Thursday, 8 January 2015

Realistic Resolutions

I suppose we'd better get the subject done and dusted.  Have you managed to keep to any of your New Year Resolutions so far?  Did you think about them properly before you made them?  What is the point of them anyway?  It seems to me that, like dieting, the advice is always "if at first you don't succeed....."  but there's also a little matter of the feasibility of you keeping to or continuing to try whatever it is you have resolved to do.  By all means decide to read the entire works of Shakespeare in a year if you really want to, but does it matter if you only manage a couple of the comedies?  By all means resolve to walk 25 miles a week but if you only manage 10, does that matter?  Maybe you would feel better about yourself if you only resolved to read one play or walk 5 miles and then managed more?
And be ready to fail and start again.  I was going to try and go for a walk at least 5 times a week and try to increase the distance and/or time as I went along and then my back gave way so I have been barely able to totter round the house for the last few days.  Am I downhearted. NOOOOO!  Pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Always look on the bright side

Through the magic of Twitter I agreed to fill in a questionnaire about my experience of Fibromyalgia .  If you don't already know what that is, or would like confirmation, then click the link.
Reading the questions did, to begin with, make me feel a bit of a fraud, as has reading posts by other sufferers.  I know it is an impossible task to compare how one person feels to another but I did find myself wondering if I was making a bit of a fuss because I don't seem to be anything like as bad as other people.  Admittedly I have come to a point in my life where I no longer have any great dreams for the future and, for the most part, am pretty content with my lot and I can sympathise with those who feel that this condition is stopping them from living their lives the way they want to.
I gave up working when I was in my early 50s.  I had been in very stressful jobs and I was beginning to think that I couldn't go on. My husband is disabled and he was beginning to deteriorate and my mother, who at that time lived 45 minutes drive away, was also beginning to lose mobility.  We decided that we could manage if I gave up work, never having been ones for big holidays or the latest trends anyway and the feeling of relief when the day came was just amazing.
Gradually it wore off!
Now, I don't intend going into great detail about the various health difficulties that I had for the past 35 years or more (yes, I did say 35) leading to my diagnosis.  I will say, however, that when I looked up the symptoms afterwards, it explained SO many things.  That, in itself was a blessing.  I had a reason for all these "phantom" problems, i.e. symptoms that led to tests that were always negative and the fear that my GPs would mark me down as a hypochondriac.  I was able to rid myself of the feeling that I was just lazy when I needed to sleep in the afternoon.  I had some reassurance that I was not heading for a heart attack.  And, I was prescribed a mild anti-depressant which suddenly changed my whole outlook.  I even found I was no longer so afraid of wasps and the panic attacks stopped.  So, it led to an adjustment of what had always been a chemical imbalance which affected my moods.  I am so thankful to have found a GP who did not just look at me and say "Menopause. Next please"
As my husband has become less able I have not felt that I have been done out of things because I was happy not to have to go off on long trips or help redecorate the house and he has understood my situation probably a lot better than if he had been able bodied.  It means he is able to help me too which does a lot for his self esteem.
I have become more patient, more accepting, and it has strengthened my faith.  As a Methodist preacher, it has given me some interesting things to include in sermons which, through God's grace, have touched others.  It has made me more willing to let God use me in situations where before I would not have had the courage.
I am NOT saying I wouldn't rather be without it but I sure have learned that there's good to be found in everything, if you let yourself be open to it.