Carpe Diem! The Roman poet Horace had a great attitude about life.
My daughter and I use this quote a lot. Honestly, though, I just looked up where it came from on Google about 3 seconds ago. This is what I do when I want to learn something I find out what I want to know. It is part of my life with chronic pain and illness now, I create a life I love each moment I am able to. And this is why I want to help you create a life you love.
Living each day to its fullest and creating a life you love EVERY day is intentional. You make the decision to do something for your happiness or because it’s good for you. If you have an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness, choose to make the most of the time you have left.
Create a life you love in every minute, hour and day of your life. I know it may not be easy and I know it can be a struggle but you are the only one who can do it.
Would you like to hear how starting a new hobby saved my sanity? Check out this post Why Crochet May Have Saved My Sanity After Being Diagnosed With Autoimmune Disease
A little about me so you know who is dishing out this advice…
As a child, I was molested 3 different times. My upbringing helped make me a victim and a people pleaser. I was abused verbally, physically, emotionally. Being molested is NEVER a child’s fault but my mother made me feel guilty for it when I finally told her as an adult.
As an adult, I have been physically, mentally, sexually, verbally and financially abused. Looking back I see a pattern and how it started but it took me a lot of research to get to the point I’m at now. This is part of the reason I started Chronic Chimera. I NEED to become financially independent of my husband so I can make better choices.
Here is a link to my HIRE ME page if you are interested in using it as a reference for setting up a blog page on your site. If you want to learn about another way to create income using your craft skills, read this post Creating Income When Chronically Ill Using Conscious Crafties
My Illnesses & Diagnosis
In 1986 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I went into remission in the spring of 1987 but the disease and treatment left scars. Some were mental, some physical and some wouldn’t show for many years.
I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 1992 or 1993. I was on the same dose of medication for over 20 years.
My brother committed suicide in 1997 and I almost had a breakdown. My panic attacks and anxiety started soon after. I almost (or maybe I did) had a breakdown. It would be years before I would be able to talk about it without starting a spiral of depression and anxiety. I still hate the sound of the phone ringing early in the morning, my stomach lurches.
Fast forward through a gallbladder surgery in about 1999 to about 2014 when I started having symptoms of Hashimoto’s on a regular basis. I had been to my doctor over the years with, what I now know, were symptoms of Hashimoto’s. With my history of Hypothyroidism, I’m not sure why it took her so long so I have a new doctor now.
I have Hashimoto’s
I was only diagnosed in November of 2015. By then I was completely bedridden and couldn’t walk without assistance. It takes a while to increase thyroid medicine because it can cause other problems. At this time, spring of 2018, I am feeling the best I have in years but…I still feel awful.
The pain I have endured in my whole body, in my joints has almost caused me to break down. I just had surgery in January because of Degenerative Disc Disease that had completely eroded the spacer between my discs. The excruciating pain in my neck and shoulders has since gone down to a minimum roar. Thank goodness!
I don’t tell you all this for your pity. I don’t want or need anyone’s pity. The reason I tell you this so you know that when I tell you to create a life you love, I have had to work through extremely difficult struggles to create mine.
I may be wrong.
You may have it worse than me, or better. Even so, I imagine there is at least one small thing you can do to make your life a little better. If not, I apologize for my presumption and invite you to tell me about it or even let me share it with others so we can learn from my mistake.
Now that I’ve talked about all the negative things that have happened in my life I would like to refocus on the reasons I decided to make an effort to make each day of the rest of my life better. And why I decided to create a life I love. Maybe you have some reasons you can share with me too.
Here are just a few points I took to heart before starting to create a life I love:
- I probably feel the best I am ever going to feel again. Chronic illness likes to have company in the form of other chronic illnesses. I have fatty liver, high triglycerides and other problems on top of Hashimoto’s. For a while, I had hoped to heal myself with diet and other things. Maybe I still will, I will keep trying but now I am just happy for the health I do have.
- Most likely, your condition(s) will only get worse. It is highly possible that our conditions will worsen over time. I make it a priority to get my happy on now, I’m not waiting until I am too disabled to do anything. There is still so much I want to do and learn.
- Enjoying the rest of your life and creating one you love will set an example for your children and grandchildren. That doesn’t mean you have to be fake. It just means that even though you are struggling, you can still look on the bright side. It WILL make a difference for them…and for you.
