|Detail from July 5th journal page|
I've been asked privately many times how I get so much done while dealing with this or that health challenge and the simple answer is that I try to function with the mantras "Just Move Forward!" and "Every Little Bit Counts!" Sometimes I work only in five-minute increments but that, repeated throughout the day, adds up. When I feel better, I build on what I accomplished in those little blocks of time. And over the years, I've gradually learned not to put my disabilities first. Instead, I try to focus on what I can do, however small. I'm not perfect and I get frustrated over and over again but as long as I constantly realign my thinking back towards the positive, I keep moving forward and getting stuff done.
And while I'm on this particular soapbox, I have also discovered (and research supports this) that sometimes pushing through what you think or was told you can't do and trying it anyway helps you make strides forward. My long time physical therapist says he sees this phenomenon every day. Patients who actively push the boundaries of their disabilities actually make more progress faster than those patients who come in with "I can't do x, y, or z" as their opening line. People in the latter category arrive and leave defeated. What a terrible way to live!
So if you're reading this and you have a chronic illness, that's my advice: Understand that you will get frustrated and angry and depressed but don't allow yourself to settle for that. Celebrate small victories, practice good self care, make room for bad days but make the most of good days. Life is not a race or a competition. Every step, however small, takes you farther on this journey. Stop trying to assess how far you have or haven't gotten and just do what you can.
Well, enough said...I'm off my sweets to practice what I preach. To all a good night!