A Chronic Voice Link-Up: March Prompts

Hey everyone, how’re you doing? I really hope you’re all keeping as well as possible during what is such an insanely worrying, bizarre time.

I’m fashionably late with this one. I drafted it at the start of the month yet here we are, right at the very end, and I nearly forgot to publish it. It’s not related to coronavirus and I decided to leave it ‘as is’, the way I originally wrote it. This is for the A Chronic Voice March link-up.

I don’t tend to admit to being scared. But I have been, and I am. I’m overwhelmed. I won’t go in to the reasons as they’re all related to the current virus situation but it’s not been too good, and I know I’m not alone in that. Please feel to reach out if ever you need someone to talk to. And please hang on to a little hope everyone, because that’s more important than ever right now. Sending love to you all.

1. STAYING

STAYING at home, maybe even in bed, nearly all day every day may sound like a luxury. It’s not. Since my first surgery in 2015, my health went downhill and nerve damage took hold. I lost a lot of my ‘old life’ very quickly. Not being able to sit ‘normally’ in a regular chair means I’m propped up in bed for much of each day. Not being well enough to go out or do the things you used to do isn’t much fun, but it’s the new ‘normal’ for many with chronic illness, disability and/or chronic pain.

I’ve come to appreciate comfort of being at home and to see the joy in the small things day to day. When your options are limited, you can either get frustrated all the time or come to some degree of acceptance, working with what you’ve got and making the most of it. Of course it’s challenging. There’s no romantic notion of luxury when your bed becomes your dining table and your office.

2. DOING

For many of us, we develop certain ways of DOING things, methods and routines to make life more manageable. Best laid plans are often made to be broken with the unpredictability of health issues, and yet some of us need that control, that ability to plan.

These ways of doing things can give us a little structure, confidence and comfort amidst the chaos and uncertainty. 

3. BEING

I’m not always good at BEING the chronically ill person. It can be beyond frustrating when you’re sick of being sick, and fed up with the limitations on your life and what you can do.

You just do your best to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. It’s still a bitter pill to swallow some days. We’re all human, just doing life and figuring it out along the way. Whatever your struggles, it’s okay to accept that nobody and nothing is perfect.

Acceptance of illness, pain or the situation you find yourself in is not easy. It’s a continual learning curve, an ongoing masterpiece and evolving work-in-progress. 

4. TARGETING

To keep moving forward, you need to look at what you’re TARGETING each day. Celebrate the achievements, no matter how small. Set manageable goals, whether it’s having a healthy meal, a shower or a small walk, or the larger, more long term goals like learning a new skill, taking up a hobby or writing that novel you’ve always dreamed of making a reality.

The goals, no matter what they are, give you something to aim for and work towards, just don’t put too much pressure on yourself along the way. 

5. WEIGHING

Leaving the house or doing something sociable can involve a process of WEIGHING up the benefits versus the costs. Any time we do something, we pay for it afterwards; pain, exhaustion and worsened symptoms are all stark reminders of how much it costs us do the things we want or need to do.

Sometimes we feel we want/need to say no but we worry we’ll let someone down, leading to more guilt and more burnout. In some cases, saying no is the best thing you can do for yourself as it’s putting self-care into practice.

But then sometimes the costs are worth it when weighed up against what we could potentially gain; a sense of achievement, some happiness and enjoy to make the day brighter, or some memories to treasure. Those weighing scales certainly get a lot of use.

Would you agree with any of these? Do you perhaps share some of these experiences yourself?

Stay safe & as well as possible.

Caz  ♥

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16 Comments

  1. Ashley
    March 26, 2020 / 4:41 pm

    I completely agreet that we should celebrate all accomplishments, big or small.

  2. March 26, 2020 / 6:14 pm

    You have such great insight, I totally agree with all of what you say. Thank you Caz stay well dear <3

  3. March 26, 2020 / 7:37 pm

    Terrific post – great ideas – we are all in this together!

  4. March 26, 2020 / 7:38 pm

    I had a comment but it didn’t work. My browser has mood swings.

