If I Only Knew Then, What I Know Now

Anyone else have an after Christmas hangover, not the alcohol one, but the overexertion one? What’s not funny is that I spent the day on the couch in my jammies, like literally the entire day. If you are a ‘well person’ and you’re reading this, my brain feels like when something wakes you mid-sleep and you don’t know what year/month/day it is. If you have a chronic illness, I’ll just say brain fog with nearly zero visibility. But I’m remaining loyal to my goal of blogging on Tuesdays so my apologies in advance as I stumble through this blog post, mumbling and trying to remember what I just said.

5 Things I wish I knew before getting sick:

  1. Energy is not an endless supply

Honestly, I never even really contemplated energy. When you are a ‘well person’ you rest, you’re energized, or you exercise, and you’re energized. Given that this is no longer the case for me, I’m left asking myself if I had known my energy would be depleted overnight when this illness took hold of my body would I have done anything differently…yes, overwhelmingly, yes. I would have prepared myself as best as possible mentally, and so many times in life when I said ‘someday I will do this or that’, I wish I would have just gone ahead and done a lot of those things. I’m not one to ruminate so these days I focus on the energy I do have and each day I try to pace my way through, doing the delicate dance of not using too much energy, but also doing as much as my body will allow. Every day is a marathon for those of us with CFS, and many other chronic illnesses, and it’s entirely up to us not to collapse at the finish line of the day. There are days when breathing feels like more energy than my body has, yes, just breathing. As a chronic illness warrior I convince myself these days will pass and tomorrow will bring me a bit more energy, so I rest, in place, I wait, I wait for energy, for more life to come back into my body.

2. ‘Things’ are not important, which is funny because I’m not even materialistic

I’ve never really been materialistic. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have nicely made things, but I’m not trendy, I’m more timeless. All the things I thought I needed the day I got sick (I don’t even remember what they were) I now realize, I probably didn’t. I guess to be blunt, when you are literally begging your body to take another breath, praying you’ll wake up in the morning, it just doesn’t matter ‘what’ you are surrounded by, ‘who’ yes, but ‘what’, no.

3. Happiness really is in the now and it’s not tied to external sources

Happiness…controversial topic, everyone has their own needs and wants, and many don’t even want to be happy, but I do. I’ve always been naturally happy, but I’m an introvert, so not overtly, but inside, peacefully, quietly happy. Even given my nature I was still under the impression that things or people had the ability to make me happy, deeply happy. I’ve learned that things and people can help you feel temporarily good, but my happiness is mine alone. When the things are gone, when the people are gone, I’ve learned that it’s up to me to find my own happiness. To take that one step further I’ve learned that feeling good and happiness are not the same thing, at least for me. My joy or happiness that I bring to myself honestly feels so much better than the temporary joy brought about from external sources. Kind of difficult to explain, so I apologize if I’m not making a lick of sense, I guess I’ll wrap this one up with one of my favorite quotes.

Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.

~ Buddha

4. Most of the people you are “there for” won’t be “there for” you

Gosh I wish this wasn’t true. Even to this day. When I say nearly everyone walked away, I’m not trying to tug on your heart-strings, but they did and it’s tugged on mine. I’m a helper and a listener and as such I just kind of assumed people would be there for  me if I ever needed them. I’m also not one to ever ask for help so I had never tested this theory out. Unfortunately there are givers and takers in life. In my life I was surrounded by a disproportionate number of takers. The silver lining is that they are all gone now. 🙂

5. Good health is a very precious gift

The human body is amazing! The fact that everything works perfectly for so many people is really unbelievable. I didn’t realize that; I totally took it for granted. I think had I known, had I understood, I would have been kinder to myself. Had I known I completely lacked self compassion I would like to think I would have worked on it. I would have slowed down when I was tired. I would have mentally processed the blessing of my body providing me good health. These days, each and every day, I’m thankful for simply waking up in the morning. As my neighbor in his 80s says, “Today is a good day because I woke up.” I get that on a whole new level now.

So that’s about it for today folks. If you are still reading, thank you you are a compassionate soul. 🙂  My brain has officially gone Ker plunk!

