Tag Archives: friends

Being Positive Helps

Having a chronic illness is never a super fabulous thing to have. Whether it’s diabetes, arthritis, asthma, epilepsy, or any one of the many chronic illness that can hit a person, it will bring challenges to your life.  My own chronic illness is MS (multiple sclerosis).

I’m fortunate to be living well enough, with my chronic illness, and I am certainly grateful for that. I have found a medication (Gilenya), and a way to live my life that helps to keep my symptoms at a low level. I’m careful to eat well (plenty of fruit vegetables, not too much saturated fats or salt), and to exercise my body. I also think good thoughts, concentrating on the good things in life.

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I firmly believe in the good that can come from having a postive attitude to life, concentrating on the good things, not the negative bad things. There has been reputable investigation into this very issue, about the good that positivity can do to your body. This article talks on these matters.

I also have a broad circle of friends, see my family members regularly, and am strongly connected with my communiy. These things all add up to a fine, fun, and fabulous life, chronic illness, huh, step outa the way, I’m busy having a good time!

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What Disability Can Be Like

When a person has a disability, and receives payment from the government, to assist them in the living of their daily life, there are expectations from their family, friends, and the greater community. Some of these expectations are fair enough, others though are damaging and can cause further harm to someone who is already ‘doing it tough’.

If someone can walk five miles on one day, then other people may think they will be able to walk that distance, ignorantly assuming there was no harm to that person, or at least challenges to get over afterwards, for their feat of the day before. This misapprehension is the cause of unrealistic expectations that can lead to blame being laid, and stress caused to the person with the disability.

It is a scientifically proven thing, that stress can cause damage to a person. When you have an auto-immune disease, the last thing you would want is further damage to your body, which is already stressed.

http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/450-good-stress-bad-stress

Expectations lead to unrealistic results, and when these unrealistic results aren’t met, it leads to more stress coming from others, and from the person themself. Being kind to themselves is a much better way for people with disabilities to treat themselves, and also for the people who know them to treat them.

If you see a person who seems to be ‘slacking off’, do you know that is true? Could they in fact be resting so that they are able to do what they want or need to do? Please don’t judge without knowing the truth of it!

For instance, personally, I am quite active in my community and in the poetry world in my part of South Australia. But to be able to do the things I do, I am fortunate to have my husband, who does almost all of the usual things a woman might do every day, in terms of housework, dog walking and so on. He does the hard work so I am able to do the things that bring good to my life.

Gardening, for instance is something I like to do, as is public speaking. clover burrs

me making point at book launchI do what I can, without over doing it, because I have had far too many days after, when I was only able to get up, and go from one end of the house, if that. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and one of the worst after effects I have from MS can be the fatigue that can come from overwork. complete bone-weariness is terrible, and I want to do all I can to avoid that. It is much more that simply feeling a bit tired.

Never assume you know what life is like for a person with a disability. Unless you have that disability, you probably will never know.

When Good Outweighs Bad

When you can sit down and look at your life, and see that yes, there are indeed far more good things in your life, than there are bad, this is surely when you have a good life. I mean, yes, I have a chronic illness, that has the potential to take away my ability to walk, and be involved in the broader world, that is true. But it is also not a thing affecting me at the moment, and I can honestly say I have a good life, with many more good things than bad.

That chronic illness, multiple sclerosis (MS), is under control for me, thanks to the medication I am taking for it. This medication, Gilenya, doesn’t have such good results for all who use it, but it does for me, and I am grateful about that. And this idea of feeling gratitude, and looking at all of the things in your life your are grateful for, this has become a popular idea for people to rise above the bad and find the good in their lives.

When you look at your life, sometimes it might feel like a mess, with too many bad things to ever be able to uncover anything good. If this is the way you feel, still try. Go outside, see the sky, a tree, a flower, a bird. See Nature doing its work, and feel gratitude for all of the wonderful things that Nature does. Does Nature care? Maybe not, but the wonderful things will go on happening anyway.

When you start looking at the good things to be grateful for (and I recommend you do this often), then you will find it easier and easier to find the good things in your life, and the bad things will fall away to the background, or maybe even disappear completely. This is how the good can outweigh the bad. Good things can help you to continue on with things you have started, while focusing on the bad things may convince you to give up even trying to get them done.

Good things make it easier for you to smile, and if you smile, that makes it easier for other people to like you, and for you to like yourself. More people liking you means more people will be willing to help you if you need help with anything. More people who like you means more friends, and more friends means more fun!

“But more friends means more people demanding things from me,” you might think. But when you are your own best friend, you can value yourself properly, and learn how to say no if anyone asks too much from you, or you can’t go or do what they want, or even if you simply don’t want to do something. Best friends don’t force their friends to do things like that, so being your own best friend, well that’s a very good thing!