- Choosing to have a hobby, increase your income or taking better care of yourself takes courage. When you do something that is a little scary and you finish, it makes you feel good and elevates your self-esteem.
If you allow yourself to be happy, your life will change.
A little over 5 years ago, I went through a humiliating experience that became public knowledge through different sources. I was probably the first to share it on my Facebook page because I felt the need to make my lack of knowledge about it and my stand on it crystal clear.
Though I did not do anything or cause the situation I was ridiculed and treated as if I were a pariah. I had become more vocal over the years, but I was still afraid to stand up for myself with my husband. When this happened, something inside me broke and I didn’t hold back. I stood strong. The line in the sand was drawn…by me. Maybe for you, this isn’t a big deal but I have been bullied and abused so much throughout my life that I had become a teeny weeny mouse.
Now, I usually speak my mind, especially if I feel strongly about something. Back then it was different, I was different. When I stood up for myself, I never felt so wonderful and full of anguish at the same time. I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut about any injustice…as long as it was someone else’s. I think all the years of pain, the abuse, the whole situation just caused me to break down. I lost it. Especially because it was my best friend’s daughter who was part of the situation…and my close friends treated me the worst.
I didn’t trust myself because I never saw it coming and I sure as hell didn’t trust anyone else…
but I survived AND started creating a life I love one intentional thought after another. It took a lot of work and didn’t happen overnight. Sometimes I took a few steps forward and just held on awhile with every ounce of strength I had. Now I protect my little circle of peace with fierce determination. I started believing in goodness again too.
During that time, I lost friends, became afraid to go anywhere, sunk into a deep depression and my health started going downhill fast. It was like getting sucker punched over and over and over.
I was SO hurt, angry and resentful I couldn’t see straight. Every day I woke up it all played through my head over and over and over. I couldn’t get over it or through it or under it. It was as if my life was stuck on this ugly, resentful, miserable loop. It was depressing and I believe it is what activated my autoimmune disease. That is pure conjecture on my part.
The feelings kept cycling and it felt as if I was going to be stuck with these awful feelings forever. It was so hard to stop the cycle. The flashbacks were always right around the corner just waiting for me to be happy so they could take it all away. At least, that’s how it felt. I know how ridiculous it sounds but…when you are going through it it isn’t.
I had to take control of my thoughts, mind, and feelings.
It took me intentionally focusing on something else to stop the thoughts and feelings. I had to meditate and watch subliminal videos. When I woke up and the loop started playing I had to consciously change my thoughts. And it took a LONG time to get better. I still have flashbacks but I’ve trained myself to switch to other thoughts or a mantra.
It is possible to be happy and train yourself to think differently. It is possible to change your life.
Looking back through my life, I remember how it felt going through everything. Sometimes I can taste and smell the memories like I’m right back there. The struggle to stay sane was, sometimes, all I could accomplish. Maybe I didn’t succeed, maybe I did. All I know is I’m still here and fighting to live a life I love.
If you are struggling I want you to know that you have someone that wants to hear from you. You are not alone. If you need help finding your happy or creating a life you love then I am here. I want you to succeed, to feel happy in spite of your illness.
You are not alone.
Through my posts, I try to share the love and enable you to do something to help yourself make a better life. This blog is my way of holding out my arms to you and encouraging you to treat yourself with love because you deserve it. Whether you start a new hobby, learn new self-care techniques or create a new stream of income I hope you find some way to create a life you love each and every day.
If you struggle, I am here. Write to me and let me know what it is you need help with. Maybe I can help, maybe not but I will listen and do my best to help. I want to hear from you, I want to help. Maybe, together, we can help each other create better lives or learn new things. I would like that.
Take this chance to figure out one thing that will make today better. Now build on that. Each day allow yourself to find one thing to make it a happier day. Pretty soon you will realize you are worth all the happiness you hope for. Much love and all the best…until next time!
I love hearing all about how you tackle your struggles with chronic illness!
Do you have other tips you can share with us? Most spoonies have found workarounds for all types of things and I’d love to share your advice. Write a comment below or send me an email.
Kim is a freelance blogger, writer and VA. She loves sharing resources for other “spoonies” to help them create lives they love. Hoarding crochet patterns on Pinterest is her second favorite thing.