Ophelia passed through Ireland on Monday, and we were expecting fierce winds and rain. Most of the country felt the wrath of the hurricane, but in Connemara, we seemed to remain in the eye of the storm. Having a chronic illness can make you feel like you have a storm in your head and your body. Something that you cannot control.
We were being warned on radio, tv and on the Internet about the coming hurricane. Fortunately, we did have notice that this was going to happen. As a result, we had candles, food, and timber ready for the possible aftermath of Ophelia. There was no way of knowing if the electricity would be out and if it did go out, for how long. It was best to be prepared. Maybe it was a bad idea but I boiled eggs and had crusty rolls ready. ? The electricity stayed on, and so we had to find interesting ways to eat all these eggs. Next time I will be a little more creative, I hope because we are still eating boiled eggs.?
Storm in my head
Knowing that I could probably have reduced mobility in the future, or more pain, I am starting to prepare myself, mentally, for the eventual impact of this storm on my life. When this happens I will need to have more than enough resources so that the storm of disability doesn’t smash my life to pieces.
To achieve this I am taking steps to strengthen my self mentally. Mindfulness training, by journalling and meditation, is a major part of this. It is now a fixed part of my day, and as a result, I have the capacity of overcoming the negative thoughts that will inevitably occur. Physically, I am continuing to walk every day. Even if it costs me in pain and frustration. I need to have a healthy body. My diet consists of mainly whole foods, with nothing artificial in my diet. I have even stopped eating salted peanuts. I am as healthy as I can be.
I am strong.
I will not be broken.
It doesn’t matter who you are, or your level of ability, these are things that anyone can do. Persistence is the key. Practice, again and again. If you fail or stop, start again. I say this because this is what I have done. I have become lazy, distracted or unfocused, and then I see that I am no longer prepared. When I notice that, I start again, bootstrapping myself. It is a constant process. This is why I succeed.
Future-proofing yourself is hard. You just don’t know what is around the corner. As I am generally a positive person I usually hope for something amazing. Being realistic about what life will bring has also taught me to be prepared. Maybe it is because I was in the Scouts as a young boy.
How do you deal with the storms in your life that are caused by chronic illness? Please comment below