.  Isolation leads to even more unwanted side effects or exaggeration of current symptoms such as depression, anxiety, worry, loneliness and pain.

No one wants to feel lonely and too many people are scared to admit they feel alone because, simply put, in today’s world, it equals loser, or worse yet, unlovable.  Obviously this is not true, but those feelings are there none-the-less.

Being chronically ill, we have already lost so much……..previous abilities to do what we loved, stamina, a good night sleep, to interact with our surrounding in a immediate and prompt way……adding loneliness into the mix is a huge slap in the face, fuel to the fire.

This world (at least here in the US) is fixated on the health, youth, independence, wealth, and “beauty” at all costs and people do not take time to slow down and go and visit a friend who is ill, let alone even know who their neighbors are…………so what can we do about this?

…….PLEASE, if you know someone in your neck of the woods who is alone, sick, lonely, can’t get out and interact with the world on a regular basis, please take 1 hour out of  the next 30 days and do something about it.  This simple act of kindness, multiplied by many, sends love where it needs to be, with those who can use it the most.  If you are personally unable to get out of your home, send a card or a letter to someone else who is in a similar situation.  Emails are nice and texts can be great too, but taking the time to send a personal note shows you took an extra step out of your day and thought of them in a very real way.  Now please go……………

Image result for quotes of gandhi to be the change you want to see in the world

 

in your arms

 

person spreading hands against sun

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i feel safe from the world

i feel safe from my fears

this safety allows me to stop my tears

 

i hate feeling scared of what might be

but i am thankful that you are here to calm me

to whisper to me that it will all be ok

that you will, through it all, with me, will stay

lonely road

 

bare trees at golden hour

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no one can truly understand the pain and discomfort of  living

to understand the masks put on every day, to live within the confines of  this society, not to be viewed as worthless, useless, in a culture that wants fast paced living, quick movements, immediate answers, a fountain of youth, boundless energy, radiating health………..

we struggle to even maneuver down this path……….it is twisting, turning sharply with multiple bumps in the road

it’s a lonely road we roam…………..the desperation, the clinging onto hope, the desire to feel normal……………it is astounding thoughts of healing we try to keep alive – pushed to the back of our minds so not to be overwhelmed with the thoughts of what might be.

the road is endless and uncharted.  it is an intimidating place to ramble as the fog covers the path – your view is obscured…………you have no ability to see where you are going.

it’s like taking a trip, to an unknown place without any clue to where you are going or how you are going to get there…………..not a path I would have chosen to take, but one I am on nonetheless.

will you leave me?

man walking on floor

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i can’t keep up with you……………

…………do you secretly want to leave me?

i anxiously worry about the future……………………what if i don’t heal

…………will you dream about leaving me?

what if i get worse………….and i can no longer leave the house?

………..will you pray about leaving me?

what if i require even more of your time and energy………………..

……….will you desire to leave me?

what if i can no longer walk by your side…………………

……………will you hope to live a life free of me?

what if you become bored and she can do more………….

………….will you plan to leave me?

i am so thankful you have stayed this long…………..is it selfish to ask for more?

who wants to be tied down when you are physically able and free to go………………….

……………do you want to leave me?

………….what if?

10 things I do when I have to travel, while my stupid chronic illnesses tag along.

green and white volkswagen combi

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When I was much younger, traveling was something I looked forward to doing in my life.  I dreamed that some day I/we would have enough money to visit a few places I have always dreamed of seeing in person……..Italy, India, Cuba, Belize and the Southwest U.S.  Instead, extra money goes to pay medical bills and the thought of getting on a plane or sitting in a vehicle for a long road trip creates anxiety.  I already feel ill, being in a moving anything makes me feel worse…………every, single, time. Period.  It just sucks.

But there are times in our life when we need to go somewhere that requires being in a moving vehicle for more than a trip across town, and since teleportation isn’t a thing yet, I just have to suck it up and get through it.

