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

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

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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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! | | #februaryprompts #february #writingprompts #chronicillness #chroniclife #spoonielife #achronicvoice

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  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Yes, it’s definitely a neverending rollercoaster ride, isn’t it 😉 The top coming down still brings…thrills. Lol. 😉

  • 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

    • Thank you so much as always, Rhiann! Yes! Lots of family time over CNY, and now we are travelling for a bit in Sri Lanka 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed your Chinese takeaway ;p Looking forward to reading more about your life, too! x

  • 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

    • Hi Char,

      Thanks so much for dropping by! x Yes, reunion dinner is tonight, then day 1 of CNY is tomorrow 🙂 And yes, that little house is a favourite memory of all of us who had the beautiful opportunity of growing up there, and playing together. I still think life’s better for kids without mobile phones…you’re forced to invent games and play together ;p

      I’m doing alright…it’s the usual up and down of chronic life, so it’s nothing too major like a hospitalisation. Although, my blood clotting time is quite off and I’m travelling next week so that’s a worry. But it’s okay, we’ll see how it goes! Thanks so much for your well wishes. I hope you are doing well yourself and have a great weekend! x

  • 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.

    • Hi Selina,

      So happy to have you with us this month! It’s always a pleasure to see what other spoonies are up to all over the world 🙂 Blogging can be a great way to express ourselves, or simply clear our minds 😉 I wish you well in your endeavour, and will check out the other articles from time to time! Yes, a farm house sounds so lovely, I would have liked that too 😀 x

  • 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!

    • Hi Terri,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment as always! I also enjoy reading your entry very much!

      I’m doing okay more or less! It’s just how life is with chronic illness, and I’ve come to accept it (sort of ;)). Haha it’s so logical to not worry, but practicing it is difficult!

      Yes, the memories I will carry with me for life! x

  • 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.

    • Thanks Kathy! I too, enjoy hearing it from *your* side of the world 😉 Thank you, I’m much better now I think. Will wait a couple more weeks for it to settle…you know the drill 🙂

  • 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!

    • Hi Veronique,

      Thanks so much for reading! Your statement is so true – it’s not ‘natural’ to be in a constant state of pain! Thank you for the well wishes, I hope you’re doing well, and have a fantastic February! 🙂

  • 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

    • Hey Emma,

      Thank you for your lovely comments, as always! 🙂 I’m doing okay…the same old spoonie life of ups and downs. Like I mentioned, *still* trying to get the hang of it ;p

      Yes, these memories are golden. The house was really small and broken down, but such awesome memories 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous February too, and have many happy canal walks! 🙂

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