Monday, October 1, 2012

Getting through the tough times

How are you today?  I'm thinking about all of you all over the world that are so sick every day with this illness that persistently tries to chip away at our mind, body and spirit.  Every single day feels like a contest and I'm often left wondering who will really win at the end of this race.  I'm sure there are many days when the time is counted in hours and minutes.  I know it can be that way for me.

So how do we get through this with dignity and grace?  Others around us don't understand that we can't keep up with them and many of us may feel unjustly criricized for not pitching in and doing more.  That can leave us feeling isolated, frustrated, sad, and more stressed.  You know, we can't wait until we are understood.  I see so many women with fibromyalgia that have lost their partners, which is in part due to their illness.  Our partners are with us for better or for worse.  So what on earth happened to the "for worse".  It's easy to be with someone during the good times.  The question is "Who is by your side during the tough times?"    And times don't get any more difficult than when there is a chronic illness that impacts your day every day.  That chronic illness impacts those around us every day too so they are living a chronic illness with us.  Is that what they signed up for?  Is that what we signed up for?  I see young people getting married and they share vows to be there for better or for worse.  I always wonder if they know what that really means and are they serious about those vows?  Today it's easy to run in the other direction when times get really tough.  But that's the true test of character and conviction.  Does that partner next to you stay the course?  That's the true test of devotion too.  That doesn't mean our partners don't get weary and irritable at times just like we do.  This is tough stuff.  Probably the most difficult thing we will ever do in our whole lives.

I watch for signs that Sid is weary of my inability to meet certain challenges.  After all he has life challenges that wear on him too.  I always know when he is getting weary because he comments on insignificant details around the house.  Some weeds aren't pulled, or there are cobwebs in the house that magically appear daily this time of year, or there is dust on the furniture.  Generally he says that dust is a protective coating!  Ha!  I work at not taking the comments personally.  It's just the space he's in at that time.  It's really not about me at all.  But this can be unsettling for me since I have had other failed relationships and that's the baggage I carry with me.  So I change my focus on things that I have some control over and I spend some time with my two kitties, my doggie, my plants and my wild birds.  They always give me solace.  I noticed the bird of paradise had sent out a new bloom and that made me smile!  And despite the hot weather this autumn, the bouganvillia is still blooming a bright magenta.  I also make it a point to give Sid a break by going to my gentle yoga class and the Fibro Haven Healing Circle support group.  When I go there I can let it all hang out and get the support I need from my fibromyalgia friends there.  They always understand without fail.  Bless them all!!  I also get online with my distant fibromyalgia friends and my girlfriends that are scattered around the states.  My girlfriends always get me by.  The older we get the more we realize how much we need our girlfriends.  That's true of men too.  Girlfriends are nurturing people and men that reach out to women as supportive friends do better too.

You know, the other thing I do is drink wine!  The fruit of the vine has been given to us by the nectar Gods.  I am well aware of the alcohol warnings on all my medication labels, but I just have one glass and life is always better.  It makes me feel as though life is more "normal" and my attitude improves too.  I feel like cooking and singing and listening to music.  It's all good!  So, getting through the tough times means that I employ a multitude of strategies.  And I want to say thank you to all of you that are there for me every day.  I'm there for all of you too.  And my girlfriend, Shirley, up in Colorado near Denver sends me good energy every day and I feel it.  She has dedicated her life to treating people in pain and with fibromyalgia in an effort to ease their pain and give them some healing touch.  Blessings to those people that give us friendship, hope and love every day whether near or far!  Sending love to all of you as you make it through another day . . .

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