As a chronically ill individual, it is extremely easy to count everything I can’t do, don’t do, or miss out on as a negative—not just against productivity, but against my worth as a person.
I can’t do that chore -1. I can’t attend that get-together -1. I didn’t write as much as I had planned today -3.
It makes me feel like I’m losing at life.
But a person doesn’t have to be chronically ill to harbor this crippling mindset. In fact, it is more deadly in healthy people as it can easily go undetected.
I challenge you to adjust your thinking with me. Instead of a big negative sign, let’s view inaction as a zero, ambivalent, not a thing. Because that’s what it is.
In truth, there never was a reality where you did all the laundry yesterday, baked 3 dozen cupcakes, or finished that project. If it didn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to happen.
In our heads we want to think, ‘yes, but could have gone better!’
No, it couldn’t have. Because it didn’t.
For your own sanity move on.
Find hope in today, and the promise of tomorrow and let go the past.
Speaking of being hard on things…
I’m a ruffian when it comes to personal accoutrements. I tear holes in clothes, scuff my shoes, break jewelry—that’s right tungsten, you ain’t got nothin’ on me.
So, when I received fantastic overalls for my birthday, one look at the worn patches and I was concerned for their survival. I envisioned my toes ripping right through those suckers when I went to put them on.
I brainstormed how to improve their durability and realized that darning would do the trick as well as being fairly unnoticeable.
For those who have darned holes before, you know how easy this is for these worn spots, as half the job is already done. For those who haven’t, it’s quite simple. With embroidery thread in a matching (or accented color if you wanna be fancy) you weave up and down through the strands creating a mesh.
If you endeavor this on your own, I suggest carrying the stitch a quarter inch past the hole to ensure your stitches don’t fray away.
As an unrelated addendum, here are the art pieces Lynn and I entered into a local art competition.
Mine is the fox (obviously), and Lynn’s is the serene woman in a sea of chaos–definitely not modeled after me, haha.
And here is a (belated) 10th anniversary picture.
To take pictures, I portioned out my energy, mostly getting ready in bed, then meditated, relaxed, and recuperated before stepping outside, taking the pictures, returning, and crashing. I don’t say this for pity, but to give an accurate idea of what it is like to have a severe chronic illness.
From this picture, you wouldn’t know how terrible I feel 90% of the time. Pictures can be deceiving. Always be gracious to those with invisible illnesses; you never know what’s going on behind the scenes, or how good they are at faking feeling normal.
May you be filled with grace for yourself and grace for others,
And may the sun ever shine on your path