A Look Ahead, 2018 Chronic Illness Goals

Are you thinking we haven’t even made it through Christmas and it would appear I already have one foot in 2018? I assure you both of my feet are peacefully and firmly planted in today. Part of my feeling peaceful in today is knowing that I’m on a path of my choice. In order to keep my path generally flowing in the anticipated direction I like to create a New Year goal list for the upcoming year. Goal setting has actually been shown to increase happiness and if you don’t believe me ;), check it out. Before I was ill my goal list had four columns: personal, family, relationship and general, which included things like work, education, and animal care stuff. As the year would pass I gained satisfaction checking off my accomplishments, knowing I was staying on some sort of track, which would eventually lead me to my desired destination. And then this illness came knocking and it looked at my 2014 goal list, threw back its head and laughed one of those deep scary laughs that gives you the creeps. So my last list, from 2014, is still pinned to my memory board, half checked off. It’s kinda funny because the ink has faded on so many other things pinned but not that goal list, it looks like it was written yesterday. I promise you I’m not ruminating here… I keep the list because it reminds me of who I was and where I was going but it also lists things like keep doing yoga, and that’s a great goal and reminder. So I guess that brings us right back to today, right now. Today my goals are different, my abilities are different, and my relationships are different, but those differences aren’t a bookend, they’re simply an unexpected fork in the road.

I thought what better way to not only hold myself accountable, but also begin planning for a peaceful and positive 2018 than to post my goals here. This year there aren’t four columns filled with lists of desired achievements, there are simply four goals, but someday, when I’m better able to, I hope to return back to four columns filled with lists and somewhere near where I left off in 2014.

My 2018 Goal Track:

  1. Keep doing that yoga! Just so we are clear I’m not standing on my head doing anything fancy pancy. I just do simple stretches in bed from a Rodney Yee DVD. I cannot do yoga every day but my aim is to do it as often as I’m able, and that ability varies from day to day. Too much yoga and it brings on extreme pain, but if I do gentle yoga, little bit by little bit, I seem to tolerate it okay and find it to be very nourishing to my general wellbeing.
  2. Keep providing my brain with the complete relaxation of meditating. I never understand why I skip days…it literally can take three minutes! C’mon no excuses, but what about my … no, like none! My latest excuse was that the Calm app, which I had fallen in love with started charging for my most cherished meditation. Thankfully my therapist helped me navigate the Aura app, where all three minute mediations are still free. That’ll work! And again…three minutes, 0 excuses.
  3. My third goal is to continue to make daily positive memories by painting and writing this blog. I wish I could eloquently put into words how uplifting this creativity journey has been this year. I’ve always been very logically minded and goal oriented, focused and determined to accomplish career goals. Painting and writing were something I was going to do when I had time, but never seemed to have the time to spare. Ah life you are a funny little jokester aren’t you, now I have nothing but time. When I look back through my little paintings from 2017 they make me smile, nearly every day last year I made a memory that when I choose to reflect upon brings me happiness. When you have a chronic illness it’s pretty difficult to say that and I feel pretty blessed to have those special-to-me memories.
  4. And lastly, this is something I haven’t done this year, or really ever before. It’s something I am only beginning to recognize and theorize on so it will require baby steps. What is it you’re wondering? Well, I’m going to stop worrying about proving my illness to anyone. When you have an illness with no biomarker or test, that even some less-informed or less-educated doctors are skeptical of, you feel this perhaps subconscious need to prove to anyone that questions you that you really are sick. I know I’m not alone in this I’ve watched the interactions on social media amongst the chronic illness community. The thing is, it’s not our fault we feel this way. Normally when people are sick they go to the doctor, the doctor runs a test, tells them what they have and gives them a plan of action. For us, this is rarely the case. We feel awful, we go to the doctor, the doctors shrug their shoulders, provide us anti-depressants because apparently they cure everything or the kickbacks are AMAZing they aren’t sure what to do. We go home to our families, our friends, and everyone else we are accountable to and have to tell them there’s nothing the doctor can find wrong, but that we have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (in the US) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (outside the US) and seriously nine times out of 10 they say, “Oh yeah I get tired too.” And in some cases, like mine, you go to 29 different health care professionals because something is definitely wrong. And because you perhaps have crappy health insurance and lack the funds to see the few elite who actually treat this illness you see doctors who, I’m sorry but it’s true for me refuse to look outside the box. You hand them research, you tell them your symptoms, you ask why did you pass out in the shower and they give you the shoulder shrug and say, “Let me know if something changes.” So maybe, just maybe, that’s why we feel this need to prove ourselves, because so many of us are not being validated. Again, I’m still recognizing it and theorizing on it, so maybe I’ll touch on this again in another blog. For now, for today, for 2018 I’m just going to be me, me with nothing to prove, which deep down is a very happy, easy going, loving person.

