This week marks my 7th year into The Journey. I have been with the OHC for nearly 3 years now, and the world looks so different. I think year 7 is symbolic and wonderful for so many reasons, but I won't get into that, I'll just get into the real details of my life.
I have had thousands of revelations and philosophical epiphanies over the last three years. I have come to know myself at my core. I have shed my social anxiety and shyness. I have a cozy enveloping aura of compassion that allows me to open my heart to people around me instead of always worrying they'll need too much from me. I know that when I am stressed I have tools to help me get back to center. I know that "CENTER" is the most important place to be. My body is a finely tuned instrument for telling which foods make me feel good and which don't. I have a very strong understanding of what is going to be good for me emotionally/physically/spiritually, and therefor have an easy time trusting my internal compass.
And most importantly, I feel So. Much. Better.
You always hear on the recovery calls that the road is longer than you think it will be, and that is true. ME is not like the flu, where you know you'll feel crappy the first 3 days, like death for 2 days, and then recovery for 5 more days until one day you wake up and everything is clear. It's not like that here, but it is a beautiful and colorful journey if you allow it to be. As Aimee Mullens talks about in "The Opportunity of Adversity" (http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_the_opportunity_of_adversity... ) , you will experience wondrous opportunities, not IN SPITE of your illness, but (hard-to-admit) BECAUSE of it. Let this be your journey. Own it. Become the hero of your story, the leading lady of your own life. You will get better, and you will enjoy everything else that comes along in the mean time.
There is a lot of controversy about whether ME is actually curable or just remissive. I'm not about to delve into what I think about this, but I know with certainty that I will never stop trying to improve my life, my health, and my happiness. When you let go (and let go does not mean "giving up"!) of what you think your life should be, you are so empowered to become the strength that you are in your life as it is, and if you give yourself the chance to open up to that, then you may see your adventure in this life as greater and more multifaceted and beautiful than you ever could have imagined it.
|Click to enlarge the Hero's Journey|
-I now am working in a retail store part time, on my feet, 20 hours a week.
-I'm still tired when I get home (most of it very physical and mental tiredness, but not SICK tiredness), but I am getting stronger. I've had no relapses or illnesses since I started in April. The hardest part of the day is just getting my shower and getting ready for work. At work time flies and I'm happy to be social and contributing again, even though my Ego took a little wrestling with at first (you have a Masters degree and you're working for minimum wage!?! Who do you think you are! -shush ego!-)
- My diet is so much better. No more addiction to sugar, caffeine, or bread. This has cleared my head and made my body more flexible and clean feeling (no more poisonous muscles feeling!) I love fruits and veggies and try to eat as many as I possibly can!
-I still have goals for my yoga practice, although I've put that on hold a little while I get stronger with my job. A 20 minute session is quite easy now, and always makes me feel better.
- I very rarely have pain anymore like Fibromyalgia.
- Brain fog has cleared 80%. Memory has improved greatly. My boyfriend started teaching me some games that helped me practice basic skills like math and strategy again, and because they were so fun I felt the good brain chemicals releasing too, dopamine and seratonin, making me forget about any symptoms while I play. (Playtime was on hold until I met my boyfriend! I was way too focused for that!)
- I am functioning on a 50-70% scale according to : http://drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/CFS_Ability_Scale_-_a_rough_measure_of_h... . I honestly think if I had more resources I could leap to 80-90% very quickly, but I've always been on an extremely tight budget and have had stress with money since I finished school. I could probably work almost 40 hours a week if I had the right kind of job, but perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself!
- I do not read news about ME/CFS except what comes through OHC (and even then I am very picky). I don't need to know about my vitamin d levels or mitochondria functioning. I've been to 20 doctors and put myself in massive medical debt trying to fix these tiny little sub-problems that have nothing to do with the root cause of the illness. I don't know if anyone will discover what it is, but I have a handle enough on what I need to create a Healing State for my body. (Thanks OHC!)
- I can travel, go out with friends, talk on the phone for hours, and stay up all day most days. I still have to bounce the boundaries and keep track of my energy, but once a week I can pick something outside of the norm schedule and manage just fine. If I am tired I usually can just nap and feel much better.
-I sleep. You don't know what sleep is until you actually sleep. I sleep now 75% of the time.
- I really love and enjoy my life. I go through mourning periods for what I thought my life in Los Angeles would have been like, but I am also crying tears of joy for how serendipitous and magical my life has been to bring me here to England to live with my most favorite person in the world, and to have the friends I have who support my journey with all their hearts.
Trust in yourself that you will always keep trying to get better, no matter what. Believe that you can do it. Find joy in knowing that you can love your life. Feel empowered to know that you can OWN this journey.
Love to you all
Jenny Sparkle Rainbow Pony
PS If you need a little more Joy in your Journey I recommend the Awakening Joy course, they will accept any payment you are willing or able to make. It has truly inspired me and lifted my heart.