    How are you doing? I’ve been thinking of you.

    Love, light, and glitter

  5. March 26, 2020 / 8:17 pm

    Agree to all of this.
    Take care, Caz, we all are in this together xx.

  6. March 26, 2020 / 9:35 pm

    Caz, I am a person who refuses to admit when I am scared. (Stupid macho of inside me).
    But I will make a confession to you. In my current condition, with the weak heart,
    coronavirus is very dangerous. In my normal state I believe I would have been one of
    those who could fight the virus, but in the state that I am in now. It has me a bit
    worried.

    The staying at home isn’t bothering me in the least. I am writing more poetry.
    Sending you the biggest hugs.
    Please stay out of harms way.

  7. March 27, 2020 / 2:01 pm

    Oh Caz, I’m sending you lots of love and a big ole’ hug right now. It’s not easy to admit we’re scared, but just know that you’re not alone. I would guess that most of us are feeling at least a little uneasy right now. You know I’m always here if you want to talk. All you have to do is message me. You make some outstanding points about how we have to structure our lives around our illness, whether it’s doing those things that make us feel better or weighing the cost/benefit of doing certain things. Hang in there, and stay safe sweet friend.

  8. March 27, 2020 / 3:08 pm

    Your blogging community is here for you, Caz! And yes, we have to have hope. I know this is so much harder for those with chronic illnesses, and I’m so sorry for that.

  9. March 27, 2020 / 4:55 pm

    Big hugs, Caz. xo

    For me, weighing is so hard because of the guilt you mention. I wish I could commit to plans and then follow through with them 100% of the time.

    Thinking about you and hoping you’re having a good day.

  10. March 27, 2020 / 5:50 pm

    This is a bad time for all of us. It is especially hard for those with chronic illnesses. One good thing that is happening is businesses are opening doors to seniors and people with chronic illnesses one hour before the general public. This helps independent people at risk like my dad DOING a routine to keep them mentally healthy. He has taken advantage of grocery shopping, and hardware stores.

    Caz, I hope you take advantage of any perks the government and business offer, since things may not go back to the way which was.

  11. March 27, 2020 / 6:06 pm

    Every post of yours gives me the inner sight of the world not known to many of us. I take my time to really read and respond to your posts. Thank you for showing the absolute positive we can look in our situations. I am wishing and hoping…. and hoping for the very best for you and all of us.

  12. March 27, 2020 / 9:26 pm

    Another really honest and insightful post. Lots of us are really scared about what’s happening right now, and maybe more of us should put our hands up and say so. Your honesty will undoubtedly help others to understand and rationalise their own fears at this time.
    2 things stand out for me from your excellent post: 1) I am totally with you on being bad at being chronically ill. I ended up going to my doctor at the end of last year and telling her I was just fed up of it! It felt good to say it to be honest. 2) Weighing up the pros and cons of going out or meeting other people suddenly feels like there’s even more jeopardy involved than usual, which makes it a scary time to be chronically ill.
    Thank you so much for your honesty. Like many others I gain so much from reading your posts. Take care.

  13. March 28, 2020 / 6:43 am

    So much I’d like to say, Caz; though, I’ve said it all before.
    You are such a marvel; you voice the concerns of many. I am so pleased to know you and read your incredibly honest and rational thoughts. Yes, I have experienced almost all of your words during times of illness. Being open and truthful with ourselves (and others) is, in my experience, the best option of all.
    Much Love to You…
    xoxoxo

  14. March 28, 2020 / 7:58 pm

    Although you did not revise this post to include worry over Covid, one must try to imagine the increased load on the chronically ill and their families.

  15. March 28, 2020 / 8:38 pm

    wise encouraging words as always, Caz

  16. March 29, 2020 / 1:58 am

    Charlee: “We’re pretty good at the staying and the being.”
    Chaplin: “And the targeting, when it comes to our toys.”
    Charlee: “We’re not so good at the doing, unless doing means sleeping.”
    Chaplin: “And as for the weighing, well, Dada did that to us earlier in the week and now we’re on a diet.”

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