How to keep going.
Are you a participant or a spectator? If you have a chronic or mental illness, it’s quite easy to become someone who just watches often even when it comes to your own life.
Things don’t have to be that way.
The fact is, even with limited health, there are always ways to keep reaching out, to keep trying new things.
“A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” – George M. Moore Jr.
Agonizing Over Topics
In the last few months, I have come to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with weekends. While I love the weekend for the break from my daily job and some time to unwind, I also know that the weekend means I’ll have to sit at the computer and knock out another newsletter.
While I love this blog and writing posts and newsletters, it’s not always easy to come up with topics. Inspiration often comes from the unlikeliest of sources.
Yesterday morning I had to go to the grocery store. I despise going to the grocery store, but since I have no one to do it for me, off to the store I went.
A few weeks ago I discovered a case full of CDs that I had made several years ago. It’s been nice to listen to those CDs and remember what songs meant the most to me a decade ago.
Yesterday, driving home from the store, The River by Garth Brooks came on, and a blog topic was born.
The Issue of Copyright
Since I can’t find a clear answer on the use of lyrics in a blog post, I am going to play it safe and not quote the part of the song that most inspired me. Instead, I’ll tell you it starts about 2:04 in the video below.
The song is about dreams and how they don’t always go as we’d hoped. It compares dreams to a river that frequently has to change course but always keeps flowing forward.
You may slip. You may fall. But your dream might come true.
Keep Hope Alive
When you received your illness diagnosis, no doubt it felt like a well-placed gut-punch. It may have shattered some of your hopes and dreams. You may have felt devastated and beaten.
You are not alone.
For some weeks now, I have been feeling very beaten and rundown. Between the noise in my head from Bipolar to the constant pain and fever from FMF, it’s been a struggle just to get out of bed every day.
No doubt you can relate.
So when the bad days come, and let’s face it, there’s often more bad days than good days, what can you do?
What Is Hope?
One dictionary defines hope as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.”
When you have a chronic illness, your number one hope may be for a cure. In other cases, you may long for a medication that works or one that keeps working effectively.
Those aren’t the only things you can hope for, though.
Your desire could be to be feeling well enough to spend time with family when they visit. It could be a longing to have the sanity to go out to dinner with friends on Saturday night. Maybe your dream is to not have to take pain medicine tomorrow and to have one complete day without thinking about death.
Whatever your desire, it’s important to keep hope alive for something better.
Cherish the Good Days
Did you wake up in a lot of pain today? Were the voices in your head so loud last night that you couldn’t sleep? I get it. That’s a reality quite often for many of us.
However, was this morning an unexpected surprise that nothing hurt before you opened your eyes? Did you get up to a sense of optimism and the desire to be productive?
Sometimes they feel too far in between, but good days, or better days, always come. When they do, take the time to cherish and enjoy them. Spend some time being mindful and appreciate the positive experience.
Get Back Up
In addition to gastroparesis, my FMF often causes symptoms similar to Irritable Bowell Syndrome. What I choose to eat often determines the type and severity of consequences that follow.
That well illustrates how everything in life works. Many, many times we suffer because of the poor choices we make. With mental health issues, that may be from choosing to drink too much, not getting adequate rest, or from spending time with toxic people.
Whatever it is that’s knocked you down or caused you to have a bad day, you are not condemned to stay down. There’s a post How to Succeed and Get Back on Your Feet that includes 15 motivational quotes to help you improve things.
If things are unpleasant right now, whether it’s the result of your actions or not, determine to make tomorrow better. Eat the right things. Get the rest you need. Avoid the people that poison your mind.
A better tomorrow is in your power.
Sometimes mental illness makes you unrecognizable to yourself. That’s the subject of this poem video.
This week, let’s work on having hope. Take the time to cherish the good (or better) days. Give yourself permission to start over.
Your life with illness is much like a river. Just because a tree falls in your path or some beaver builds a dam doesn’t mean that things stop or become hopeless. The river keeps flowing, and so should you.
Think of three things to hope for this week and then do what you can to make them happen. Eat better, rest more, and be in contact with someone that is good for you emotionally.
Most importantly, never quit trying. Stop watching and start living your life. You can make things better. I have faith in you.
Until next time, keep fighting.
Read next: Inspiration to Heal Your Broken Pieces