Here are a few more of my little watercolors. WordPress is 0% cooperating so here are a few, I’ll do the rest next week when I have more energy to figure out what I’m doing wrong. 😉

 

IMG_3503

Gingerbread

Stocking

Teddy Bear

15 thoughts on “If I Only Knew Then, What I Know Now

  1. The energy thing is so true. I think it’s impossible to even conceive of energy as a limited supply as a healthy person. I’ve got a bit of an emotional hangover from Christmas – I thought I was dealing ok but it is really really hard living in chronic illness alternate reality land during this time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is extra challenging, emotionally and physically. It’s coming in waves for me, which is fine because at least you get moments of catching your breath. Still jealous of your ‘salty’ shirt! Going to have to find a way to get one.😁 Thank you for reading, it was a bumpy writing road today.🙃😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know exactly what you’re talking about with the energy deficit. Unless people have experienced it for themselves, I don’t think they can really understand it. I’ve done surprisingly well, but I’ve decided I’m going to take a recovery day today just to give my body a chance to really rest. You made some great points in your post; thanks for sharing. Also, I LOVE your watercolors! You are extremely talented!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words🌸 Hoping your recovery day is peaceful and relaxing. And you are so right it’d be nearly impossible to understand as a well person what it’s like to have the energy drained from your body day after day, so much so that your organs get tired, your heart gets tired and you bargain with yourself daily. What a blessing social media is so that we all can connect and know that we get one another.🌸 Hoping the New Year brings you better health🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  3. FTR, I am happy that so many people walked away from you, it gave you time and freedom to find better people to be with. You are such an inspiration, and you wouldn’t be the person you are today if you hadn’t had to deal with the pain of losing someone. I hope I am expressing myself correctly. I am sorry that you have to deal with all that you do, and I am sorry that you are sick…but YOU ARE DEALING WITH IT! Each and every day you are dealing with it. Not only that but you are helping others deal with their issues. In my book that makes you pretty damn remarkable

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🌸 You know, I didn’t realize it until yesterday but I’m glad the takers have moved on too. I literally don’t have the energy to play armchair therapist anymore.

      Hoping slump week is almost nearing the end for you. That you have to go without Meds because of insurance is unjust. 😕

      Here’s to doing the best you can each and everyday and living life to the fullest🥂 It’s our only life, we can spend it moping because we are sick or we can spend it celebrating the life we do have. I don’t know about you but mine is going by too quickly these days to fret over spilled milk. Looking forward to more of your vlogs🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At one time, probably ten years ago, I had a Skype account. Unfortunately with this illness talking out loud takes so much energy. Something I would have never even contemplated! Now it may be becoming clearer why so many people have walked away.😊 Even appointments wipe me out. I fumble for words and turn into a wet noodle, it’s all very glamorous I can assure you😉 When I’m feeling particularly spunky I will reach out to you. And just so you don’t take it personally, because I do think it’d be fun to chat, this is very common with this illness. And one of the reasons we are so isolated except here on social media. If you ever get the chance and feel like it check out the movie, Unrest. It’s on Amazon and ITunes. Actually it’s going to be on PBS in January.
        http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/unrest/ It’s better at showing the exhaustion than me currently. Hoping the downed line has been fixed for you. What an ordeal😐

        Liked by 1 person

      2. heh they fixed the pole, but not the line and they tore the soffit off of my house in the process…tomorrow will be another day of phone calls….. Ty for the movie suggestion, I will try to find it after the holidays :)… No offense taken at all my dear…. I will just send you random ass questions at random times and you can answer OR NOT as you choose ok? 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! Totally agree with every single thing you have written. You really do realise now how much you took energy and good health for granted before chronic illness – even though it was impossible to know that when healthy. Unfortunately, I have also had the same experience with people walking away. Friends that I was there for and made such a big effort with when I had the energy. Sigh! Great article. I’d never have known you had brain fog when you wrote it as it comes across very well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Emma, for reading and sharing your experiences .🌸 I’m sorry to hear you can relate but I thank you for your kind words. I don’t know if you’ve seen but in Australia they are experimenting with some type of calcium something or other as it was found calcium doesn’t work efficiently for us. Anyway exciting and promising. As always my fingers are crossed for us all! Wishing you and yours a lovely New Year!🌟🥂(⬅️sparkling cider😁)😊

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.