And that’s it folks! If you are still reading, thank you! I genuinely appreciate that you took time out of your day and gave this post a read. You could have done really anything with those moments, so I thank you for spending them here. If you feel up to sharing, what are some of your New Year’s goals? Anything new or different this year? You’re probably thinking…seriously girl I have to get through Christmas first! Wishing you the happiest, healthiest 2018 that is possible for you!

A few more of my little paintings as I follow along with World Watercolor Group’s daily prompt on Instagram. This month has been a holiday theme and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. All skill levels are welcome so feel free to stop on by or hashtag #WorldWatercolorGroup to your watercolor art.

SnowmanMistletoeOrnamentsChristmas tree with garland

 

 

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28 thoughts on “A Look Ahead, 2018 Chronic Illness Goals

  1. I am so glad I “met you”! I like that you are going to work on not proving your illness to anyone, truly sometimes its a big waste of time. I have come to realize that most people don’t get it, until THEY GET IT, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! I’m sorry that having your illness brought you here, but at the same time, I am happy that something did, or I would not have met such an incredible woman. I hope that came out right….What I am trying to say is YOU BE YOU! Please don’t ever stop!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing these with us, I always find it interesting to hear about goals and hopes for the future. I found yours to be very encouraging and positive, and I especially love how you’re hopefully “going to stop worrying about proving my illness to anyone”. This is something I would add to my list, too. I think the anxiety of our conditions by their very nature of being invisible will always be there, but bit by bit we can care a little less about the views of others, help to reduce some of the ignorance and judgement in society, and care a little more about ourselves than we perhaps do sometimes. I must admit this year has been quite testing, and I’m struggling at the moment with the chest infection and cracked ribs, resulting in me starting to feel rather miserable and lacking ‘oomph’ when it comes to the year ahead. I will have to think about making my own list soon and generating a little positive energy in going forward 🙂
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh a chest infection and cracked ribs…that’s awful😕 Hoping your body decides to heal as quickly as possible. 🌸

      This is the first year I’ve made a list since 2014. It took a bit of acceptance on my part, letting go of once was. I’ve decided to try to stay as positive as possible to aid my body in healing. It throws an absolute fit when I’m stressed. I guess you could say I’m still desperately trying anything and everything to heal and get my old life back.

      Sending you gentle hugs. The new year hopefully will bring us a better year than 2017. I don’t know if you’ve seen the meme that says: “Dear 2018, The bar is literally so low…” I thought INdeed. Wishing you a speedy recovery on your chest/ribs🤞🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very kind, thank you for your lovely wishes. I hope 2018 can be a brighter, happier & healthier time for us both. I’ll have to find that meme, it sounds perfect! 🙂
        Take care and I hope you manage to enjoy the run-up to Christmas as much as is possible, all things considered. I guess we just have to make of things what we can… xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not proving your illness to anyone is such a great goal! I’ve reached the point where I don’t really care about what the general public think but I do have a lot of anxiety about what health professionals believe, mainly because they are the gatekeepers to treatment. Might have to adopt this goal for myself! Best wishes for 2018, here’s to happiness & health for us both.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the holiday wishes!🎄 The DVD is one I’ve been doing for 10 years and had moved past but it’s perfect for now, with a tweak here and there. Sometimes I just follow Donna from Yoga, my bed and ME’s advice and just stretch in bed. That is just as relaxing. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!🎄🍾🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that your goals are all reasonably achievable. I find my biggest issue with goals (or New Years Resolutions, as it were) is that I always set the bar higher than I can reasonably jump, and get discouraged when I can’t do what I said I was going to do. There’s strength in knowing your limitations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very relatable 😁 One of my lessons that has been a work-in-progress since this illness is self compassion. I’m trying to go a little easier on myself. Healing won’t come with stress so I’m trying to heal, be kind and still feel like I’m making progress. But in the past yes, bar was set high and limits were pushed, ignored, exceeded. Self compassion was a foreign concept but now it’s growing on me.😁 Hoping the New Year brings you health answers and better pain relief.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. oasischarm

    I’m sorry that you’ve had such a hard time getting support for your illness. One of my goals for sometime within the next year is to do a college prep program to help me be more successful when I go back to school.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such great goals for the year ahead. You’re inspiring me to set mine! Meditation is a definite “must” for me these days so I’m sure I’ll be continuing with that! I totally get your last goal. It’s so hard that very few people seem to get this illness and I find it’s a constant frustration of mine. One that I reckon I could do with letting go of too! I will have to take a leaf out of your book! Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all the very best for the year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cheers to you and your goals! One of my goals is to continue collaborating with artists with chronic illnesses on my blog. If you would be interested in having your work featured, please read this post for more details and let me know.

    I’m looking to grow an inclusive community of awareness and support through my writing. I invite artists, those with Lyme as well as …
    A Call For Artists

    https://ticktalksite.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/a-call-for-artists/

    Liked by 1 person

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