Dreaming

I had a dream this morning that was so beautiful I was choked up and kind of sobbing in my sleep, then I woke up. I’ve had that happen a lot. I wish I could remember all of my dreams they’re so interesting. I’ve been scribbling notes right when I wake up so the memory of the dreams doesn’t vaporize, and I write the whole dreams down in a few minutes when I’m more awake.

Some days like today, I pretend I’m living in a dream so I’ll feel better about how my day’s going, it takes the pressure off and I can relax and do whatever I want. If it’s a dream anything can happen, so it’s possible that what I hope for will happen, so it cheers me up too. My health wasn’t cooperating, so I rolled with it and had a horizontal Netflix kinda day.

I tried doing some simple things, like cutting cantaloupe, peeling lemons and limes to make smoothies, household chores, and quickly realized I’d have to take it easy, sigh. I surrendered and hoped that when the weather cleared up I would feel better. Then I sidestepped my frustration by being thankful that I’m not having to work, that I don’t have young children to care for, that I have TV, internet service, audiobooks and can rest.

I’ve learned over the years that resisting and pushing against something I don’t like and can’t change doesn’t help. Like I can’t change that I have MdDS. I accept that some days my symptoms will be worse and I can’t do anything about it. It’s like, my flat feet, I can’t change them either. Might as well embrace them and learn to get along with them. I used to be self-conscious and hide my flat feet, but now it’s not an issue for me anymore. They’re perfectly functional, they just look a little hobbitish, I like hobbits, heh.

It’s the same with emotions, better to allow yourself to feel than resist and fight them. Processing emotions in a healthy way brings clarity and relief. When you have chronic health issues you’re always in the process of grieving, because it is a fluctuating loss. Some days you feel really good and it gets your hopes up. Then there are the bad days where you wonder if it’s all downhill from here, lol. You learn how to ride these ups and downs by letting it all pass through you quickly. Over time with all the practice you get good at creating a smoother experience. I know that my health is always fluctuating so no state will be permanent. If I feel yucky today it doesn’t mean I’ll feel the same tomorrow. I might wake up feeling great.

In a way that’s how life is. There will be some crappy times mixed in with the happy times, so we handle life best when we don’t cling so tightly to how we think things should be, we make the best of it all as we go along and take advantage of all of the opportunities for learning and growth. With our contrasting experiences from sorrow to joy, we learn to savor and be thankful for the good times and deepen our ability to have empathy and compassion from the bad times. Adversity and diversity help us define our values. We find meaning and develop purpose through our experiences. We are able to help others when we share what we’ve learned.

I’ll share some ways that have helped me deal with a chronic illness that has no definitive cure and few treatments.

I educated myself and joined online support groups. I read blogs, researched treatments, watched videos, tried to learn all that I could.

I tried many of the things recommended, plus tried supplements and dietary changes, exercises, etc. I kept an open mind.

I journaled, meditated and did visualizations because addressing emotional and spiritual health can improve physical health.

I continued working on personal development, a no brainer.

I gave myself permission to clear out extra time and space just for me to be, to rest, to process everything.

I made sure to find things to be grateful for every day and to do things that were just for me, extra TLC.

I decided that I would keep trying and would make the best of every day. I told myself it was okay to let go of the things that I may never be able to do anymore. I could enjoy other things and pursue other interests because there is so much abundance in the world. I would think about Stephen Hawking and be inspired and reassured.

I began choosing my health over other fears, like financial worries. I made decisions based on how it would impact my health and that meant working less and living more simply downsizing.

I focused on the beauty and joy in the everyday sensual experience of life, in the act of being alive we are graced with so much. Nature became the most soothing balm.

I began choosing myself, what was healthy and right for me, more and more. I became a priority in my life as time went on. My health demanded it of me.

I’ve become more resilient, patient, and have developed strength and perseverance due to my health struggles. I’m still hoping I will get back to normal someday, it’s possible, I have hope. I will keep dreaming.

Michelle Miyagi
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