So here are a few things that have made traveling more bearable for me:

  1.  I stay hydrated.  I always feel better when my body has adequate water.  Bottled is a must as tap (chlorinated) water makes me instantly ill.
  2.   I eat as healthy as possible.  Junk food makes me feel like just like that, junk.  I usually pack a cooler and bring cut up veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, grain-free tortilla chips, and some health bars.
  3.   I watch the world pass by.  Unfortunately I can’t read, look at my phone or do much of anything other than look out the window while being in a moving object.  Doing otherwise has had some bad results.
  4.   I bring my pillows and blanket with me.  I must have a wedge pillow to sleep as elevating my head at night allows me to function better the next day.  Then my own blanket to cozy up with at the end of the day allows me to sleep better.
  5.   I don’t push myself into that k(no)w zone.  You know the place of no return, when you realize that if you do anymore you won’t be able to function the next day.  I use to worry about letting others down but now, I realize that even if I am going to unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings, I won’t force my body to do things it just doesn’t want to do.  I do what I can and know I have done my best.
  6.  I do my best to take all supplements and/or medication on time.  I keep these with me as I travel so I don’t have to waste precious energy frantically searching for them at the last minute.
  7.  I bring earbuds with me so I can listen to relaxing music or a podcast when I need to focus on something other than how crappy I feel.
  8.  I pack comfortable clothing and shoes.  I know we all want to look nice but comfort is so much more important.
  9.   If I am going to be busy on the day I arrive at my destination, I always ask for early check-in.  That way I have time to relax before I need to be somewhere.
  10.    I always bring my heating pad.  That way I have something to help relieve sore muscles other than a hot shower.

 

Until next time…………..YOU are a superhero and superheros sometimes have to fly!

10 frugal mental pick-me-ups

trees in park

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Living with illness day-in and day-out not only wears on your body, but takes a toll on your mental health.  It is hard to keep picking yourself up when you are in constant pain, hear a trail of bad news from health care practitioners, and experience the isolation that CI can bring.  Depression and anxiety start to take a grip on your brain and it can be a very hard grip to shake.  Taking time, daily, to give yourself a mental pick-me-up is an  important part of keeping as healthy as possible.

 

  1.  Pray/Meditate for guidance, for new ways to deal with your illness, for healing paths that bring comfort, and for people into your life who truly care.
  2.   Listen to music that makes you happy………from Mozart to The Beatles from Madonna to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, music has a way of making us happy and allowing our minds to escape from reality – as least for a little while.
  3.   Get outside in nature.  Who doesn’t love looking at pictures of the beach, a flower in a field or a beautiful tree in a forest?  To experience it in person allows you to internalize the beauty and refresh the soul.
  4.   Drink a glass of filtered water.  It is so important that we stay properly hydrated.  It seems like such an easy thing to do but when you are in pain and nauseous, it can be a chore to take in enough fluids.  Water is known to improve mood, reduce headaches and flush out toxins.  Plain water does get boring, so adding lemon, cucumber, lime, orange, strawberries, even some fresh herbs such as mint or basil can add flavor and bring added benefits.  Be creative!
  5.   Sit outside and soak in some rays for 15 minutes. Sun increases your vitamin D levels which can give your immune system and mood a boost.
  6.  Laugh.  Get on-line and read some jokes, get on Pinterest, search for some funny memes, or watch a feel good movie……..laughter decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins, which are the feel good chemicals.
  7.  Breathe……….sometimes we are so stressed we are not really breathing.  Take some  deep breaths, not forced, just natural.  Our body NEEDS oxygen to live and deep breathing has been proven to have a positive impact on your brain, heart, digestion and immune system.  Check-in with yourself at least twice a day to make sure you are really breathing.
  8.  Journal.  Sometimes the chronic illness monster gets the best of us.  We just need to say stuff, swear like a drunken sailor, scream at the top of our lungs, yell at our doctors for not believing/helping/healing, and who are we to tell?  When we are alone it is imperative that we get those thoughts and feelings out so they are not internalized, creating a breeding ground for more illness.  Write those feelings down as they come.  Do not worry about what it is or how it is written, just let it out.
  9.   Do some gentle exercise like take a walk, a few yoga poses, ti chi, or stretches.  Whenever possible, move your body as much as possible as this also releases endorphins, possibly reducing depressive symptoms.  Walking to and from the bathroom and/or kitchen is way better than nothing.
  10.   Eat a healthy snack.  It is important that we continue to eat clean, healthy food despite our illnesses.  Eating food in its most natural state is best for providing our bodies the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to function as highly as possible.  A smoothie, a piece of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds or 1/2 an avocado are all healthy and simple.

Until next time……………….You are a superhero!  (Yes, I mean YOU!)