Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Maintain Passion For Life...It's Important

Passion can come in SO MANY forms.  Passion for that significant someone, passion for baking cupcakes, passion for being a fashionista, passion for bodybuilding - the list is obviously endless.

Sadly, chronic illness can suck every ounce of passion from every aspect of life if one is not incredibly careful.

Chronic illness can involve: sore joints/muscles, headaches/migraines, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, weakness, extreme pain, and severe malaise [as most of us know so well].  People are rarely going to be passionately interested in any of these symptoms as subjects until they happen to them or someone that they know.  It is hard to be passionate about anything with a chronic illness, due to the fact that all you can think about is how shit-tastic you feel.

So far, I'm a novice in keeping passion at a high level in my life.  I swing in waves.  Here is what I have learned:
  • Make passion a goal.  Put it on bulletin boards, make yourself an inspiration binder, and try to remember to stay connected to life, even in the worse of times.
  • Spend the time you have while you are bed-ridden to think about the various things that are important to you - what is worth being passionate about!
  • If you have a long list, be ruthless and narrow it down.  You are not a superhero, and we all aim to be better than the capacity of our bodies.
  • Make better health research and healthcare one of your passions - if anyone knows what changes should be made - it is us, front-line trench soldiers of the system!
  • Have a diary (or a blog...).  Write.  Be honest.  Rant out your frustrations.  Confess your dreams.  Confront your fears.  Mental distress just makes the physical symptoms worse.  Don't bottle up your feelings.
  • Practicing mindfulness.  Being in the moment and listening to the pain is one of the only ways I have managed to stay remotely sane.
  • Make an effort to maintain relationships - both in-person and online.  Despite the fact that I often sing "I am a rock, I am an Isssssssssssssssssland" to myself, it is purely to cover loneliness.  It is hard to have significant others and friends when chronically ill.  Make it a prime center of effort and passion.
Now I need suggestions my friends!  What do you do to remain passionate about life??



Diana Lee said...

I love that you wrote this. Such an important topic! I'm going to have to come back with ideas because I'm feeling pretty punk right now, but OMG, this is important. This is one of the biggest problems I face as a chronically ill person. I want to feel alive!

Toni said...

This is fabulous Annie. I'm inspired so much by what you've written that, right now, I have nothing to add. I'm just soaking in your words!

Phoenix Peacock said...

oh I really needed this today!
I rip and tear images out of magazines to collage. Even if I'm not feeling well enough to focus on making a collage... I can at least rip and tear and then return to the images when I have a little more -oomph- behind my actions!
inspiration boards and vision boards.
getting outside. even if it is to just sit outside. but it always makes me feel a little more alive.

Migrainista said...

I really struggle with passion since becoming a migrainista. These are great suggestions! I'm going to give it a try - thanks!

Dominique said...

You know Annie. I think this is the best post you have written since I have started visiting. I loved it. I love every suggestion you had on your list.

I would just add to try to always see the cup half full instead of half empty.

Great job!

Annie said...

I REALLY appreciate all the support with this post everyone!

It is an issue I'm very passionate about!

Anonymous said...

You ROCK, girl! SO glad I found you!