Living A “Simply Special” Life

Living with chronic and disabling disease requires a complete change of lifestyle, a complete change of thinking.

Gone are the days of waking up in the morning and jumping out of bed to have a quick breakfast, get showered and dressed, head to work or some fun planned day full of anticipated activities.

Losses are real and at times incredibly hard to come to terms with. There is no denying that.

However, chronic illness and disability doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Those old halcyon days can be replaced with a different kind of lifestyle. A more simpler, easier and less planned approach.

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A New Kind Of Special…Simply Special

A life with severe chronic disease can still be full of happy, special days and activities. They just need to be “Simply Special”

Over the past four years my life, on a physical level, has become more and more disabled. Even so my joy, my purpose and my love of life has actually increased as each year has passed.

A new life has gradually evolved and I honestly am at the point where I can’t imagine living any other way than how I do now.

I value everything. Every moment, every conversation and interaction is special.

Instead of fighting to hold onto my old life, I’m using my limited energy, my talents and anything I can muster, to carve a new manageable lifestyle. It’s unique to my needs but it’s perfectly formed.

My failing body can dictate a lot in terms of limiting physical activities but it doesn’t have to dictate my happiness.

I’m living, I’m alive and I count that as an enormous blessing. It’s a blessing I don’t want to squander in self-pity or in a state of permanent grief or denial.

Looking For The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Don’t get me wrong…..chronic illness is hard work and it will seek to take as much as it possibly can as it relentlessly attacks. We can easily find ourselves in a black hole that has no light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a light though. As a Christian I have my faith and that helps enormously but it doesn’t exempt me from feeling despair. I have those moments. I’ve lived through horrible mental battles that have made me question how I can possibly face day after day with my disease.

The thought that has always got me through is;

“I’m still alive…there must be a reason for that”.

The day my femur broke I was told it was a miracle that my femoral artery wasn’t severed. Apparently the way it broke it was so close to the artery, I was so close to death. I had no idea….thankgoodness!

I can’t take this life for granted. It’s a gift, even if it is in a crippled state.

A simple life it may be but it’s a “Simply Special” life and I love it.

A Few Of My “Simply Special” Things

I enjoy pottering around my home and cleaning in a super paced way. It takes me all week to get through the weekly tasks but I feel a huge sense of achievement. Yes it hurts but the pain isn’t going to kill me. Not trying to move my crippled body might, so for as long as I possibly can I’m going to keep up my simple pottering.

I enjoy watching TV in an entirely different way. I really listen to the words spoken, I follow the plot and I analyse the script writing and the scenery. I love documentaries about nature. I never used to watch them in my past life. I love travel shows that are not about advertising holidays but about travel through countries with amazing culture and history through the eyes of adventurers. I soak it up.

I’ve always loved learning. Something will spark my attention and I now have time to research topics of interest and really learn about them in depth.

It’s no secret that I love writing. I’ve always written in a journal but now I can indulge in blogging and writing articles whenever I feel inspired. As a result of my blog and online support forum I have connected with people from all around the world.

I enjoy listening to music every day. I can play music while I’m getting dressed and can take as much time as I like (just as well as it’s a slow process). I have learned to savour this time everyday.

These are a few of my favourite things. There are more and they are all “Simply Special”

Where Did That Week Go?

My life is full and my days speed by in a blink of an eye. I’m never bored and mostly I feel like I need an extra day in the week.

So gone are my days of physically running around but those days are well and truly replaced with “Simply Special” things that I can manage lying on my bed or sitting in my lounge room. They can be done at 2pm in the afternoon or 8pm at night. It doesn’t matter. They are not agenda or time driven.

If you have found yourself severely disabled by your chronic illness and are still trying to live a semblance of your “healthy days” life……. STOP!!

Stop what you are doing and think about how you can find joy in “Simply Special” things.

They might be activities that are very different to mine but they will be unique to you. They need to be special to you.

I hope you can find joy and purpose in a “Simply Special” life. It might take time but it can happen despite chronic disease.

Don’t lose hope💗

Take care

Sam xx

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”

Proverbs 13v7 (The MSG)

 

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

This post was shared at the Salt and Light Linkup Group

 

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of  the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network and the  Grace Girls Facebook Group

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WEGO Health Award 2018 Nominee

 

 

10 thoughts on “Living A “Simply Special” Life

  1. Sam, I am going to print and save this wonderful blog post on my bulletin board and send it to a few special people who will also cherish it. I wish I could meet you in person to give you a gentle hug and let you know how much your words and spirit have helped me cope with having a chronic illness. Thank you so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marla, I am so glad you found this helpful. You are one of my greatest encourgers. Thank you for all your beautiful comments. They mean so much xx

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  2. Sam, this post was absolutely amazing and incredible! Honestly, I read this at a time when I was pretty down about how I have been feeling. You have brought some light to my dark moment and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I found every word you wrote to be so encouraging and I do believe we all need this from time to time. Living with a chronic illness they can’t seem to find a cure for can be frustrating and it is even more frustrating to think about what I was able to do last at this time, compared to what I am able to do now. You are 100% right in saying, we are alive and that is something we should appreciate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alyssa, I am just so glad that this post helped you at just the right moment. It’s feedback like this that makes writing so worth it. Thank you so much for being such an encouragement xx

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    1. It definitely takes time to adjust. One day and one step at a time and you’ll look back soon and be surprised at how you have managed to create a new way of living that works for you. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sam, Your an amazing woman finding contentment in your “new normal.” We all can learn from the way you live your life. Thank you for sharing. Although I am not ill, I do care for someone that is. I fight the days at home. I am going to try and savor the moments and make a few of your suggestions. Maree

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maree, thank you so much for your beautiful encouragement.
      I also want to thank you for being a carer. It is such a selfless and demanding role and you are an absolute gift to the one you care for. My husband is my carer and I would be so lost without him. Remember to look after yourself in the midst of it all. Take care, Sam xx

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  5. I love that you can look at your life and focus on the positive. It’s not an easy thing to do! When I’m in a bad way, I really struggle to keep life simple. We are so programmed to always strive to be the best and push through. But it’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. I am lucky to have photography as a hobby, it’s my excuse to get out and admire the really simple stuff, like a sunset that takes your breath away. Well done to you, and I shall remember this post when I’m in the midst of my next relapse xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kat. I’m so glad you have photography to help you focus on the simple beauties in life. My husband is a keen photographer so I get to enjoy life through his lens too. It’s a real treat xx

      Liked by 1 person

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