Coping Skills: Part One

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies! Thank you for coming and hanging out with me today. I am glad that you are here.

Today I want to revisit the topic of how I cope with my chronic illness. I made a previous post about this that focused on the philosophy that I use when thinking about my chronic illness that allows me to better manage the challenges I face. You can read that here:

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Update 110821

Hello my zebras and spoonies! Thanks for coming and visiting with me today.

So, last week was a long one. Sunday was Halloween, you know on the 31st and I had a fantastic holiday. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year and I was low on spoons and I decided to push it anyway and I did the whole thing. Got into costume and make up and passed out candy for several hours. Then we did a dinner and some scary movies after passing out candy. That came at a price; because that’s the thing about having a chronic illness. You don’t get to just do the thing. You usually do the thing and then you get to spend some undetermined amount of time paying the price for doing the thing. For me, it’s been most of a week, and I’m still kind of gimping on into recovery but at least I’m mostly functional at this point. By overextending myself, managed to send myself into a mast cell flare. On the upside it didn’t lead to any kind of anaphylactic reaction. Just kind of all around: “symptoms that suck.” So at least there’s that.

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Broken, scattered pieces

Laying strewn across the floor

Something missing and lost forever

I cannot no longer see my future

Or the person I was becoming

Now, I’m undone and something else

I am this diagnosis

This label that owns me

Stealing everything I imagined I’d become

And rewriting me without my consent

As my body cracks and crumbles

My hope turns to dust

Leaving me here to stare at my mortality in the mirror

Life Transitions

Hello my Zebras and Spoonies. Thank you for coming over and hanging out with me for a little while. I am really glad that you are here.

Something that we don’t tend to think of as a stressor in our lives is our life transitions. These are the times in our lives that we are having a role shift or a major change in the way that we are living. Some examples of these are marriage, the birth of a child, retiring, the death of a significant person in our life, a disabling accident, or having a chronic illness that develops to the point of disabling us, getting a new job, traveling to a new location, a new place of living, getting a new house or a new apartment, getting divorced, graduating from school (high school or college), empty nest syndrome, and many others. All of these are times in our lives where we change the roles that we’re playing. With that comes a shift in our identity and how we see ourselves.

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Shift the Focus

A year ago, a dear friend of mine lost his long battle with depression and died by suicide.

I always imagined that someone I loved committing suicide would make me angry. But of all the complex feelings that I have had, anger has never been amongst them. While I mourn and suffer because of his choice to end his life, I also understand why he chose to do so. His death is a testimony of our failure as a society. He spent most of his life dedicated to helping others with mental illness because he understood how deep those struggles effect you. Despite all his training and years of experience as a psychiatric nurse, he was not immune any more than anyone else.

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Grieving the Self

Hello fellow zebras and spoonies. It’s time for another talk about grief. Yup, I talk about this topic a lot. Why is that? Well, because grief is a fundamental part of the human condition and it is something that we aren’t very good at dealing with. I believe that by having better conversations about our suffering and grief, we can become better at coping and gain resilience.

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I am floating out here.
I cannot hold on this for ever.  
There is this place inside of me
that I cannot take you.
A place that I cannot take anyone.
If you came here,
you would never come back to me.
So, let me go.
Let me go.
I have to move onto the next place
that I have never been
and maybe when I get there
I will find that something
that I have always been looking for.
Right now I feel like I am adrift
and that there is nothing to hold onto.
Without work, I am nothing.
I have nothing to do with these hands.
There is no one that needs me,
but I need them.
So, what now?
There is nothing to hold onto,
but you hold onto me.
Let me go.
Who knows?
There might be that something
that I am looking for in that place over there;
in that place that I have never been.
Let me go so that I can keep looking.
Looking for that something that I have never been.
So, maybe; just maybe
I can become something more then I am.