This is the end of my 16th week writing this blog.
Post #48, Chronic Friends!
I’m super excited 🙂
I happened to spend a bit of time going back over my previous blogs (Blogging worst fear: Repeating myself!) and noticed something.
In my post on Monday (Life Hangover, September 30), where I wrote about Planning a Life in spite of illness, I said this:
“What is important to me?
Connection. Comfort. Security. Purpose.”
This stood out to me mainly because it did NOT say this:
“What is important to me?
Survival. Survival. Survival. Survival.”
I don’t know when THAT happened, kids, but I am so glad that my mindset is changing.
A survival mindset, where all you can focus on is how to get through the day, is a hallmark of chronic illness. You don’t see it coming, but you feel it, and the next thing you know, your life has changed. Apparently, it is the same coming out of it as it was going in. Sure, I absolutely still have times (days, weeks even, but mostly moments that thankfully pass) when I feel like that, but I can honestly say that when I wrote that bit on Monday, I never once thought of the word “Survival.” It didn’t even come to my attention until this morning. I feel like this change of mind can be traced, at least in part, to writing this blog and receiving such wonderful feedback from all of you.
It’s weird to talk to the Internet.
I’m just going to put that out there.
When I first started, I was actually legitimately afraid of talking to the Internet (See Here Goes Something… June 16). I was afraid the so-called “Trolls” would find me (they haven’t!), or that someday, I would run for political office and wish I hadn’t been so honest (Who knows if this will ever be relevant? Meaning either my blog or my hypothetical bid for Public Servant of the Year, depending on future circumstances).
Instead, very friendly people I previously didn’t know have found me, which is nice, and very friendly people I already knew have been incredibly encouraging and receptive, which is also nice.
16 weeks. That’s pretty much 4 months, give or take a few days (I guess technically, my 4-month-iversary is October 16). I feel like each post I write is my first one, and at the same time, I feel like I’ve been doing this for forever (4 months? That’s it? Whaaaa?)
What’s with the sappy, yet somehow foreboding, intro, you ask?
If this blog had a soundtrack (which I often wish it did) the music would be changing right about now, to let you know something is about to happen…
First off, Chronic readers, EXHALE.
I’m not leading up to some random and surprising mass exit like characters on a series of Downton Abbey.
Yet, I am going to be making some changes.
When I started this blog, my mindset was pretty narrow. I really was stuck on Survival. Survival. Survival. Survival. That happens with chronic illness. You can lose yourself so easily in it.
But somewhere down the line, writing this blog turned out to be cheap therapy. Telling the Internet about my chronic illness, especially the parts that I felt were embarrassing or hard to share (read: ALL OF IT) has somehow lessened the fervid emotional charge of all those things.
I am not cured (of physical illness or mental neuroses), however, I am starting to feel better in a way I haven’t before.
Maybe it’s a growing up thing too, but I feel like I’m finally figuring out how to keep my chronic illness from bossing me around so much.
So, drumroll please…time for my announcement…
I will be switching from a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule to a Tuesday & Thursday schedule.
Womp womp womp.
I can see where that’s maybe not huge announcement material.
Care to see it from my perspective for a moment?
(Sure you would, that’s why you’ve been reading this thing for 16 weeks, isn’t it?)
Chronic readers will be familiar with the Spoon Theory. Most refer to themselves as Spoonies, no matter how much I try to get “Chronics” to catch on (I concede that once you read the Spoon Theory, you realize that “Spoonie” is a way cooler nickname, plus it comes with a built in mascot-can a spoon be a mascot?- so you know…I give it up to you, Christine Miserandino). The Spoon Theory in its simplest format is thus: the spoons represent your energy for the day. You only get so many spoons. When you spend a spoon (an amount of energy), you don’t get it back, so you need to pay attention to how you spend your spoons. (Chronic people don’t regenerate well…perhaps we should all be drinking Essence of Salamander or something weird like that? *Because they regenerate lost limbs, not because we’re storybook witches. Wait, that was Eye of Newt…never mind…*) For the full version of the Spoon Theory, in all its glory, go here: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
Ok, so what does changing my posting schedule mean to me?
Why it’ll free up a spoon, darlings!
And it just so happens that I have a bunch of things that I’d like to be using it for!
Unfortunately, another ingrained Chronic mindset that I have, but would like to get rid of, is Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop. I don’t know where the expression came from (I should really Google it…) but it means that when you are conditioned to believe that yuck stuff happens, you continue to believe that yuck stuff is coming for you, even when good stuff is happening all around you.
So, I’m going to do an experiment. I’m going to do what I did 16 weeks ago, and post right here what I want to happen. 16 weeks from now, I’ll check in again and see if it has happened, the way it did this first time. It’ll be our own special version of The Secret, ok, Chronic Readers?
Good stuff that has happened/is happening because of this blog or completely unrelated, that I would like to have continue (a.k.a. What I’ll be using my freshly re-allocated Spoon on):
~I really feel like I’m reconnecting with my friends, and even some family members, and I’ve enjoyed spending more time with them and talking more often ❤
~Writing all the time has made it even more of a habit than it was before and I’m finally getting back to the novel that I started at the beginning of the summer!
~Some lovely readers have expressed interest in my handmade elephants (See the Crafty Chronic (2), August 27) and I have been encouraged to start an Etsy store, just in time for the holidays! I hope to have it up and running in the next couple of weeks.
~I’m still going strong with my exercise routine, and haven’t had to take an extended break in over 10 weeks!
~A few weeks ago, I started a work-study program that I hope will end in an actual legitimate job! It’s a 4-5 month program, so *fingers crossed* that it goes well.
Now, of course, because of previous experience and a whole lot of superstition, I feel like tomorrow I’m going to wake up and have my carefully crafted Jenga-life come crashing down around me, all because I told the Internet about my good stuff. (Clearly, in my mind, I am the Great and Powerful Oz…or something, haha)
And this is an important HOWEVER.
However, I am going to choose to ignore that tug on my brain and instead think that maybe, because I told you all about it, all my good things will continue to remain so. Maybe some of you will even help me keep it that way, whether you know it or not.
So that’s it for today, Chronic Readers. Have a wonderful weekend, and I will see you here on Tuesday, all geared up to tell you about how I’ve spent that extra Spoon 🙂