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February 2018 Prompts: Adapting, Practicing, Realising, Celebrating, Inviting

February 2018 Prompts: Adapting, Practicing, Realising, Celebrating, Inviting | www.achronicvoice.com

*Click here to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!

Adapting

to the ebb and flow of my body amidst illness. You’d think that after all this time, I would have gotten used to it by now, but no. It’s a little like sitting on a plane – when an extreme bout of turbulence strikes, many people still get anxious no matter how frequent of a flier they are. My body was kind to me last month over the holidays, and for that I’m grateful. This week I am back in bed with a flare up, and felt a little disappointed as I thought that I could try cutting down my steroids again. It’s funny how you never really get used to the turbulence.

But I must say that I’ve also learned a lot about myself, and expanded my coping strategies over the years. Insights from mental health professionals, friends, and writing helps me a great deal. I may not know when this flare will subside, but that’s okay. I’ll just hang onto my hat, sit back, and wait for this storm to pass.

Practicing

my relaxation skills. I admit to being a bit of a worrywart, and tend to overanalyse things. Whilst this has been my best coping strategy, it isn’t ideal for all situations. It’s like chopping vegetables with a giant saw – there’s no need for that, I should change my tools if I want to be more productive. Your gut instincts are a different sort of intelligence, and ought to get a chance to speak as well. Besides, overanalysis can cause paralysis, and where’s the good in that?

Hence, I’m viewing the flare ups as an opportunity to practice letting go, and to be okay with the fact that I’ll need to rearrange all my plans. I realise that the disappointment I feel from my self-imposed targets originates from the ego. So in a strange way, I’m glad for this roadblock and time to reflect.

Realising

that my motivation is kind of back! While it’s shaken up again due to medicine changes, overall there has been an improvement. Seems like that vortioxetine my psychiatrist wanted to try in a final attempt did the trick. Call me naïve, but I didn’t really think that medications could help with motivation, or that depression could affect it so much.

For awhile we wondered if my psychological symptoms – brain fog and the lack of motivation – were caused by the Lupus, which can affect your neurological pathways. There are no tests to diagnose this, so it’s done through a process of elimination. Since the medications are making a difference, it then seems like the cause is due to my anxiety and depression. These mental issues are side effects of the steroids I take to control my Lupus – do you see the irony here? Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common with chronic illnesses!

Celebrating

Chinese New Year (CNY)! You could consider it the Chinese version of Christmas, in the sense that it’s the biggest family event of the year, and lots of ‘presents’ are given in the form of red packets. My grandma used to live in an old flat in a Malay neighbourhood, and it was so much fun to gather there to celebrate events. She had 10 children and only two rooms, so the girls and boys slept on mattresses in separate rooms. The toilet was run down (frankly it was gross), and you needed to climb over a dangerous ledge to switch TV channels.

But what I wouldn’t trade to have that cosy little house back again! Environments possess their own ambience, which in turn affect your mood. It’s a good reminder that it’s never a waste to invest in my personal living space. Also, that it’s just as important to get in touch with the outside world and with nature.

Inviting

more joy into my life. I believe that what goes round comes around, so the best way to do this is to give more of it myself. I also want to put myself out there a little bit more, and push open the gaps of mundaneness in order to create breathing space. I am not saying that routines are lifeless; they do serve a purpose and can be a source of joy as well. But I think it’s always a good idea to mix things up a bit, lest we become too rigid, and lose our greatest capability – the ability to adapt.

We might take a short trip somewhere over the CNY holidays, and travelling is always a joy, isn’t it? At least it is for me 😉 I also want to try and meet more people, be it for work, play or coffee. I may enjoy my solitude, but I know that being uncomfortable once in awhile for the right reasons can also bring about joy, even if the effects aren’t immediate.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to read your responses for February’s prompts too! Click here to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!

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What will you be adapting, practicing, realising, celebrating and inviting into your life this month? Read about my spoonie life here, and tell me about yours with these five February prompts! | www.achronicvoice.com | #februaryprompts #february #writingprompts #chronicillness #chroniclife #spoonielife #achronicvoice

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Niamh Kane
Niamh Kane
February 26, 2019 08:36

I’m so happy you are getting some results from your new meds. It really is exciting when that happens and Happy Chinese New Year. I hope you enjoy all the lovely celebrations. I have to agree with you I want to meet more people too I have more of an urge to find my kind of people it’s been hard since returning home from travels and getting so sick I never really set up my life again. Here’s to a year of connection! Thanks for sharing Sheryl and letting us connect like this.

Kelly Hodgkins
February 27, 2018 01:03

So agree with you on the adapting comment – I never seem to get used to the turbulence of CRPS. Thank you for this great opportunity to share and connect!

Rhiann
February 20, 2018 00:20

Another great read Sheryl. Just love your writing and is always such a pleasure to read! Sorry though to hear about your current flare and really hope that it passes for you soon. Happy Chinese New Year!! I hope that you enjoyed it and were able to celebrate in some way! We actually ate Chinese food on the day itself which is always a pleasure as Chinese is my favourite takeaway. Thanks for the great prompts and look forward to participating myself! xx

Chronically Hopeful Char
February 15, 2018 06:17

Happy Chinese New Year! I know what you mean about missing that little house despite the condition it was in or the sacrifices you had to make while staying there. Great memories were made there and that’s the thing that makes us love those places.

I’m sorry to hear you’re not doing so well now. Flares are horrible, specially after doing better for a while, they are disappointing and force us to take a look at how we have been doing things. Maybe focus more on self-care and rest, and less on ticking boxes and reaching our targets – I totally get what you said about those unattainable self-imposed expectations. Always a bit over-enthusiastic with my goals and end up overdoing things.

I hope you bounce back soon. Hugs

Selina
Selina
February 14, 2018 15:04

Thank you for hosting the link up party. This is my first time sharing. I recently started my chronic illness blog. Hope you are having a low pain day. I have very fond memories of spending time with my Grandma in her old farm house. It doesn’t have to be a big beautiful house to feel like a home.

Terri
Terri
February 11, 2018 03:31

Sheryl, I always enjoy learning what’s going on in your world through these prompts. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been going through a flare and hope it lets up soon. As you said, we all know the drill, but that doesn’t always make it easier when we’re in it….

Like you, I’m a worrywart, but over these last few months I’ve been practicing letting things go as well. You notice I said practicing, not always succeeding. :o)

I loved reading about your Chinese New Year memories, and I’m glad to know you’re starting to get your motivation back.

Blessings to you!

Kathy
February 7, 2018 13:37

I agree with Emma’s comments. I always enjoy hearing what you’re up to on the other side of the world. I hope your flare calms down soon.

Veronique Mead
February 5, 2018 22:19

I so agree Sheyrl. It’s an ongoing practice to “be” with our chronic illnesses, flares and symptoms – I think one reason is because it’s not quite our innate, “natural” state of affairs. Thanks for your post, your mentions of such sweet memories at your Grandma’s, and for all your support on chronic illness bloggers. Sending a little red-wrapped gift this New Year filled with well wishes for ongoing adaptation, ease and joy – and for a quick transition through this flare. And here’s to making gains in that (ongoing!!) process of letting go!

Emma England (Not Just Tired)
February 2, 2018 20:21

Great to read these Sheryl. Sorry to hear you are going through a flare. I hope it passes soon for you. Lovely memory about your Grandma’s house. Those memories really stay with you don’t they ? Hope you are able to enjoy the holidays and you manage a little trip somewhere! xx