A Chronically Awesome Way To Start The Day by Alisha F.
This morning I was reading a wonderful blog posted via chronicallyawesome.org that gave me a few helpful tips that would help me make my chronically ill life more #ChronicallyAwesome. Today I shall implement a few of them in a post that will help start my day right.
1. Remember that you are not your diagnosis.
I am very lucky to have wonderful friends and family that make sure that I remember that I come first. While my chronic conditions may take a bit out of my day, I am always aware that I should never be 100% focused on what I cannot do. Instead, I try to focus on all of the things I can do.
2. Define yourself by your abilities.
Until I became Chronically Awesome, I never realized that I could put words in a coherent sentence on a page. Now that I have chosen to be Chronically Awesome, I try to write everyday. I have also come to see that while I am not artistic, I can read like the wind. Sometimes reading and reviewing two books a day. If that is not talent, I have no idea what is.
I used to be really bad at communicating. As an agoraphobic, I had lost touch with all my friends, and I never met new people because I was home all the time. For an Agoraphobe, Twitter comes in very handy. I have met all kinds of wonderful people on Twitter. People who enrich my life, people who will “hold my hand” during an awful day, and people who are really funny. Interacting with these people everyday makes it possible for me not to feel so removed from life in general. I have also started writing letters, emails, and talking on the phone again to people I have not seen in years.
4. Every conversation does not have to be about your illness
Except when you are speaking to your Grandmother. Grandmothers always want to hear the good, and the bad. Other than that I try to have a 30-minute conversation about anything other than my chronic illness. It always makes my day better to talk about what my family is doing, especially my niece. It makes me smile.
5. Get up, bathe, and put on clean clothes every day
I have found on the days I cannot stand upright in the shower for more than 2 minutes, much less wash my hair, the simple act of just getting out of bed to change my clothes makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself. Even if I have to lay back down afterwards, I made a huge step in not letting my illness overtake my life.
6. Keep the faith!
I realize that not everyone has the same beliefs as mine. So, while I won’t go into depth about what I believe in, I think it is important to at least have faith in yourself. I am what is important here, not my illness.
7. This is not your fault. You did not ask for this.
I never wanted to be chronically ill. None of us do. This is not some ploy to avoid getting out into the world. Nothing I have done in my life has anything to do with why I am sick. It happens. I will remember this today, and always.
8. Don’t stress the small stuff, and it is pretty much all small stuff!
Focusing on stressful things always makes my chronic illness worse. Instead, today, I will focus on what I have accomplished. Even if it was as small as just showering, or starting the dishwasher. I accomplished it!
9. When in doubt, nap it out
I have terrible sleeping habits. Sometimes, due to pain, I don’t sleep at all. I do allow myself a nap on those days to help my body recover. Sleep renews your body, don’t hold out on that nap because you are afraid you will not sleep well tonight. I find that even if I set an alarm for only an hour long nap, I feel much more relaxed when I wake up.
Today, I am Chronically Awesome because I was able, in spite of a massive migraine, to type this post out. I also showered! Though I will be napping today due to my headache, I still did last night’s dishes and fed my cats.
While for me, this posting of why I am chronically awesome is small. I am proud to do it everyday. It not only makes me feel good, but I can go back to my small list days and remember that it made me feel just as good to write it that day. As someone with several chronic illnesses, this makes me feel important. Like I made a contribution, even on the days I feel like I didn’t.
Note from Jules: I spent the night sitting on the couch working on my personal blog, finding material for the Chronically Awesome Facebook Page, basically letting the time tick by with a nasty bout of the painsomnia. At 4:00 AM Pacific, I posted a blog thinking how silly I was being posting the blog so early. I was also randomly tweeting to myself about how dumb I had just been. That’s when Alisha came online, and I was reminded that I do have Twitter friends and a blog audience that lives on the east coast, and perhaps even some overseas that might be still kicking about at this hour. I jokingly said to Alisha that I needed to write on the chalkboard “I do not live in a bubble I do not live in a bubble”. She commented that she had never been in trouble enough to have to write on the blackboard. I asked her if she wanted an assignment now to make up for this important childhood rite of passage. I explained that I had just posted the tips to being chronically awesome, and did she want to write me a blog answering each tip with how she was going to implement it into her life. She agreed to it and about 10 minutes later the blog was in my email!
Now I challenge the rest of you! Who else would like to write about how they are going to implement these tips into their lives?