Life Hangover

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Good news, Friends: I didn’t succumb to the Black Plague this weekend! Woohoo!

Instead, I was able to go to my friend’s wedding and it was beautiful and wonderful and so, so lovely. I was so thrilled to be there with her on her special day ❤

Cue this morning.

I’m feeling a tad hungover, but don’t worry Mom, or hyper-concerned readers, I wasn’t sampling the bubbly. I know better than to mix downers (beta blockers) with more downers (alcohol).

Nope, this is the result of some serious Uppers—

Smiling. Hugging. Dancing. Chit-chatting. Picture Taking.

A wonderful cocktail if you ask me.

Yep, this hangover is a life hangover, as in, I was living a lot yesterday and therefore today is a bit cloudy, a bit headachey, and a bit like I’m underwater and everyone else isn’t (and keeps trying to talk to me from up there…I can barely understand you…you need to just…yeah, just try again later…).

Does this happen to you, Chronics?

I feel like it does.

The weird phenomenon of chronic illness is that anything that requires energy is bound to suck the life out of us. Period.

So if that’s going to happen anyway, I’m going to go ahead and choose to go out on a positive note.

I love the quote above. Its instructions are so simple:

Understand + Plan = Healthy Decision.

Could it really be that easy?

Yes and no (of course).

Understanding can take a long time. I have been a Chronic for 12 years, and I am only just figuring out how to figure stuff out (it’s about as confusing as that sentence…).

I feel like this piece of the puzzle is the one that you have to learn yourself. A doctor can make helpful suggestions, but he/she’s not going to know that you feel better when you’ve eaten a protein-heavy breakfast or that comfy shoes are a must because if you set off the myalgia-ed fibrous (translation: pain-ed tissues) in your feet it’s only a matter of time before the rest of you is creaking worse than Grandma Pearl.

Step 1: Pay attention to yourself. Get to know your symptoms. Sure, you too might have POTS, but how it affects you is most likely a little different than it affects me. Make sure to note if anything makes you feel better, in addition to what makes you feel worse.

Step 2: Planning is either really easy or really hard, depending on your personality and circumstances. I find that it’s easier to think in really broad terms here, with specifics coming into play later.

Example: Planning a Life

What is important to me?

Connection. Comfort. Security. Purpose.

How can I make Connections?

Friends. Family. This blog.

What are some ways I can make Friends a Priority in my Life?

Go to their wedding. Hug them. Tell them you love them.

What will it take for me to be as comfortable as possible at their wedding?

*Here it’s helpful to make a list of all those symptoms you are learning to understand and then make a coordinating list of how you can deal with them in <WhateverSituation> you are in.

Boom!

Life!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat with all the categories that are important to you. When it comes down to it, Life is really based on a series of things that fill emotional needs. If you figure out those needs (mine being connection, comfort, security, purpose), then you will come to find that there is a multitude of ways to meet those needs. This can help keep expectations and accompanying disappointment in check, because it’s hard to run out of options when you are looking to be “happy” as opposed to when you are looking to “run the Iron Man marathon next Saturday with a time of 12 minutes (#MadeUp #Impossible) without setting off my heart symptoms.”

Let’s come full circle now, Chronics, and swing back to hangovers.

If you google “hangover remedy,” about 9 million things pop up. Good to know, but I probably won’t be using any of them any time soon. (Pickle juice? Really?)

The way to heal a Life Hangover is this:

1) Be kind to yourself (and give yourself a pat on the back because putting yourself <OutThere> is hard!)

and

2) Make plans for more living!

Because, really, isn’t that what Life is all about?

Tell me about your Life Hangovers, Chronic Readers, here in the comments or over on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/iamchronicallywell I’d love to connect with you 🙂

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