Tuesday, 17 March 2015

This Too Shall Pass

Good Day Everyone,

For the last few weeks I have been struggling more than usual with Arthur (aka arthritis). I don't know what's made him so angry that he's flared up this badly, but I do know that he's not happy and he's not shy in letting me know. One of the hardest things about living with this autoimmune disease is not knowing what my trigger is. If I knew what was causing my body to react in this manner then I could work to reduce, ideally eliminate it. As with most autoimmune diseases, the trigger could be anything from a chemical that I am exposed to which could be in my makeup, toiletries, food or environment to a genetic component or even stress... there is simply no knowing. And that is one of the most frustrating things.

The pain in my neck/spine, shoulders, collar bones and hip joints is driving me crazy. It leads to many sleepless nights and living with chronic pain is sooo much more difficult when you're constantly sleep deprived. Seriously, when I've had a decent night's sleep I'm like Mary Poppins on Pro Plus, the high is so great that I feel like I could conquer the world (even if in reality I'm still in bed by 8pm ;o)). The difference in my mood and personality is profound...just ask my hubby.
Its no wonder that people living with chronic pain and disease are more likely to suffer from depression. I know from experience how easy it is to fall into a downward spiral of depression, negative thoughts and self sabotage. The battle is not only physical but mental too. There's this little voice inside my head that questions the value of every good, yet difficult, thing that I do when doing it hasn't stopped this disease from progressing! It hurts to exercise but I need to exercise daily to maintain my mobility and flexibility because if I don't, my joints start to seize up and my movement becomes restricted even further. It takes an awful lot of mental strength and will power not to give into that voice and just spend my days lounging on the sofa in my pjs. It also takes a lot of (mental & physical) energy to be positive and happy when I'm in such severe pain.

Chronic ill health is like a full time job and more. I have to work at it constantly, every single day of the week. So even though I'm in pain and particularly fed up at the moment, I still work hard to eat as cleanly as possible, I still try to exercise daily, and I still try to actively manage my mental health. A positive mindset has a huge effect on one's physical health, and vice versa. I don't do all of this to make Arthur better, (although I live in hope), rather I do it to not make myself worse, to avoid that downward spiral that I feel is always calling my name.

Hope is something that I will never give up. After spending a decade of my life living with the most awful scalp psoriasis, fearing I'd never know what it is like to have a normal scalp again. Feeling complete and utter despair at having to spend hours each day treating and managing this affliction, I now have a scalp that is 95% clear. It took 10 years but I finally got there and that is why I will never give up hope... some things that we want so desperately do come to us, it just takes a while!

As well as hope and prayers, I also have certain motos/mantras that I remind myself of when going through a tough time such as the title of this blog post. I know from experience that bad times will pass, I just have to be patient. Time doesn't stand still for anyone so if things are bad, never give up hope because they will change... time will bring that change. Likewise, if things are good then treasure and value them because it could all change in the blink of an eye.
So in a bid to keep my sanity through this bad patch, I've been getting up each morning and going for a walk along the seafront. This not only forms part of my daily exercise but I find being outdoors very therapeutic. Seeing the morning sun glistening on the water with the birds chirping in the background is very calming. Everyday I notice different trees budding, new flowers blooming and that gets me excited for spring, it gets me excited for the change that I know is around the corner, it gets me excited for when I will feel better :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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