One thing I am learning is that I have to pay better attention to what my body is telling me. I also need to learn to let go a bit and better embrace my new normal. I tend to, even now, overdo things. I spread myself thin and then when I can’t do, I feel lesser or worse.. resentful. This had spilled over most often into my relationships.
These days I have stepped back quite a bit. I spend most of my time at home. I reach out less often because, frankly, I am still spending most of my time trying to figure this out. Yes, I have lost contact and most have dropped away but I can’t feel bad about that. I am doing what is needed to heal.
I spend good days with those I love and the not so taking care of myself as best I can so I can have more good days. When I find myself troubled with something that needs to be set free, I have a little ritual of letting go.
I light a candle, often one with a soothing scent if I have one on hand.. and let’s face it, I am a bit of a candle whore so that’s usually not a problem. I write what it is on a peace of paper (or a bay leaf from the kitchen – very cleansing) and hold it to my heart. Sometimes I do this sitting by my hearth where I keep a place for my ancestors to seek guidance.
Often I just hold it in my mind with just a simple “I choose to no longer hold space for this”, and then I set it aflame. This is the burning away of that which is no longer needed.
I may return the ashes to the earth of the garden and let the wind peacefully carry them away. If at anytime it sneaks back into my thoughts, I acknowledge it and set the thought aside. I have already released this, no point in holding on to it or bringing it back. I can only do my best, and right now I am healing and making space for better things.
My voluptuous polar bear sized beautiful baby boy has taught me so much these past few months. He is the most chill cat that I have ever had and even though he has been sick for over nine months with no clear diagnosis, he really gives no ducks.
He still enjoys his day to day.. belly rubbing, sofa scratching, water sports in the kitchen floor, and of course most of all – sleeping. He doesn’t over tax himself and when he feels like I am not appreciating the moment (or him) enough, he gives me a sharp bite in the soft meat between my toes and brings me back to center.. total kitty zen.
*just a note – this was one of the first things I had written on my diagnosis.. my chart truly reads cranky old crone. While this blog is not specifically on this topic, it is still a part of my journey. It is what led me to this path of living mindfully and authentically. For those of you who are, like me, struggling with a life of chronic pain – you are strong, you are beautiful, and I see you.
I’ve read that it’s often called the unseen disorder – fibromyalgia.. difficult to diagnose, unseen symptoms, and a stigma of disbelief. I have only recently been diagnosed after two years of misses, multiple tests, and an escalation in pain carrying over ten years. It was my husband that insisted I finally get checked out. Process of elimination, I was told.. my diagnosis was left on my voicemail. Harsh as the delivery method sounds, I was glad to have a name to put with the face. Soon after, I would revisit my rheumatologist for a game plan.. and meanwhile, since I didn’t know much about it, I put on my big girl panties and started researching.
Once I passed my “what fresh hell is this” stage – there isn’t a lot of positive vibe out there, I realized something.. those of us living with this, WE are the unseen. We often wear a mask to push through the pain, and when we are lucky to have days where we feel almost normal, we carry that stigma of disbelief. We are perceived as being okay at best.. faking the extent of what we feel at worst. There are no definitive tests as of yet that we can hold up and say to the universe “see, my pain is real!” So much misinformation exists. It’s hard to keep your chin up in such circumstances, but I am trying. I wish I had the answers. I am at least blessed with a supportive husband and I have a doctor who is working with me. I can hold my head up and speak from the depths and say my pain exists.. and I support those like me who need to be seen.