I’m 51 and I feel like 60.
I exercise. I eat fairly well. I take my Centrum Silver one-a-day vitamin. But anyone with chronic health problems will tell you, the everyday struggles can age you.
I wanted to write a whole post about this, but I lost steam. So instead, I’m rereading some of my own blog. Here are a few posts on taking care of yourself when you’re in pain, or just not feeling well for whatever reason.
Tiny Dreams A reminder to those of us struggling with chronic pain or illness of the need to adjust our expectations (dreams) to fit our current reality. Very short post, with some really nice comments.
People tell you to dream big
but maybe it’s the tiny dreams that matter.
Sometimes my dream
is just to make it through the day.
Coping with Chronic Illness…Compassionately My interview with author of How to Be Sick, Toni Bernhard (be sure and read the whole interview; Toni is awesome):
I always tell people that the single most important thing they can do is to be kind to themselves. I look at it this way. We control so little in our lives, but the one thing we can control is how we treat ourselves. I see no reason for us not to be as kind and gentle with ourselves as we can be. It’s not our fault that we have health problems. We’re in bodies and they get sick and injured. It will happen to everyone. This is how it’s happening to us. I’ve had so many people write to me and say the single most important thing they got out of my book was to give up the self-blame and forgive themselves for being sick or in pain. Many people have said they didn’t even realize they hadn’t forgiven themselves until they read How to Be Sick. Those emails always touch me so much — just to know I’ve been of help to them.
Leaving Judgment Behind A post about a story I told to my husband, who then told it to someone at work, and how it made a difference.
My influence may be less direct, but no less meaningful. And maybe it’s not about producing a quantity of work…maybe its about being as compassionate as I can be, to myself and others, and seeing where that leads me.
A Horse with No Name A quirky little post where I lament that there’s no colored ribbon or bracelet for people without a firm diagnosis.
I’m thinking about all the people who aren’t sure what’s wrong with them. They’ve been to specialists, had all the tests, and carried their MRIs down many a hallway. I wish there was a ribbon for people like us. I even went to a paint store to look at paint chips, in hopes of finding the perfect color name for our ribbon. The best one I found was “Mysterious Mauve.” It’s a subtle mix between gray and purple. Beautiful.
Today, know that I believe you. I know you’re not crazy. Doctors do the best they can, but they’re human, too. They make mistakes. They don’t have all the answers. They don’t always have a name for what we have, but that doesn’t make it not real. As Toni said in her interview, “The single most important thing we can do is to be kind to ourselves.”
And maybe 60 isn’t so bad; with age comes wisdom.