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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