Sitting down to blog feels like home. Why do I wait so long to make time for this little place I love?
The last few times I wrote, things were hard. Really hard.
We finally figured out that the clonidine was causing my depression. Having a medication alter my mental well-being so powerfully is confusing and disorienting. I can use all of the tools in my toolbox to claw myself out of depression to no avail. I was at the beach--my favorite place--and I could not enjoy it.
Now that I have weaned off of this medication my mood is back to my 'norm' and I feel like myself.
Not only do I feel like myself again, I find myself in a new and better headspace as I approach my 20th anniversary of getting sick.
I may be sick. I may have very limited functioning. I may be at about 40% right now.
But in the midst of all of this, I've found a new and joyful light.
My life is full. My life is good.
I have a beautiful life filled with things I love.
It is filled with people I love, the dogs I love, and a more clear focus on my passions than I have ever had before. I'm also supported by a tremendous medical team and I am cared for by a tireless caregiver. I live with all of the comforts I need at home, including good food. :)
I find myself feeling the abundance in my life.
I still struggle to accept and recognize that the 'medical grind' will simply be a part of my every day life. Always. I want to stop pushing back against it all of the time, wasting my precious energy on something I cannot control.
With me, it will always be something. When I think I can come up for a breath, something else pops up. That's not being negative. That's just the reality. It's time now to allow for the space and the acceptance that maintaining and managing life with chronic illness is time-consuming.
It takes away from the time I have to be with my friends, family and passions.
The precious energy I do have left after my medical needs are met and I *try* to keep up with mundane tasks of life is spent on the things that matter most to me.
This has meant saying "No" to a lot more things so that I can reserve the limited energy I do have for friends, family, fur-babies, Rowe's Research Runners, writing and activism. I also need time to rest with TV or listening to a book. I also need my spiritual fix--in nature or at synagogue.
I feel more focused and clear about where my limited energy must go. I still struggle to fit in what I need to nourish myself physically, emotionally and spiritually no matter how much I feel like I have cut things out and honed in my priorities.
Living (with or without chronic illness) is always a journey and a process.
Being able to find my way with a clear head, out from the cloud of the depression from the clonidine, leaves me feeling that as I ready to mark 20 years since my life changed so dramatically, I'm in a place of more peace than I have ever been.
There will always be grief and pain on this journey.
I'm not going to sugar coat that.
What I will do is see clearly how beautiful and full my life is in spite of its challenges.