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Those that do not disregard the pain associated with how it feels to have brain fog due to exhaustion. And the pain that comes with exhaustion-induced short-term memory loss. This sure feels like suffering and discomfort to me. So why is sleep and pain often thought of as two separate concepts? These examples barely touch the surface of what exhaustion is and does to a person.

In looking up the definition of exhaustion I found this: A state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.

30-Day Positivity Challenge: Explode Your Optimism

This sure sounds painful to me. In fact, I find it a bit insulting. Tired and exhaustion are put together rather than exhaustion and pain. Exhaustion, unlike simply being tired, comes from not sleeping well for extended periods of time, years even. It also comes from living with various types of pain for long periods of time. Exhausted of being exhausted; exhausted from being sick.

It's all painful! So why are pain and exhaustion still talked about as separate and distinct states? I see exhaustion moreso as a subset of pain, a type of pain. By putting them into separate categories I almost feel like it does those of us that primarily fight deep exhaustion on a daily level an injustice. They subconsciously align it with simply being tired. For those of you familiar with my writing, you know I write about finding realistic optimism within life with a chronic illness.

So where is the realistic optimism here? Well, I think we clearly have talked about the reality of exhaustion. What about the optimism part though? First, knowledge and awareness is quite powerful. The more that we can share information like this with people, the easier things get for us. If you ask me if I have pain, in my mind I include exhaustion as part of that pain. In the past I considered exhaustion separate from pain so when people asked me if I was in pain, I would scale back my level of pain.

What is wrong with me — did I lose my motivation? Have I become lazy? Now that I include my exhaustion level in my pain rating, it all makes more sense. My pain level aligns with my ability level. And honestly, that feels like a huge mental burden has been lifted off of me. By putting exhaustion on the playing field with pain, my symptom and ability level line up.

With knowledge comes power and with that comes change in attitude and perceptions. With changes in these areas, our lives can become easier. We will no longer have to prove what exhaustion does to a person to our employers, disability insurance providers, friends, and loved ones. People will simply know. Labels: autism lupus lyme braininjury stroke fibromyalgia invisibleillness pwme mecfs tumor , cancer lymphoma disability chronicillness , chronicpain multiplesclerosis pain exhaustion. Thursday, June 13, Drowning in Priorities.

Okay… reality. As my illness really set in, I quickly realized that I had too much on my plate. So, I removed the easy-to-eliminate extras in my life. However, I found I was still overloaded with outings that were causing crashes, daily activities that were too much to keep up with, and relationships that were a struggle to maintain.

So, I learned to say no more often this is still hard for me! However, I found I was still playing catch-up. So back to the drawing board to re-evaluate what was left on my plate. But this is where it got hard. Because I have already skimmed off so much, what was left was what I considered my top priorities. Things that either kept me afloat financially, created a back-up plan for me when things changed, were dedicated to creating awareness and support for my illness, and the relationships in my life.

So, what do I have left to cut? This disappoints me and I feel, at times, I am disappointing others. And I am chipping away at the reputation and strong work ethic I spent decades creating. And that is quite humbling. So, I guess my lesson is that we really need to cut ourselves some slack.

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The reality is that we are doing more than we think we are. Labels: autism lupus lyme braininjury stroke fibromyalgia invisibleillness pwme mecfs epilepsy tumor , cancer lymphoma disability chronicillness , chronicpain. Thursday, June 6, Finding A Way…. I am sick, sicker than the average person, but not as sick as many.

I still have so much I want to do with my career but my body says no! I still crave to work out, my forbidden fruit; will that craving ever subside? I want to say yes, to be that same go-to person I always was, but no is now my new mantra. How do we find acceptance with all the changes that come with life — and more so, life with a chronic illness? How do we adjust to them? Does the grieving ever go away? Does saying no get easier? Can we find new ways to thrive? Once I had concrete answers I could move on; I could not only find a way to succeed but I could thrive.

Realistic Optimism

But now the answers are scarce, elusive, and often unknown. If they are there, I have to work hard for them. Time is a beautiful thing though. Time has taught me that not knowing the answers is definitely okay. To be honest, I really never did know as much as I thought I did.

Or what one moment will be like to the next. So, I can worry, fret, and be stopped by that or I can just be okay with it and find a way. For example, some things time has taught me is that grieving for our losses does get a bit easier with time. In life we will always find ourselves in the middle of situations, challenges and opportunities. The key may simply be to see them as temporary pit-stops. And sometimes we may find that being in the middle teaches us something we wish we would have known in the first place.

Labels: autism lupus lyme braininjury stroke fibromyalgia invisibleillness pwme mecfs epilepsy tumor , cancer lymphoma disability chronicillness , chronicpain invisibleillness parkinson. Hands down, meditation has to be one of the most important habits I have formed since becoming diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis. As some of you may recall from my earlier article on meditation , I had a bit of a rough start with it. Meditation is used by people in various ways and for various reasons. Some use it often, others at specific times. I have found that there are three particular times that meditation has proven most helpful to me.

