Gratitude Journal (Photo credit: limevelyn)
By Wendy Burnett
Before I say anything else, I want to thank those awesome people who have been helping us out by clicking the “donate” button. I know that helping us means that there are things they are doing without, and I want them to know how grateful I am.
I also want to thank those who have reached out and offered encouragement, understanding and support. Your words have been a blessing and have brought me hope in a place that seemed hopelessly difficult.
As I said in the update at the end of my last post, Starting Over is a B**tch, we do still need to move, but the roommates are giving us more time to manage it (they’re pretty darn wonderful people, and will never really know exactly how grateful we both are for the sanctuary they gave us when we had nowhere else to go.) If it wasn’t for their kindness, we would have been living on the street for the last 5 years, and we’re fully aware of how much more difficult things would have been for us without them. (Yes. hubby too, although he finds it much harder to let them know how he feels. I guess it’s a guy thing . . .)
Speaking of hubby, he’s been doing MUCH better. He still has his downs, but he’s working on getting better and dealing with his issues. It’s very nice to have him “back” too. The guilt, depression and stress had turned him into someone I barely knew and wasn’t very sure I liked; Continue reading Starting Over is STILL a B**tch, But People are Wonderful: An Update »
martha_chapa95 via Flickr
By Wendy Burnett
It’s Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?
Living with chronic illnesses can make it very difficult to find your gratitude sometimes, and we all struggle with that on a regular basis. One of the things you learn eventually is that there is always something to be grateful for . . .
Image by limevelyn via Flickr
By Wendy Burnett
Day 11 - and the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Prompt (#HAWMC) is: “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. What is working well in your community, healthcare, blogs, social media, or your work in particular? What do you like about it?”
YAY! I get to do another gratitude post! I know, I know, that prompt doesn’t say anything about gratitude, but what works best in the chronic illness community more than deserves a little gratitude.
There are actually quite a few things that work well (not healthcare, but the rest of it works reasonably well.) What I like the best though, is the community. The vast majority of the people in the chronic illness community are absolutely awesome. Continue reading If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It »
What do you pay attention to in your life? Is it the 5 people who say, “I hope your pain levels drop soon,” or the one who makes a nasty comment like, “fibromyalgia doesn’t exist, you just don’t want to have to work like the rest of us?” (Yes, I’ve actually had someone say that to me.)
I’m going to tell you something you already know, and you’re likely to think I’m sort of nuts until you read a little further.
You can only see the things you look at.
Yes, it sounds stupidly obvious, of course if you don’t look at it you can’t see it, but there’s a point to this statement that is directly related to living as well as possible with your chronic illnesses. It took me a LOT of years to make the connection (I’m a little slow,) and I’m hoping I can help you catch on a little quicker than I did. Continue reading Where is Your Attention Focused?: Positive Thinking for the Chronically Ill »
We don’t say it often enough, do we? Thank you . . . Two simple words, but it can be so hard to remember to say them. Not for the big stuff, we usually remember when someone gives us something big, but how often do we remember when someone listens to us? How often do we thank our friends for just being there for us; for listening, for understanding, and for giving us the strength to keep going when all we want to do is curl up and die?
I know I don’t tell my friends how much I appreciate them nearly enough, so when I found out that the new PFAM blog carnival topic is “the nicest thing(s) anyone has done for you since you became ill,” I decided it was time for some “thank yous.”
I have a LOT of friends, both real life and online, and they’ve done TONS of nice things for me. I’ve been given computers, and televisions, and a home; I’ve had friends lend me heating pads, and cook dinner on my night to cook, and give me rides to work. . .
My wonderful friends have done more for me than I could ever repay if I had a million years to do it in; but the best thing they’ve ever done is just listened to me when I needed to talk about how bad I felt, how scared I was, and even when I was suicidal. Continue reading The Best Friends in the World »
The new ChronicBabe Blog Carnival theme is “who’s on your team” and I thought it would be the perfect time to let some very special people know how important they are to me, and how much I appreciate them (and hopefully, to help others figure out how to develop their own support team.)
Like so many of us, when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, most of my family and friends didn’t “get it,” and even the ones who tried to be supportive ended up making me feel as though I was at fault for getting and staying sick. It’s taken me a lot of years to find people who either understand “incurable but not fatal,” or are willing to accept my experience without actually understanding it. It’s been a painful road, with many losses along the way, but I’ve finally managed to surround myself with people who love me for who I am and provide the emotional support I need to survive. Continue reading My Support Team: They weren’t Easy to Find, But They were Worth the Wait »
Ever have one of those days? You know the ones I mean, the ones where you have a million things to do and you can’t pry yourself away from the computer, or the books, or the TV?
Now, I have to admit, I’m not actually WASTING the computer time with browsing, I’ve actually been getting a good bit of stuff done (that actually needs to be done.) The problem is that I only have two days off this week, and I have a lot of the everyday, maintenance type stuff that needs to be done, too. The stuff like dishes and laundry, washing the hair and cooking, an errand (that has to be done before the laundry can be started,) etc.
Instead, I’ve been transferring data from one computer to another.
A wonderful online friend was concerned about me being able to maintain this blog because my old laptop is about to die (the CD drive no longer works, the USB ports are iffy, my cocatiel pulled several of the keys off the keyboard, it won’t recognize peripherals any more . . .) Anyway, this friend, who I’ll call P, had a spare laptop that he wasn’t using; and told me if I would arrange to get it here I could have it. Continue reading HEEELLLLP – My computer is holding me hostage!!!! »
Chronic illness is a life-changing experience for everyone, and each person’s journey is very different; but there are experiences we all recognize as well. How many of us have lost jobs, friends, spouses, homes, and family members to our disease? No matter what illness we have, we share so much that we can connect on a level that many will never understand unless the journey comes to them. We share symptoms, and losses, and lessons; and we share the understanding that our lives will never be the same because the illness, the journey, has changed us in ways that can never be undone. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow and be healthy again, even if by some miracle we were cured; the experience has changed us in fundamental ways, and the lessons it has taught us can never be unlearned.
My journey began many years ago, and it has changed my life so much that when I look back I barely recognize the woman I was. I was married, and miserable, and convinced that I was too stupid to ever be able to take care of myself without a man to tell me what I thought, what I wanted, and what I felt. I was depressed and suicidal, dissociative, and having flashbacks that I thought were delusions or hallucinations. I was terrified that I was losing my mind, and more terrified to tell anyone what was happening for fear that I really WAS “going crazy.”
I can pinpoint the exact moment that my journey through illness began, too. Not with a time or a date, but with an event; an event so ordinary, so innocuous, that I could never have suspected the effect it would have on my life. Continue reading My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take »