Health Magazine

Chronically Ill, Chronically Awesome and a Damn Right Superhero!

By Cass
We all need a little positivity in our lives don't we. Not limited to those of us with a chronic illness, everyone feels lost at times...but for those of us with an invisible chronic illness, it is often a mask we have to wear in order to maintain an air of everything being just "A OKAY" when quite frankly we feel physically and mentally broken. Don't get me wrong when you carry on reading, a lot of the time I want to give up and disappear....there are times, especially by the end of the week when the exhaustion sets in. But the reality is that we all need to find a way to keep our chins up and smiles on our faces.
Chronically ill, chronically awesome and a damn right superhero!
I thought I would share some of the things I have found, been working on and developing in my life so I can remain positive.......really positive and not the fake smile kind!
1. Find a hobby you enjoy.
Firstly I know this is easier said than done, especially when we are all living hectic lives and even if they are not hectic, they involve a lot of rest. However try and find the time every day to do something that is just for you.
Chronically ill, chronically awesome and a damn right superhero!
I have always enjoyed art and crafting. So a few weeks ago, with Christmas fast approaching i decided it was time to take up some crafts again, choosing to go back to an old favorite....knitting. I decided that I would start off small, just knitting squares as my wrists were sore and I needed to get used to using them so much again, but after a while I decided to move onto a full and incredibly long scarf. I brought myself some expensive wool and got to work. Now as I suffer from a lot of wrist pain, this was not something I found easy, but I made sure that I worked on it daily. 3 weeks later I had a beautiful, soft and warm scarf. The sense of achievement was huge...this is something I had made battling through the pain and tiredness wasn't even an issue because I was having fun and resting my mind at the same time.
If there is something you love to do, you are feeling physically up to, or something you have wished to take back up....then I would urge you to give it a go. The feeling of achievement is worth it all.
2. Keep a positivity diary.
Here is something that absolutely no one knows that I do. I keep a daily diary where I list 5 things that have made me smile every day. OK, sometimes I forget to write in it, but then I just save them all up and write them all in one go. So why do I do this....if it isn't already obvious.....because it is so easy to only ever focus on the negative points from every day. The pain, the rude comment, the bad meeting etc etc. What isn't easy to do is to remind yourself of the good things that have happened, however small they seem.
Chronically ill, chronically awesome and a damn right superhero!
For example, last night I put the Christmas tree up and I found a decoration of a little drummer man with a funny moustache. This decoration had me giggling for ten minutes and really made me feel good about my day which had been a tough one battling against the flu. It is these things that I write down daily, so that when I am sad or I have focussed for too long on something negative, I can look back and say....."But remember that cup of tea I was brought in bed".....it is the little things that count!
3. There is truth in setting yourself a day or doing whatever you want...being a little selfish.
I have never understood people that put their needs before those of others...until I was forced too. Now, hang on a minute, let me explain. One thing that quickly became apparent to me when I got ill was that I am terrible at saying no to anything. In reality this is something that I needed to change, without bending my principles of treating everyone how I would like to be treated. So the first thing I did was to learn to forgive myself when I had to cancel plans etc. Not an easy thing to do, but something that has lead to my next tip......possibly my favorite tip.....the day every week when I do, eat and enjoy things that I want to do, eat and enjoy.
Chronically ill, chronically awesome and a damn right superhero!
As I work Monday - Friday, this day is usually at the weekends and I make sure on this day that I enjoy it to the fullest. If I am well enough I usually choose a nice countryside walk or a trip to the zoo. If it is a bad weekend then I choose the films I want to watch, the games that make me smile or maybe bake a cake. Anything that, for me, holds enjoyment.  As with life though, a full day of not including the needs of others isn't always possible and I am not sure I would want a full day of not considering others....so what I mean by this is......have one day where you eat what you want and don't worry about the calories.....you have a glass of wine instead of a cup of tea....the list goes on and on. Just a day where you are in control and you choose to be happy.

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