Though I also find that starting and ending my day with meditation sets the right tone and pace for the day and also ends it on a peaceful note. But back to my top three…. These times were often when I was running tight against a deadline or brain fog had caused me to lose track of time, making me run late. I quickly came to realize that these are the times that meditation could become my best friend. Even though I was often running short or behind! While stopping to meditate in these moments, I often save myself my panicked mis-steps and I am able to proceed with the task at hand and with my mind in a better place.

Despite that, a blood draw still makes me queasy and nervous, let alone a lumbar puncture.

Now, as soon as the procedure starts, I began by slowing my breathing down which has already quickened at the thought of what is about to happen. Even if I get it, it often has no restorative value. Yet I still crave it. However, at times I find my mind is racing too much to let me even get to a place that comes close to letting sleep in. I will either slip into some deep breathing exercises. Often this quickly does the trick. It refocuses my mind on restfulness and slows it down to a pace more conducive to sleep. The second method I try at night is conducting a meditative body scan. I slowly focus on one small part of my body, starting at the top of my head and move my way down.

Quite often I find that I never even make it to my waist or knees. It can be a wonderful resource to tap into when you find yourself winding up, pacing too quickly, or simply unable to relax. Like anything in life, it takes practice. For those of you that are more experienced with meditation, please help spread the magic around! Labels: autism lupus lyme braininjury stroke fibromyalgia invisibleillness pwme mecfs epilepsy tumor , meditation chronicpain chronicillness cancer lymphoma disability. Summer can be a time of year when our conditions flare up for a variety of reasons. The Sun! The sun can pose a variety of issues for those of us with light, temperature or sun sensitivities.

Many of us have light sensitivities. The bright sunlight can literally hurt on a sunny day! This strategy is also important on cloudy days too — after all, the sun is still beneath those clouds somewhere. Temperature sensitivities can go both ways in the summer.

If we find ourselves getting the chills, bringing an extra sweatshirt , blanket , or being prepared to step inside for a bit to limit exposure to the outside elements can be great options. Overheating can often happen and quite quickly as well. Overheating or even a heat stroke can come on quickly so being prepared on hot days often means having an escape route planned in advance — an indoor, cool option and again, staying hydrated can be essential.

Some of our medications can increase our sensitivity to sunlight. It can cause us to get sun rashes and also a sunburn much quicker than usual. In general, exposure to the sun can also cause us to get fatigued even more! Preventing tick encounters is ideal. Investigate what, if any, products can safely be used to protect against mosquito encounters. As far as non-personal application products, while citronella candles are often promoted as a mosquito repellent the validity of this is in dispute.

However, lavender and peppermint smells are often touted as great scents to repel mosquitoes; bringing out lavender or peppermint smelling candles are a great alternate option to citronella candles. If anything, at least the area you are in will smell great! If you find you are in a mosquito heavy area though, it may be best to relocate to avoid any ill-effects from bites.

Those pesky bugs tend to find the one little exposed area of skin we may have in a given moment! Quick detection can mean a lot! With the bright, sunny days, and warmer weather it can be compelling to want to go out and make the most of beautiful day. Often with summer, comes graduation parties, weddings, reunions, and family picnics. A lot of invites, some of which we may need to say no to or no to some parts of them. And no again!

30 day positivity challenge: Explode your optimism

And again. The weather is going to be beautiful, the view from our front window is likely to brighten up with color, and there will be more opportunities to pick and choose from to participate in. Laugh with friends, enjoy the blossoming flowers, and partake in whatever activities our health permits. While these tips just touch the surface, hopefully preparing for these potential triggers and situations can help minimize and prevent some flare-ups for us this summer.

And… allow us to enjoy the beauty of the season, perhaps get out a bit more, socialize with friends on more occasions, or even quietly read a book on a shaded patio. After being cooped up in the house for so long during the colder weather, a few hours on the patio sounds like a dream. Have a wonderful summer everyone! Have more strategies? Please share them in the comments below! Labels: autism lupus lyme braininjury stroke fibromyalgia invisibleillness pwme mecfs epilepsy tumor , cancer lymphoma , chronicillness chronicpain invisibleillness disability.

It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?

JoyBell C. Optimists live overwhelmingly from a viewpoint of optimism and positivity. They are unabashedly positive and upbeat. Optimists have learnt from their own life that negativity and pessimism seldom get anything meaningful accomplished. Instead, negativity just puts you down when you need the most support. Optimistic people have the same negative thoughts as others but them make it a habit to not actively pursue them or feed them. Know That Optimism feels a lot better than Pessimism. This may just be the most compelling reasons for pursuing optimism. Optimists know that feeling great is a very integral part of success and living a fulfilling life of flourishing and happiness.

Optimists have a higher set point of feeling positive emotions without panicking and one of the ways they achieve this is through optimism. No amount of stuff and success will fulfill a person if they do not learn how to enjoy what they already have. Unfortunately, society extols more material possession as a sign and an indicator of a fulfilled life. This hedonistic treadmill has left many people sacrificing themselves, their relationships and the joy of the current moment for something that is out there. Optimists intuitively understand the irony of the hedonistic model and instead choose to appreciate what they have instead of what they do not and will receive in the future.