 

Living a Good Life

Is living a good life the answer to it all? And if it is, what is ‘a good life’ anyway? Two good questions and I can only hope I have the answers. I can’t answer for everyone, just for myself, and I can honestly say I feel I am certainly living a good life. I’ll talk about why, and others can decide for themselves whether my life is a good life.

First up is this thing that I have, that many might say vcould prevent the living of a good life. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Bang – surely that prevents the possibility of a good life? No actually. MS if it is hitting a person hard, can causing them to lose their mobility, so they are stuck in a wheelchair, that would make the good life much harder to attain.

But having a medication that works well for you, that makes it much easier to find that good life. Having finances and relationships under control are important too, as are eating a nutritionally good diet, and getting some exercise. Having things to look forward to in life, that’s another important thing, and feeling that you are important in the world, either because you have a job that satisfies you and that you do well, or because your family love you and feel you are important in their lives.

If you can have these things with no stress, that is an excellent thing in life. I feel that living a stress-free life is perhaps the most important thing there is in life. When things are going well, and you feel untroubled, your body can function well, especially if you are doing the exercise and eating well with it.

I do a mindfulness nedication from time to time, taking moments to be at one with Nature, breathing in the good, and breathing out the bad, mindfully being at peace with the sky, the trees, with myself. Breathing in slowly, and out slowly, just for a few minutes, when I think of it, it all adds up to a stress-free time, which further leads to more stress-free time, and so onto a stress-free life.

I feel I am important to my family, my close friends, and my wider circle of acquaintances, and of course I’m important to my sweetest friend, our dog Missy! IMAG0272She has a chronic illness of her own, Canine Dry Eye, which needs treatment morning and night. This is my most important role in her life, and I certainly feel important because I can do this for her, putting drops into her troubled eyes. Missy recently had medical treatment, and needs more soon, having a cared for pet brings these things, as they age. Missy will get the help she needs, for as long as we are able to provide it, and if it becomes too difficult, we honestly know we’ve done our best for her.

Pets can bring much joy into our lives, and certainly having dogs in my life for the past thirty years has been a wonderful thing. My illness has been with me for the past ten years, but the dogs have been with me for much longer, and so my good life is certainly helped by having the wonderful dogs I’ve shared my life with.

Other people have other ways to live a good life, I’d love to hear about it, leave a comment here!

The Price & the Value of Damage

The chronic illness I have, that somewhat limits my life, is Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This illness has an unknown cause, at this point in time, although there is much work going on to find a cause, a cure, and treatments to offer to those of us suffering the effects of it. I currently take a medication that is helping to limit the effects of the damage done to my body and mind, I hope, and hoping further for a possible cure at some stage.

In the meantime though, I am taking my meds, eating a nutritionally sound diet (most of the time), garden produceand doing the things that I love to do, and that bring me the most joy in life. Creative writing, involvement with community, watching my favourite sports, being with friends and family, doing these things helps me to be happy. That first item, creative writing has been a tool I’ve used throughout my last thirty or so years, writing about abuse, and about this pernicious illness.

I have books about both of these things, the first a poetry collection on sexual abuse, cover picand the second a memoir I wrote quite soon after MS came into my life. When I was diagnosed I looked for books that would help me to find ways to live a good life with MS, but couldn’t find what I as after. I then decided to write that book myself, and it certainly helped me, as I know it has helped others.

Now MS is an autoimmune disease, with symptoms being the result of the body attacking itself, particularly the myelin sheaths of the Central Nervous System. This attacking causes lesions, or scarring, which in turn slows the passage of nerve impulses throughout the body. At the moment, I am more or less, in remission from these symptoms, with only milder symptoms compared to how I’ve been when I have been in relapse.

When that had occured, I’ve suffered from readibly discernable muscle weakness, leading to trips and falls, dropping things, and also leading to fatigue that takes much more than a simple rest for a few minutes to get over. So yes, I feel damaged by this disease, as I also feelk damaged by various bad things that happened to me in my early, childhood and teen years. There has been talk about the way traumas such as abuse, certainly including sexual abuse, can have long lasting effects on the body. I read things like this and wonder, did that early abuse I suffered from as a child and then teenager lead to me getting MS?

I will probably never really know the answer to this question, but I wonder. in this wondering, I read things about it, I ponder things, I write things (on this blog and in other places too). On day, I would like to take my wonderings to a broader audience and talk to other people about these things … me making point at book launchTalking to people and sharing stories, these are age old ways community has always had to deal with problems, and I have certainly felt benefits from being involved in such things.

When you suffer, and think deeply about things happening to you, you can sometimes find profound answers to the things that trouble you, and sharing those answers with other people who are also suffer can help both yourself, and those others. I responded to a post on Facebook today with the following thought:

“Only those who can admit to their damage can truly heal, both themselves, and others …”

I sometimes surprise myself with my own wisdom, as in this case … I’d love to know some of your own bits of wisdom, please feel free to share them here, with a comment!