Before getting sick, my life was busy. Too busy.
Back in August 2016, the universe gave me a backhand.
My health imploded which lead to me being bedbound for close to 5 months. I was trapped in a prison within my own body and without a diagnosis, had no idea if this was what life would be like forever, or worse, whether I’d continue to go downhill.
After searching for answers for months, I was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disease — although the doctors couldn’t tell which one. My life changed forever and my recovery has been slow and is ongoing.
Before getting sick, my life was busy. Too busy. Like so many women, I was juggling full-time work in a ‘big’ job, young kids and just life in general. I barely slept and managed stress with coffee, alcohol and chocolate. I had no time or energy for anything other than what was ‘Absolutely Necessary,’ and that most definitely didn’t include me!
A good friend of mine has told me that the universe gives you a tap, then a slap and if you don’t listen to either of those, a backhand. I’ve still got the handprint…. So, now that you’re here, consider this your tap from the universe with the bonus of some practical advice on avoiding the slap that could be heading your way:
A powerful moment in my recovery was when I was challenged to do something that soothed me single every day. Kind of ironic, right? — as ‘soothed’ was the last thing I associated with my body.
Making opportunities to slow down and feel good for a few minutes is easy and it makes you retrain your brain to appreciate small pleasures in your day. It’s giving yourself permission to feel good without any guilt. Personally, I like to drink tea, read by the window in the sun, listen to music and diffusing essential oils in my house. Experiment to find the things you enjoy. It really is the small things that make up a good life.
Take down the pressure
Seriously, ease up on yourself and the people around you. The world won’t fall apart if the dishwasher is stacked wrong or the washing isn’t put away. None of that matters. Moments and making memories with the people you love, that’s what matters. So, drop your standards around the house, stop worrying about your so-called flabby tummy, let go of grievances. That stuff does nothing but sucks the joy out of your life.
Everything isn’t always better when it’s perfect, not when getting to perfect has destroyed your soul along the way.
Demonstrate your love for yourself
You matter so much and are more amazing than you realise. Talk to yourself the way you would a lover. Nourish your body with as much care as you would a newborn. Exercise in whatever way you enjoy, get out into the fresh air and make time for self-care. Invest in yourself because if you’re not worth it, no one is.
Reach out and communicate
Life can be isolating at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out if you’re lonely, make yourself vulnerable and have real conversations with the people in your life. Everyone has their own full lives that they’re leading and their own ‘stuff’. If you’re feeling forgotten, don’t take it as rejection. They might need you just as much as you need them.
If you work, you need income protection
If you work, protect yourself and your family financially by having income protection insurance. Getting sick is expensive. If the worst thing that happens to you is that you pay for insurance cover you don’t need…happy days! Most superannuation funds have an option for it and take the premiums out of your super so it doesn’t even have to impact your bank balance. Do some research and if you’re not sure what to do, find an Insurance Broker to give you professional advice.
If you liked this story, read more like it on A Girl In Progress:
Here’s What It’s Really Like When: You Don’t Want To Have Kids
Here’s What It’s Really Like To…Live With A Concussion
Here’s What It’s Really Like To: Live With An Invisible Illness