my battle for better health

My Battle For Better Health: I'm Not Alright and That's Okay

6/16/2016 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

My cats and dog snuggling with me
People keep asking me how I am and I keep giving the obligatory, "I'm fine" or "okay", mostly because I don't want to dump my problems on them or have even one more person feel sorry for me.

A therapist once told me to repeat the phrase "I accept myself as I am" each time I breathed in or out when practicing controlled breathing. I understood the breathing part but didn't really get the rest until now. Every once in a while, I've tried to understand that phrase a bit better but I really have trouble accepting it. No pun intended.

I'm really not alright. I don't like who I am or where I'm at right now. Last night, I cried myself to sleep. The world just felt wrong. I've been in terrible pain, constantly exhausted, and just blah! I feel toxic. When my family's tried to talk to me the last few days I'm likely to snap at them, hug them, ignore them, or ask them to help me do something. I want to curl up into a ball and hide.

Do you have People? You know the kind of friends who energize you or make the world warmer? People who, after you've spent a bit of time with them you either feel like you can take on the world or at least that you can stand being Atlas (I mean the Titan, not the map one) a bit longer? I just got done talking to one of my People and it helped me realize not only that I am REALLY not alright but that it's okay.

I spent most of the conversation just listening, not even wanting to talk and couldn't figure out why for the longest time. I needed that sunshine, that energy. She moved away more than a year ago and I am realizing how much she changed my life. Before we met, I had already decided the general direction I wanted my life to go but I was really just drifting along. Being around her really helped me focus. She saw potential in me and made me feel like I could live my dreams. It wasn't that she didn't see my imperfections---oh she saw them! She saw me on some of my worst days. I think the difference was that even though she had some major problems in her life, she wouldn't give up. She'd seen some of the worst of humanity but she's decided to live her dreams. 

After talking to her, I realized that I've been living off borrowed sunshine for most of my life. I keep waiting for someone to make things better. For things to finally be alright. For my health to get better. For one good day when I can get some work done without so much pain. For energy. For help... And I've felt drained. I've felt empty to the point where the smallest need anyone has of me is a huge thing to ask because I've already given all I have and how can you give if you've got nothing left?

Life has been hard lately. I love having my kids home for the summer but have almost no time for myself. I have a really bad toothache but no dental insurance and no money to fix it. My energy level has been so low that I've barely been able to do more than sleep all the time, which really makes me mad because the last blood test showed my thyroid levels were back up to normal so I should be all better, right??? My fibromyalgia pain and inflammation are trying for a world record. We're trying to plan for a trip to go visit family (especially my father-in-law who is old, alone, and sick and probably won't be around much longer and we're worried about him but don't know how to help him while we're so far away), but we don't have the money to get there. Our car broke down and we can't afford to fix it so we have no transportation. PMS is kicking my butt. I'm overweight and my blood pressure has high. I witnessed my best friend's husband's last words as the paramedics took him away and the cries of their children as she told them he'd passed away. (Missed that post? Read it here.) My best friend is moving out of state. And that's barely the tip of the iceberg. Right now, MY WORLD SUCKS!

But you know what? I think I get it. "I accept myself as I am" doesn't mean that I'll finally like my life when it gets better or that I'll like myself when I'm perfect. I need to find a way to be ok this very minute when things are really bad and I'm in pain. I am not my energy level or my to do list. Yes, I am in pain, both mentally and physically. It's completely normal at this point. If I wasn't, there would probably be even more wrong with me. Pain means I'm alive, so does frustration, anger, resentment, sadness, etc. It's time to go make my own sunshine, to dig deep and figure out why it's all worth it. I'll still surround myself with people who lift me up, but I need to be standing on my own as well.

I'm gonna go snuggle with my kids and husband and I won't even tell the dog not to lick my foot. Hugs and prayers for all of you who are struggling as well!

My goals

I want to have energy to spend time and actually do activities with my family.
I want to be able to be physically active. I’m not saying I plan on running marathons, but being able to exercise and do basic housecleaning on a daily basis would be nice.
I want my mind to feel less foggy all the time so I can do my job well and enjoy being in the profession I love.
I want to be healthy and be at a healthy weight.
I want my life back! I will look for the best in my life and realize what I truly have, always striving to make it better.
I will accept myself as I am.


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