One of the things that bothered me the most when I was really feeling poorly was not having the energy to care what I looked like. Maybe it’s vain of me, but I like to feel like I look nice. I started putting outfits together, including shoes and jewelry, in my good moments. Then, when I was getting ready and not feeling well, I could grab those outfits and still feel pretty. I called these my go to outfits. They included colors that I liked, that always cheered me up. They were items that I’d received compliments or that I knew looked good on me. After a while, I noticed that the items that I’d purchased on the cheap at thrift stores and the items I’d sewn or upcycled gave me twice the joy and pride to wear them. The positive energy you get when you are complimented on something you made cannot be beat. Sometimes, just having that extra armor against others perceptions of me, made me feel better. I’m supposed to be all, “What others think of me is none of my business”, and I realize that this kind of goes against that. It did give me practice in not getting all offended or feeling like I had to explain when people would say, “You must be feeling better.”
Now that I’m losing weight (exercise and eating right help immensely), I get huge boosts of self esteem every time I try on something that used to fit and it is too big. What used to be a source of frustration and melancholy has become motivation. I have one shirt I thrifted 2 years ago. I kept it in my closet because it was a reminder that if I wanted to wear that pretty shirt, I had to get better. I wear that pretty shirt all the time now. CHEESY SMILE!!!! I believe that anyone can do this. You have to believe you can do this. You have to stop letting the pain and fatigue win. I used to sit on the couch for so long in the morning that the fatigue came just because I wasn’t getting up as soon as my coffee kicked in. I was just at home, why did I need to get up? GET UP!!! As soon as your meds kick in and you have a little relief from the pain or you feel your brain kick in, get up. Get up, get moving and tell yourself that you’re not going to stop. If I do sit down during the day, I make sure I’m upright, sitting up straight. Posture is everything. When you lay down, even in your recliner, you are telling your body that it is time to go to sleep or to nap.
The other night, my hubby and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary. It was a Tuesday, so after work, he and I dropped off the kids with the Grandparents and went to dinner and a movie. Dinner was from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and our movie didn’t start until 10 pm. After the movie and picking up the kids and “celebrating” at home, we didn’t get to bed until 2 am. The next day, I felt like crap. I let myself sleep in one hour (8 am) and then I was up and moving. Music, coffee, green tea all kept me going. I kept in mind why I felt this way though and rested more than I normally would. This recovery of mine is all about baby steps and being conscious of what I need to do to keep going. I also have to be forgiving of myself. Even when I do sleep well, I sometimes feel fatigued. I’m okay with that though. I don’t let the fatigue win. I acknowledge that I’m fatigued or in pain and I move on. Stretch out those muscles that are aching. This doesn’t have to be a super stretch. Sometimes just warming those muscles up a little and gently moving and stretching them are all they need. Sitting on the couch or laying in bed will only stiffen them up more. The more little things you do, the less you will hurt. The little things pave the way for the big things.
Stay positive and be kind to yourself.