Taking Breaks

Whoever told you that taking breaks is not okay is WRONG!

When you think about working a job, typically you get two fifteen minute breaks and a lunch break. Why is this? Taking breaks gives your mind a chance to refresh. It is said to increase productivity and creativity. A lot of times, just stepping away from something for a spell gives your brain a break and when you return, you are sharper and able to work more effectively and efficiently.

Anytime you do anything for a long period of time without a break you will more than likely become stressed and truly exhausted! It doesn’t matter what you are doing.

If we think of this in relationship to our bodies and lives, we will then realize that taking a break is essential to great health.

Spoonies, need more rest than most and in turn need more breaks!!! Our bodies are at work 24/7 fighting illnesses and when we do other things, we are working our bodies even harder. We are mentally and physically working all day every day! We need to take breaks.

We need to find a peaceful space to rest our minds and bodies daily.

It is imperative that we take a physical break from working, expending a lot of energy, etc., but it is as equally important to take mentally breaks. We need to take breaks from TV, Social Media, Reading, Outings, People and the list goes on.

I always say, “Too much of anything, isn’t good for you!” In other words, don’t listen to those who say it isn’t okay to take breaks! Not only is it okay, it is imperative to a healthy you!!!!

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Curve Balls ⚾️

Life has a tendency to throw us curve balls, but what do you do when you know at some point they are coming?

In life things are going to happen. These things have the potential to knock us down, kill our joy and diminish our fight, but we must figure out what our position will be and be ready for these curve balls.

You see, we may be up for bat when these curve balls come and we have to hit the ball out of the park. That sounds good right?!!!! Reality is, it is not always our turn to be at bat when these curve balls come. We may not be capable of even holding the bat up. A lot of times we are so tired we can’t even hold ourselves up, more or less a whole bat. We may not have the strength to stand with our knees bent in position. Wearing a heavy helmet may even knock us over because we are so weak.

So what can we do when these curve balls come????

We can open our hands and catch them. Baseball aside, we don’t have to be in a standing position to catch something. We can be sitting, laying, squatting, running, etc. and still catch a ball in our hand.

Am I serious??? Yes, I’m so serious!!!

You are going through your day and sickness is thrown at you hard. It is thrown so hard that the impact could take your life. You have to catch that sickness curve ball my brothers and sisters. Don’t let it hit you!!! Catch it!!! Don’t allow it to knock you out!!! Catch it!!! You realize it’s coming so make sure you are position to catch it!!! Prepare your body for the catch!!!

How???

You make sure you always have on your catchers mitt!!! You take your medicine. You get proper rest. You count your spoons. You put some in reserve. You schedule your day with breaks. You carry your medical information with you everywhere you go. You wear your medical bracelets. You take proper precautions when it comes to sun and the list goes on!!! Doing these things is setting yourself up to be able to catch the curve ball. You have on your mitt!!!

We can’t always be the batter and hit a home run. Sometimes the curve balls come in contact with our bodies, but we have positioned ourselves accordingly to catch them.

Catching them means that you feel the impact. Your mitt may be worn so your hand may burn from the contact. Your hand may even turn a little red, but you are able to keep going because you caught the ball instead of it knocking you out!!

Catch the curve balls and keep going!!!!

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Things Are Never What They Appear To Be…

It is said all the time that I don’t look like what I am going through! As a matter of fact, I just said it yesterday! The truth is I will NEVER look like what I am going through and it is not about what clothes I wear, makeup I put on or anything aesthetic.

The reality of living with an invisible disease is, although our bodies are in full on war mode in the inside, you may not be able to tell we are fighting on the outside. It’s deeper than that though!

You don’t know where I’m going with this? Well, let me make it clear.

Some days when illness takes over and our bodies are fighting its hardest we do look run down, beat down, exhausted, weak, dark under our eyes, etc. It is true that we are not able to hide all of our scars, but no matter how many scars are visible or how we physically appear, the world will never see what we are truly going through!

