Friday, May 13, 2011

The simple things are really the finer things

Well, I'm still feeling really gross but I'm also finding lots of enjoyment during these really long days. Sounds contradictory doesn't it ?

Guess what? It's not. Here's why:

I've found that getting sick as given me lots of opportunities to learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Like, bare-bones simple sometimes. I've always been someone who enjoyed those simple things, but only in small quantities. I would get bored, antsy then I'd feel powerless. In hindsight, I know exactly why that would happen. It was because I had to face some really hard things and eventually work through them. When I really started to regress over the last couple of years, I had to stop everything I loved. I was someone who was always on the move, and the faster I was going, the better. I didn't have time to be still and quiet, nor did I have any interest in it. To me it was like torture. As my symptoms got crazier, I eventually had no choice but to learn to be still and quiet.

That time was also the peak of the depression fun that we all find ourselves in when we realize that this is it. Life will always be this way. If we were lucky, there might be a few things that we could do again with lots of adaptation and most importantly caution. Our lives would be filled with countless evaluations throughout the day, for us to determine the impact of our every move and the consequences that would follow.

With a lot of work and perseverance, I finally learned how to be still and quiet. I distinctly remember the first time I actually chilled out. I was camping with the guys, after what had been a really bad past couple of months. It was a beautiful, quiet afternoon in the middle of no-where and I went to lay on a rock just beside the lake. I made a conscious effort to focus on breathing and relaxing. After about ten minutes I realized that I was chilling out!!! Then I yelled to the guys that were doing their own thing, "Hey guys, I just chilled out!!". I can't say I was relaxed after that, because holy crap...I chilled out. From then on, I knew it was possible and I wanted more.

Now a few years later, and with a lot of practice I can be still and quiet almost anytime. For me, habitually taking my mind off of life and EDS for little chunks of time each day has allowed me to retain the little sanity I have left. Maybe I wouldn't say retain, because as life gets crazier I'm more at relaxed and at peace than ever before. So we'll say I'm taking back my sanity and perfecting it. It's also the one thing that helps with pain control when nothing else does. On those days when everything hurts so much that I find myself on the floor, I turn off my brain and focus on breathing. Nothing else. It allows me to get from one moment to the next and to be completely relaxed so I can ride the whole thing out. I could be yelling at the top of my lungs about pain, but for me it's counter-productive. Yelling makes for more muscle tightness, it's loud and makes me,and anyone else around panic. No thanks...

Anyway, this whole being quiet thing has given me so many opportunities to experience the world in a different way. After perfecting this skill over the last year of being sick in bed, I am finally putting it into real practice. I can now experience things simply, and there's nothing like it.

I've been reading my books for school in a hammock in the sun. I'm surrounded by flowers that smell wonderful, and lots of greenery. I've been laying on the grass, looking up at the sky thinking about nothing, sweet nothing. On windy days I'll go for walks and spread my arms out so I can feel the wind on my whole body. Sometimes after work I'll walk down to the beach and hang out there for a while. I'll play in the sand, wade in the water and soak up the sun. Tonight it started raining and no, I didn't go inside. Instead, I took off my sandals and AFOs' and got to re-experience the feeling of wet leaves and grass under my feet. Then I went back to the hammock and just lay in the rain. When I'm outside doing anything, that's when I truly feel grounded and connected. Most of the time the thoughts of EDS and what it's doing to me, melt away and I get some much needed respite.

Since feeling a lot better (not right now, but on the whole), I've been able to participate in life again. I've been able to make plans and keep them for the most part. It doesn't mean that I'm doing anything crazy, but I'm really enjoying the time with my friends doing nothing in particular. Just hanging out, and enjoying each others company. Now that it's been getting warmer, we've been spending more time outside and it's been awesome. Everyone always asks what I've been up to or busy with.Other than paperwork and EDS fun stuff, I just been enjoying life. Most importantly the simple things,that are really the finer things in life, and that's what makes me happy.

This week two of our bendy's friends have gone to meet their maker. Zak and Kim won't ever get to enjoy the simple things anymore. They left this earth to soon, and none of us know when it will be our time (whatever you believe in).If you're not already doing it, make it a habit to find the simple and fine things in life, and enjoy them. It might take a lot of practice, but it's totally worth it. If I can weather the storms that life unleashes, so can anyone. You may also develop a bit of an "I don't care" attitude, and that's awesome. Because at the end of the day, does it really matter if we broke a glass, or ran out of peanut-butter or forgot to take out the garbage? Probably not... Tomorrow is a new day, and it's never a day to be wasted.

I found a backpack that is perfect for the Joey-pump, and so much better than the one that is made for the pump. It's also about $60 cheaper, and looks far more cool. I'm a bit of a MEC whore, they always have what I'm looking for and it lasts forever.

And..............I found some sandals to cover my AFO's. From May until mid-September the man shoes are gone. It only took 3 attempts to find these and I love the fact that they're orange.

Some of our bendy posse got together. It was a beautiful sunny day, where we spent it mostly outside. First we stopped for lunch where we started with some drinks. Jerome had vodka shot, and an audience. I guess people aren't used to seeing a girl do shots through a feeding tube. They wanted me to do it again, because they thought the whole thing was hilarious, so I happily complied. Insta-drunk again, don't mind if I do.

Then we stopped for some desserts in the sun.

Later we went on our way for more food. We stuffed ourselves silly and had a fantastic time.

This is where I'm spending a lot of my time. I don't know how I ever lived without a hammock. Jerome was being fed with gravity, I just clipped the fluids bag on the top of the hammock and kicked it old school. Nothing better than fluids, brain-food and being outside. Yes, PenAgain makes hi-lighters.

This is what I see when I look up, no boring ceiling to stare at.

Nothing better than unwinding at the beach after work.

Happiest feet on the face of the planet.

Last year's birthday was spent in bed with a subluxed neck and the beginning of life with dysautonomia. It was also supposed to be my last day at the job I loved thanks to EDS. I missed both, but luckily this year I got a re-do! A b-day celebration with some of my work friends at an Ethiopian restaurant. I'm a lucky girl.

"Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain"
(Dave Matthews)

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! I'm glad it was good. You have a great outlook. I know it's hard sometimes.