Living with a chronic illness, where each day is a battle, can wear on a person. Those with chronic illnesses have to manage a lot! Finding relief from symptoms while facing a chronic illness includes far more than just a little extra rest.
For many people I’ve met in the chronic illness community, their treatment protocols have included dietary changes, an extensive list of supplements and prescription medicines, detox methods, rest, exercise, prayer, meditation, use of essential oils, and more. There’s often a mix of traditional and herbal treatment. Because each person’s body is different, the treatment that works for them will be individualized, even if they have similar conditions. It’s a matter of trial and error until they can find the right system.
I’m at the place in my treatment of Lyme, co-infections, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, etc. where I am worn down and need serious rest in addition to my current treatment protocol. I’ve been burnt out and depressed, feeling like I’m constantly on the verge of drowning. Stress and feelings of unmet expectations take me into a dark place where I feel like I can’t go on.
Because I’ve felt so terrible over the past several weeks, I’ve been reflecting on what I actually need in order to get better. What I’ve learned through personal reflection and prayer is that the most crucial thing my body needs right now is for me to be kind and give myself grace.
Are you a dreamer?
I sure am!
I absolutely adore thinking and dreaming up big plans and goals. The idea of fresh starts and new ideas spurs on excitement in my core. Growing up, I couldn’t wait for the first day of school each year. The newness of crisp notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils, and clean erasers made me quite the happy camper.
For me, enjoyment can be found in laying out goals with a plan in mind.
But now, as we approach the new year, I find myself contemplating how goal setting should look when battling chronic illness.
Realistically, my goals may not come to fruition.
It won’t be for a lack of trying or desire. It might be because as hard as I try, my body and mind just won’t let me do it all.
I’m learning that it’s okay. It’s all right to be unable to achieve everything we want, even if the world around us gives us messages about working harder and prioritizing.
Those of us with chronic illnesses are already fighting an uphill battle just to get through the day.
We’ve all seen it on social media. A friend is going through a personal struggle and asks for prayer. Tens, if not, hundreds, of their friends chime in with sentiments such as “I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.” They might say they love the person or that they are always there if their friend needs anything.
Those who comment have good intentions. They truly feel bad and want to help in some way. Prayer seems to be the easiest way to extend a helping hand.
After the moment passes and they continue scrolling through their feed, they might forget about the request. Thoughts of the person they had said they’d pray for may later re-enter their mind. They’ll think of the situation or wonder how the person is doing. But, did they ever stop to pray?
For this post, I’m linking up with one of my favorite writers Emily P. Freeman to share what I learned this summer. Emily, along with an amazing team, runs the online writing community Hope*Writers. Hope*Writers came into my life at just the right time.
For the past several years, I have enjoyed occasionally blogging but never made a big commitment to consistency. Throwing health issues into the mix left me without an ounce of energy left for producing creative content. Now, though, even though by the end of the day I am usually drained to my core, writing gives me a breath of fresh air. It seeps life into me – life that had been lost in this dark season of health decline and the unknown territory of it all.
This summer has pushed me to my limits. On some days, I felt like I could do this. I could do this whole being sick and going through treatment to get better thing. But, on other days…I just wanted to give up. As sad as it may be to admit, I have had many days where I have wondered if life is even worth it. I know it’s the neuro Lyme leading to my emotional distress, but when I’m at my weakest, I can’t make rational decisions.