When we have a chronic illness, change is forced upon us in what seems like limitless ways.  As it is with so many others, my life was changed in an instant.   The sturdy foundation that we thought we had starts crumbling away and we have to learn to adapt in various ways.

But I realize I have been stuck mentally and not putting the effort into changing for the better.  Obviously, one of the ways I’m changing is by reading blogs by different people with chronic illness and by starting my own blog.   The knowledge and inspiration that I receive from reading these blogs have made me realize that I can do it too!  Knowledge truly is power and the knowledge that we are not alone has started the building of a sturdy foundation.

In 2011, I want and need to change some of the my beliefs and fears that have been holding me back and keeping me in a rut.  For more inspiration, I looked at the quotes on the web site Wisdom Quotes.     A few have really struck a nerve with me and I included them in this post.  These are all from the category of Change and find they are relevant to me right now.  2011 will bring about change for me, not only by doing things step-by-step, but I’m sure with some wild and uncomfortable rides.

It’s been extremely freeing to acknowledge and accept that, health-wise, I will not be getting much better.  I’m embracing this new freedom and moving forward to a better me.

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

– Mary Engelbreit

Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives.

– Frederick F. Flack

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

– Carl Rogers

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

– M. Scott Peck

The ABCs of Disability – The Letter “S”

This Just In…

Having a chronic illness sucks!  With an “s”.

Having a chronic illness that is invisible really Sucks!

With a “bleeping” big, capital “S”.

I know I’m not saying anything that is earth-shattering.  But there are times when it needs to be said, even if it’s to ourselves.  Even when we’re having a good day.

Having an invisible, chronic illness is like living with a child who has temper tantrums.  Some days the child is really acting up, some days just lying low and a few precious days where everything is all right with the world.

For me, my main problem is vertigo. At 37 years of age I had to start learning to live with, and tolerate, the whims dictated by my inner problem child.   I don’t know when it will strike.  I can do very little to prevent it.

I feel like I’m in a strange, strange limbo.  I read other blogs where people have Meniere’s Disease and I am not on the same level as some of them.  I don’t get the vertigo so bad that I have to lay down for hours or days while throwing up.  My mother had Meniere’s Disease and she would suddenly yell to get the bucket because she would get dizzy and start to throw up.  She started leaving plastic bags in the glove compartment in case she would throw up.  Unless I’m feeling really drained, unbalanced or I’m sick, I can walk the couple of blocks to run an errand.

Yet, it’s bad enough that I can no longer work.  I have to keep my head looking forward as much as possible when I walk (which I now have to do at a slower pace) or sit.  I have to keep my head in my hand a lot of times to keep it still while I sit at my desk and lie down off and on during the day so I don’t get too tired or unbalanced.  I get most of my things online or get one of the people I live with to get me something.  I feel myself become unbalanced when the weather changes.  The weather!  Something else I can’t control.

For me, that’s one of the biggest problems which leads to some of the biggest fears that I’m learning to face.  I, like that temperamental child,  am out of control.   I can’t control my ears, can’t control my balance, have to plan to try to do things on certain days or, plan to try to not do too much if I know I have to go to an appointment.   Even though I try, many days I’m just not successful.   Can’t control this, can’t control that.  Can’t control my life.

Yoda was wrong when he said “Do or do not… there is no try”.   Some days, trying is the best we can do.

The ABCs of Disability

After all these years, I’m still not sure how I feel about being a person with a disability.  I know that once I got on disability, in ways, a whole new world opened up for me.  I had more options precisely because I am now labeled disabled and not just a person with something wrong with her .

But, mentally?

I still have days when the anger and frustration at not being healthy get the better of me.  One day I’m healthy,  feeling fine and going about my life.  And then the switch is turned to  “Throw  into land of disability.  Good luck with that”.  The range of emotions that take over is endless and always changing.

So, in a totally selfish and very deserving way, I’m going to start “talking” about the different emotions I’ve been feeling over the years and some different ways I’ve been dealing with everything.  Some  are bad, as you would expect.  Some have been powerful and helped me out during some dark times.    Some days are bright sunshine with nary a speed bump while other days are full of chaos, both mentally and physically.

I’ll probably have some really short posts at the beginning until I get used to writing about my feelings and actions.  I’m not sure how much I want to write in a public blog.  I’ll find out when I start, so this could get really interesting for me.

Because there comes a day where you need to acknowledge what you are feeling, what you are doing, are you learning anything and can you do it better.

And that time is now.