March 15, 2013
This post is dedicated to my readers who have chronic illness, food allergies, those with gluten issues, fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid issues, and those who just have sometimes have a bad day. Just when you think you’ve taken ten steps forward, you wake up on a day and find yourself three steps back.
I bring this up because this happened to me on Tuesday. I was thrown for such a loop – the weather was horrific, and my worst fear smacked itself in my face: I had some swelling again. In hindsight, the swelling wasn’t even that bad, but it was an unwelcome change to my current success. Looking back, it could have been something I ate and didn’t realize (I’ve heard that beans can instigate inflammation, but I’m still researching that theory). The worst part about the day was that I felt alone. That day has prompted me to reach out to all of you who may have a bad day and provide some silver linings and advice:
- You are not alone. I honestly felt like a puffy marshmallow on my own desolate island on Tuesday. Then I remembered you. I remembered that there are other people struggling. And to tell you the truth, it feels good to know you’re out there. I even started looking for support groups in my area, and would recommend www.meetup.com for those of you who don’t know where to start.
- There’s always tomorrow. However bad the day is, it will be that much more awesome the next day. It’s been a theory I’ve always had (it’s all relative). I woke up on Wednesday basically singing and dancing after the day I had on Tuesday. That reminds me, 8 hours of sleep is highly underrated.
- Your condition will not get better overnight. It will take time. With all the physical and emotional success I’ve had lately, I had lost sight of this point, and my fiance’ had to remind me. Chronic issues are just that – chronic. We can support each other by learning to take care of ourselves by eating well and exercising, and stress relief, but sometimes, your day will be terrible. And that brings me to my next point:
- Give in. No, I don’t mean “surrender” and wave the white flag of defeat. I mean, acknowledge your body and your mindset and realize that you just don’t feel well today. Let yourself cry. Oh, you have daunting and physically draining plans that night? Don’t be afraid to honor yourself and reschedule so that you can fit in the bubble bath or quiet reading time. Your pain is legitimate – recognize it so that you can move on.
- Keep it healthy. Admittedly, I had the sudden urge on Tuesday to dive into a bacon cheeseburger and a hot chocolate chip cookie. It’s so much easier to do that when things feel like they’ve hit rock bottom. But that will make things worse – both you and I know that. Instead, I made myself a green juice filled with cucumber, apple, celery, kale, and ginger. I’m not lying to you when I say that it actually made me feel BETTER than I had felt all day. Had I given in, it would have been a physical nightmare, I’m sure followed by an emotional one.
So there it is, the lessons I’ve learned this week. I feel great today, and today is all that matters. Sometimes there will be rough days, but then I will remember you and truly know that I am not alone.