I have been struggling a bit this week with what to write. I wondered when that might happen because I have been pumping out blogs weekly for almost 3 years I think. However, I still have more to say. Of course, I do. I think I might be a little more introspective today and want to talk about how I am living my best life with autoimmune.
There are so many things that come to mind.
Grateful was the first word but scared also came to mind. Tired, aware, focused, intentional, acceptance, and maybe even fierce.
I might like to walk through each of these words today, I think. I’m not sure, no, I’m sure I wouldn’t’ have the same perspective on these words without my illness. So, let’s dive in.
I’ve listened to a lot of people say don’t talk about It, don’t name it.
It gives your illness energy and allows it to have power over you. I bought into that for awhile but I’m not sure I buy into it anymore. The reality is that it is part of me. It only has the energy I allow it. When I say I live with Hashimoto’s it is because I do. I am conscious of choices that I make because of it. They are very strategic choices so that it won’t have power over me. They are choices to live with my illness in balance. Sometimes it feels that the balance is tipped a little more in favor of my illness but most of the time, if I have been honoring what I need, we live very well together.
When I tell my clients they need to make a lifestyle choice I’m not kidding.
If you want to live a life that is not ruled by your illness, you will take on the lifestyle. There is no getting around it and it will be for a lifetime.
I also think that my ideas on having autoimmune early on might have been different because I resisted what was needed. I was uninterested in the changes I had to make but I saw glimpses of what my life could be like in the small things I was willing to do. Every little thing I gained kept moving me forward.
Grateful will always be my first word for my illness and you might be thinking that I’m 10 buckets of crazy right now. But I am not.
I have never been one to ask, “Why Me”.
I know what has led me here. I know I’ve had a life that has contributed to being in this place. My choices in life have also contributed to that. But maybe it was always meant to be part of my journey around this beautiful sun. It has allowed me to stop and evaluate what I want from my life for me. I was lost in my life, lost in choices that were not serving me. I am very clear now on what I want from my life and how I want to spend my time.
It rescued me from my life. It has given me my life. Grateful is an understatement.
Scared is the second word and if I am so grateful, why would that even be part of the equation? I can no longer put my head in the sand and go through this life. I did that for a very long time. My eyes are wide open now and sometimes where we are headed as a population is scary. So many people are sick, don’t own their health, their lives. I try to hide in my little space in my home and just turn off the world, but my passion won’t let me. I must meet what scares me head on and help as many people as I can. It is what I was meant to do. I discovered this because of my illness.
Tired is right.
Having autoimmune has not just opened my eyes to my health but to everything that I can do to help. There is so much to read and learn and create so I can help do my part. And as much energy as I do have, it is never enough. I push myself hard and my body doesn’t always appreciate me for it. I have not learned to slow down. Sometimes, I just need to sleep or take a good long nap.
Oh yes, I am aware.
It is amazing what happens when you start listening to the whispers in your body. It is like being Sherlock Holmes, constantly evaluating how I feel, what hurts today, what food am I struggling with, do I have food ready to eat. But it isn’t just that. It is more about how my body is responding to my environment. Is it triggering me? Am I comfortable? What part of my body is responding to the situation, etc., etc. I know when my body is making shifts from feeling good to not feeling fabulous at any given moment in time. It is about stress management in every aspect of my life.
Focused and intentional sort of go hand in hand. I have made the choice for my health and that is my focus. And I am very intentional about growing old in a life that I design. I was at the mercy of my illness for a long time. I will never go back there. Everything I do supports that decision.
I fought my illness for a very long time.
I cried after every test result that I got back with more bad news. I questioned whether I had enough energy to go on every single time. But guess what. I found the energy to do it every single time because what I wanted for my life was more powerful than the pity party I allowed myself. And pity parties are sometimes needed, don’t get me wrong. We can’t be rocks all the time. I eventually moved into acceptance, another one of my words.
This was my life.
I couldn’t really do anything about it but to keep moving forward. One step, after the other. And I still do. I am not done yet. I work on it every day.
Fierce is something I thought I understood but didn’t really until moving through this crazy Hashi’s journey. Fierce is what I have found in making myself a priority and it’s not a bad thing. Fierce is a way to describe my resolve, my strength, my vitality, my voice. And I quite like being fierce actually.
Could I have listed everything negative about it?
Sure but I don’t see the point. I want to live. I want to live vibrantly. Not to be noticed. Just because that is what I want for me and that’s enough to keep me on the positive side of this crazy life.