As much as I rely on the routine of my life, there are days when it smothers me.
I miss the girl I used to be, the one who could just hop in the car and go anywhere she wanted. Usually it only takes a brief foray into public to remind me why I don’t actually hate being a hermit. But sometimes it all becomes too much and I mourn the life I used to lead.
If I made a list of all the things chronic illness has taken from me, I’d run out of room. I’d also be pretty depressed. Having it all laid out makes it real, makes me face it. Instead, I try to focus on all the things I still have and all of the new things I’ve learned or found.
It helps that I have good friends in my life that lift me up on those bad days. When I can’t see the light through all of the darkness, they show up with their trusty flashlights and candles to help guide me. Dawnie, Tracie, and Teala have been lifesavers this summer, shining their brightness when I felt trapped by my illnesses.
Dawnie even wrote a guest post for me to show me how to keep the spontaneity alive, which I’ll share with y’all soon. She and Teala have also been working with me on Project Wellness, where we encourage each other as we make changes to better ourselves. And with their awesome help, I’ve lost 15 pounds in the last few months. I’m not doing anything crazy, either. Just some simple yoga stretches and watching my portion control. I still eat things that are not the best for me and I’m certainly not doing handstands in my living room. But I’m taking care of me.
Tracie has been helping me cut back on my stress and anxiety. Working on a gift box for her family brought peace to me on some of my craziest days. Sometimes, just knowing that she prays for me helps to lighten the worries on my mind. And if all else fails, a video chat with her makes it all better.
I still miss that life that I used to have and I still miss being that girl. But I’m embracing this new life and the new me. It’s not always easy, in fact it’s taken me nearly 18 months to get to this point. But I’ve found that by letting go of the anger and the feelings of injustice, I freed up mental space to focus on feeling better. If I didn’t spend all day railing at how unfair it all was, I suddenly had a little bit more energy.
And to us spoonies, extra energy is as valuable as gold.