You see, we don’t look like we are fighting mentally to get up and get dressed. We don’t look like we are so mentally exhausted that we have lost all track of time or reality at some points. We don’t look like at any moment we can have an emotional breakdown. You may not see how down and depressed we are because we awake daily with an ailment. You may not see the spiritual struggle we are having because we keep asking God to take away our illness and yet we are still sick. You may not see that we are only smiling to hide the pain. You may not see that we are so anxious about committing to anything because in the blink of an eye we may not be able to participate. You may not see that we are anxious to the point of nausea, worrying about our next doctors appointment. I could go on and on.

What most people don’t realize is that we are not only fighting physically daily, but we are fighting emotionally, mentally and spiritually all at the same time!

We look amazing!!!! On our worst days where you can see we are physically ill, we still do not look like what we are going through!!!

This battle is not for the faint at heart. This battle is for true Warriors and it is imperative to understand that just because we look “well,” doesn’t mean we are well!!! What it does mean is our strength is prevailing and what you see is a Warrior on the front line of the battle.

Don’t get confused by our outward appearance and automatically assume we are well or better because our illnesses affect us mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well as physically!!!

Don’t ever stop praying for us and sending positive thoughts because some of our hardest days are when we appear to be well on the outside!

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Reminder to Self

Self, do you know how strong you are? No, well let me remind you…

You awake daily not knowing what your day will look like, but you don’t allow the fear of the unknown deter you from tackling your day.

You attempt to get out the bed and you can’t move your limbs, but you don’t get discouraged.

You spend an hour exercising your limbs to be able to get moving, but you push through the discomfort not allowing a minor setback to derail your day.

You make it to the shower and you’re running late, but you don’t allow time to determine your attitude and you stay focused.

You have to take a break after the shower, but you utilize the time to be thankful for the ability to even make it to this point.

You get your breakfast together and it has taken longer than usual because you have to keep breaking, but you never get frustrated.

You accomplish all of that and are extremely tired, but you choose to count your remaining spoons and prepare for the rest of the day.

You are in pain all over, but you choose to stay positive despite how you physically feel.

You have so much to complain about, but you choose to use your social media platforms to encourage others instead.

You aren’t able to do much more, but you are grateful and ecstatic about all you were able to accomplish thus far.

I can go on and on, but the fact of the matter is, in spite of every curveball life throws at you, you still choose to be positive, staying your course, never taking things for granted, respecting your limitations while never giving up and you thank God all the way through!!!

If that isn’t strength, I don’t know what is!!!

You are Fierce, Resilient, Powerful and Enduring!!!!

You are the epitome of STRENGTH and never allow anyone to tell you otherwise!!!!

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Unpredictable Life

Living with a chronic illness is like trying to predict the weather. We have no control over how we will feel moment to moment. There is a lot of speculation regarding the validity of the fast change in our health. I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say, “Well you were fine just a minute ago.”

The reality of living with these illnesses is that in the blink of an eye your day can change. You can be feeling awesome (for you) and the next moment, you can’t get up. You have no control over you, but you do have control of your spoons.

Yes, Spoons! I have spoken of them before, but allow me to refresh your memory! Persons living with chronic illnesses have become accustomed to explaining how we are feeling, what we are capable of doing, and how much energy we have using spoons. We compare our illnesses to having spoons. Just as we don’t know what the illness will throw at us each day, we don’t know how many spoons we will have each day. Some days we awake with 12 spoons, while other days we awake with 5.

It is our job daily to assess the number of spoons we have and choose how we will use them. Expending energy depletes spoons. Whether it is something as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed, we still loose spoons for those activities.

It is imperative for our loved ones and friends to understand the use of spoons in explaining our lives because when the shift happens and we go from feeling well to feeling poorly, the way we use our spoons has to change.

