I’ve been meaning to join in with one of Sheryl from A Chronic Voice ‘s Link Ups for a while now and have finally joined the June Link Up! During these monthly link ups Sheryl sets a series of prompts for chronic illness bloggers around the world to contemplate and collaborate on. It’s a great chance to link like-minded people and share experiences and knowledge! The June Link Up topics of ‘Reminding, Pacing, Surrendering, Improving & Flowing’ took some thinking about, and i’m happy to share my thoughts!
For me, reminding myself of the things i’ve achieved in life and recently is a strong form of validation. When times are tough, as they have been recently with my being signed off awaiting surgery, i’ve found it more important than ever to help remind myself that I am more than my health and illnesses. I look back on the friends i’ve made, how lucky I am to have a supportive fiance and my degree and career. It’s easy to feel like the world is against you when you’re struggling with illness and reminding myself about all the good I have in life helps ground me.
I think pacing problems must be up there for every chronic illness sufferer as a top pitfall! I can’t even count how many times i’ve pushed myself too hard and made myself more ill than I was before, likely due to trying to prove something to myself or sometimes simply because I forget my body’s own limitations.
I’ve pushed myself too hard at the gym or pole dancing and in that moment forgotten my chronic pain and seizures…which swiftly come back with a vengeance to remind me they’re about! It’s important to slow down, check in with yourself and sometimes just let things happen around you.
When you have chronic illnesses for a while it’s pretty easy to feel like you’ve already surrendered to it. When it starts impacting your work life, social life and reducing the things you want to do it feel like it’s won.
I refuse to consider surrendering. No matter how small the things are, I hope to always find things I want to do and do my best to achieve them. I’ll accept compromise and appreciate not everything is possible, but i’ll never surrender to my health!
This one is a mixed one for me because I always want to be constantly improving…but chronic illness isn’t often like that! I’m a big fan of constant learning and so study for a couple on online diplomas a year so I keep learning and my mind active. I can’t always find the time or energy for doing it alongside working and life, but most of the courses give unlimited access so just a little when I can. I like to work to improve my fitness and flexibility when I can but I understand i’m not always able to.
It’s fun to set small projects to achieve so you can feel yourself improving your skills but it’s equally important not to create unnecessary pressure for yourself!
Sometimes you have to fight to let go. It feels to me that when you have long term illnesses you end up conditioned to be in a constant battle pose which is exhausting! I feel like i’ve spent years trying to still be how I was before my health changed and that has had to change. There’s no point being angry at myself when I have seizures and miss things or when my pain is so bad I can’t get to the gym.
I still have a way to go but i’m gradually learning to go with the flow and be kinder to myself when things don’t go as planned. You can read more of my thought on that in my 5 Ways To Cope With a Lack of Control blog.
I’ve really enjoyed taking part in this June Link Up and hope to do another of these next month. Thanks A Chronic Voice– keen to read other people’s entries!
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