If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have health issues that affect my energy and computer use. I have to be cautious about how much time I spend writing and on the computer or it throws me into a severe flare-up. For a number of reasons, I now need to adjust the number of days I spend writing this blog that I love. For the past seven months, I have written posts five days a week.
As of next week, I’m going to shift to writing twice a week, instead. While I’m still passionately dedicated to this blog, I have felt the negative effects on my health of writing so intensely five days a week. It is not my preference to write less often, but respect for the boundaries of my illness, which I have learned to accept through practicing my DA program.
Thank you for traveling this path with me.
Serenity in Illness
So after two years of drilling down, getting nowhere, I came to believe that only a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity about my health, and, in fact, only that Higher Power could restore my health if it was “His” will for me.
I decided that I needed to find a way of life that supported my current health issues. As the Serenity prayer says:
I suffer from a number of chronic health issues that are still a mystery to much of the medical community, yet have left me disabled. I have cervical and migraine-associated vertigo, which means that I am dizzy 24/7, whether or not I am suffering with a headache or neck pain as well. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, which means I am exhausted by the slightest effort, so live a very tiny life, going out as little as possible. I have fibromyalgia, which makes my body stiff and sore. I have multiple chemical sensitivities, which means I am highly reactive to food and scents. There is more, but you get the point.
When I start feeling sorry for myself, whether about my finances or health, it is too easy to spiral downwards, which can lead to debting or other self-destructive behaviors.
Recently, I was talking to my best friend about our respective bucket lists. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a bucket list contains everything you want to do or accomplish before you die. (A fun movie about this is called, “The Bucket List.”)
For instance, my friend has accomplished some amazing things on hers, such as jumping out of an airplane and scuba diving. She flew to Dubai to meet a man who seemed like he’d be the love of her life (unfortunately, she wasn’t his – but don’t worry, she did finally meet the right one … at work … and they are happily married
My path is quite different than most, but not all, in DA. Being on Social Security Disability limits the amount of money I can earn while receiving benefits. Further, I am convinced that, in part, my illness was caused by self-will run riot because I was obsessed with chasing fame and success. I worked a full-time, high-pressure job and on the side, kept banging my head against the wall trying to achieve in ways that clearly weren’t meant for me. So I was blindly throwing away money and time in a reckless pursuit of a dream that I couldn’t make happen.
There is a difference between persistence and delusion. I was far gone past the former and deep into the latter.
I just discovered a simple formula:
Patience = Acceptance
I am on disability for a chronic illness. Unlike many in DA, my struggle is not about finding my right work or under-earning. It is about acceptance that I have enough and finding meaning in my life without money attached to it. For today, I have Social Security Disability (SSDI) and private disability. For today, I have enough money. While I wish I had more, the money I receive monthly covers my needs and some of my wants. And trying to earn money pushes me into a severe episode every time. It’s like I get thrown back against the wall whenever I attempt to do so. Continue reading
Bigger is not always better. That is certainly the truth about my life. With my recovery and then my chronic illness, my life grew small in ways measured by our fame-craving, success-seeking society. But for me, the smaller it has grown, the more opportunity I have had to develop spiritually and artistically. And that is a great gift.