I’m lying on my bed, trying to take deep breaths to cope with the excruciating pain in my glands. It’s like the”mumps” virus. I look like a bullfrog. It’s not a virus, it’s just blocked glands due to Sjogren’s disease. It will pass but it will take a few days, or so has been my experience with this disease over the past 12 years.
I should be beside myself, miserable, moody, mortified my body has yet again thrown something at me, when I’m dealing with more than enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been less than happy with the pain. I have been concerned I might have a bone infection in my jaw, given my bone disease. It’s always a possibility so I need to monitor all of my symptoms carefully.
Despite my circumstances I still have an overarching feeling of being “Chronically Content”.
So, how on earth can I feel content, even happy, in the midst of all this?
What’s my secret?
The simple answer is I love my life. I love life in general. My health is just one part of it, and my chronic diseases have actually brought chronic contentment in multiple areas of my life.
In what ways, I hear you ask? Well, let me share some of them with you:
- I spend quality time chatting and laughing with my husband everyday,
- I spend time writing, nearly everyday. It’s something I love to do and gives me a voice, as I’m no longer able to lead and coach people, as I did throughout my career.
- I spend the majority of my day reaching out to others through my online forum. Connection with people is so important for my overall well being, and Medical Musings with Friends forum gives as much to me as I give to its beautiful members,
- I get excited about any achievement in my life no matter how small. Making the bed each day and making it look pretty brings me joy….even if I mess it up an hour later as I have to collapse onto it in sheer exhaustion. I still did it and that counts for a lot in my book.
- I don’t dwell on what I can’t do, I dwell on what I can do
- I have a strong faith in God. I see His hand on my life in so many remarkable ways…the main one being that I’m “Chronically Content” despite my crazy health. My faith brings me a sense of peace in my darkest hour that really does pass all understanding!
Whatever your chronic disease or circumstances, don’t let your happiness be defined by what has been taken away from you. Think upon the things that make you smile. Grab hold of those happy thoughts and ponder upon them until ideas form that you can realistically put into action.
You may love travel but health prevents it. Get travel DVDs, or look at travel books or brochures, and dream you’re there. It saves the effort of packing and unpacking, so there’s an immediate bonus from my perspective.
You may love to eat out but find cafes difficult to access. Take a drive in the car and, if you can’t walk, or are having a bad flare day, a car picnic with your loved one or friend can be a great solution. Park where you have a beautiful view. I’ve done this with my husband many times and it’s been a perfect date.
Above all try not to worry about things that may never happen. Life is too short to go there, and when chronically ill, finding ways to be chronically content is a much better way to use your energy.
May you all find “Chronic Contentment”, in perhaps the most surprising ways. Take some time to look for contented moments and build from there.
“Don’t let happiness depend on something you may lose”
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and 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 and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.