This makes them more content and happy and ironically in a position to receive more things with less effort. Prepare Themselves For Any Outcome. Highly Optimistic people are often the ones who are most prepared for any eventuality. This is because they have confronted different scenarios in their minds and have already taken action to prepare themselves for the worst-case scenario.

They can take more concrete action because they refuse to be excessively burdened and weighed down by opinions and negative thoughts. Optimists generate their own microclimate around them. They know for a fact that if they wait for sunshine from others, they may seldom find it. They have allowed themselves to be carried away in the past with unfavorable results and choose to create their own weather.

On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. Highly optimistic people have the common habit of believing in themselves. As everyone else, they are not free of doubts and fears but do not allow them to define their life. At a very deep visceral level, optimistic people know that trusting their own judgments and bolstering their self-belief is a more fulfilling way to live their lives. They develop rituals, practices and habits that increase their self-belief instead of diminishing it. How many highly optimistic people have you seen who incessantly complain and take little or no action to correct their path?

It is amazing to observe that highly optimistic people do not waste their valuable time and energy in habitual complaining and inaction. Instead, they find ways to make the best of every situation and adversity that they confront. The truth is that incessant complaining is a time waster and accomplishes nothing and leaves you feeling a lot worse that you were before. It is very difficult to take meaningful action and engage a problem when all our attention lies directed in finding fault. Optimistic people have learnt that they are powerless to change the ever-changing landscape of circumstances.

They also realize that they have dominion over their attitudes. They truly understand that our attitudes are a great indicator of our altitude. They do not allow circumstances to shape their life by reacting to them. Instead they take the same circumstances that are available to everyone and shape them and reframe them by their attitude. An attitude of optimism, positivity and creative positive expectation as the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale would put it is a very powerful and effective force to move ahead in uncertain circumstances. Optimistic people make it their job to connect with people and attempt to bring out the best in them.

They understand that criticism and blame that cannot be digested and is delivered in a harsh manner is usually counter productive. Criticism and blame shuts down others and makes you feel really bad. Usually a gentler and more palatable approach works much better. Optimistic people see the same faults and cracks in others and in situations but have a higher tolerance for imperfection like the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi.

In Wabi Sabi, an object such as a piece of pottery is placed on a pedestal and any cracks in it are highlighted by shining a light in it. Embracing imperfection allows optimists to focus on constructive suggestions instead of getting submerged in a sea of blame and criticism. Highly optimistic people understand that taking care of themselves is a big first step in enhancing their happiness and levels of optimism. They make sure that their emotional, mental and physical accounts are kept well topped off and invested in and not running on empty.

Often, people who are resentful and negative do not know how to take radical self-care and have depleted their mental and emotional accounts. Highly optimistic people can say no without disrespecting the other person and without undermining the situation. Being highly optimistic does not mean saying yes to everything, In contrary, deep optimism allows you to focus on what is important while saying no in an amicable manner. They inadvertently plunge themselves into crisis after crisis because they avoid saying no at all costs.

They lead by action and by example and it difficult not to feel their passion for what they love when you are around them. Optimistic people have realized that the best way to move forward is to find and pursue things that excite them and make them feel great. Highly optimistic people develop a favorable self-image of themselves that they present to the world.

They have a keen sense and understanding of the value that that provide and do not shortchange themselves. Optimistic people are less inclined to sell themselves short and not ask for the amount of value they provide because they refuse to have a negative conversation with themselves that diminishes their value. They can charge more, ask for more and ever receive more because they do not devalue themselves even before they put it out in the world.

Pessimistic thinking does not allow for much room for increase of value because it shuts down the possibility even before it can ever become a reality. The battle is fought and lost in the mind and the thoughts and never makes it out in the world. Optimistic people make it their business to understand what makes them tick and what sustains them.

They are also wary of energy vampires and other energy and opportunity diminishing situations and steer clear of them. They understand that a powerful and genuine sense of optimism cuts through even the greatest resistance and sends energy diminishing people packing and leaving as quickly as they approach. They wholeheartedly embrace what uplifts them and make it their job to connect with those aspects of their life. One of the biggest differences between highly optimistic and pessimistic people is how they react and respond to the setbacks in life.

If you have ever wondered why some people are highly successful while others only yearn the success they see in others, then look no further. Setbacks are inevitable but optimists refuse to get crushed by them and find the strength and engagement to keep at the problem long enough to solve it and see it to completion. Pessimists also try to do their best but they are ill equipped to deal with the emotional and mental ups and downs of setbacks and often simply quit.

Simple statistics pits the odds of success heavily in favor of people who do not quit easily and persist. Optimists also do not take feedback personally and are able to make a change when it is required to stay the course. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Highly optimistic people enjoy and savor the little victories. They understand that the journey is more important than the destination. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations. Optimistic people are continually trying to improve themselves and transform into a better version of them.

Optimistic people have taken the lesson to heart that unfavorable comparisons are a setup for failure and feeling bad. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. Highly optimistic people focus on what they can do to engage the problem and make things better instead of focusing on the worst-case scenario.