What do I mean? If I start my day with 12 spoons knowing that I have to go to a dinner party tonight, I will expend my spoons carefully, allowing enough spoons to attend the party. When our health changes in a blink of an eye, we have to reevaluate how we will use our remaining spoons because flaring itself takes away quite a few, if not all the spoons we have. That dinner party may not be in our reach anymore. Our plans have to quickly change to adjust to our current condition.

We may have had every intention on going, but the illness changed the plans. We aren’t picking and choosing what we WANT to do. We have to count our spoons to see what we are capable of doing. We are not using our illness to get out of things nor are we sick only when it’s convenient for us. Yes, I have heard that line as well. Let me be clear; there is NEVER a convenient time to be sick. We don’t ever want to be sick. Do you?

I am here to tell you, I understand that your illness is unpredictable. I understand that you have to change your plans according to how you are feeling. I know you aren’t faking to get out of going and doing things. I know it hurts to hear people say things of that nature to you. I understand you can’t control the forecast of your life.

I do encourage you to maintain your spoons. Be smart with your usage. Allow yourself a few spoons hidden in your reserve in case your forecast changes. Don’t allow other’s perspective to deter you from using your spoons wisely. You may not be able to control other’s opinions and I know it’s frustrating that they don’t understand, but stay focused on your spoons and live your best life with the spoons you have!

Others may not understand, but I do and I am here rooting for you and supporting you all the way through this journey!!! We fight and win together!!!!

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Complaining Misconception

There is a misconception that those living with a chronic illness express how they feel negatively for attention and just to complain. Although there are some people who enjoy complaining, most of us rather put on a smile and hold everything in.

We spend more time faking that we are okay or well instead of sharing our true feelings to avoid judgement. We are aware no one wants to hear complaining all the time. We are aware that as a result of our illnesses, we aren’t able to complete or participate in many things, thus making life harder for you because you want to do those things in that moment. No matter how many times you say out of your mouth that we are not a burden, the look on your face when we say we aren’t up to something tells it all and then some. We rather smile and go with the flow despite how we feel to avoid feeling like we have failed you!

We don’t strive for attention or even want it at all! We don’t want everyone to know how sick we are because they start to treat us differently because they know. They either baby us or have something to say about everything we do. Yes, we are thankful that people care, but we rather not have a spotlight on what we are enduring.

If we do complain about something to you, it is for a reason. It can simply be because out of everyone in the world, we trust you with our vulnerability and truth. It could be that we are scared that something is going to happen and we won’t be able to express what’s going on in that second so we tell you earlier what our symptoms consist of. It could be that if we don’t express how we are feeling to you then you automatically think we are well when in all reality we are never well.

When you make comments about our illnesses or the fact that we are always sick, we shut down and start to resent you because it makes us feel less than and a true hindrance to you.

We are not complaining to hear ourselves complain. We aren’t smiling to be fake. We simply want to be understood without assumptions and misconceptions.

Our desire is to live a normal life. Our desire is to not awake in pain. Our desire is to have absolutely nothing to even complain about.

Try your hardest to understand the illnesses of your loved ones and most importantly don’t treat them like a nuisance, a burden or a hypochondriac. Take the time to learn their patterns, triggers and expressions and make sure you aren’t adding to their illness by stressing them out. Listen intently to what they are telling you because they are telling you for a reason. One day they may not be here to tell you anything, so take advantage of the opportunity to hear them out, understand them and help them win this battle. With your support alone they can rise above their current circumstances.

Check yourself and ensure you are only leaving a positive impact on their lives!!!

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Loving Me

Im loving the skin I’m in, flaws and all!!!

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Despite my many scars from surgeries, rashes from Lupus, ulcers, bruises, pain, hair loss, brittle and broken teeth, weight gain, etc. ; I am proud of who I am!!!

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My scars and flaws tell a story of strength and endurance no matter the situation! They tell a story of someone who has never given up no matter how hard it has gotten. They tell a story of someone who always finds her rainbow thus allowing her to stand boldly in the face of adversity! It’s a Warrior’s story!!!

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I love me!!! I’m proud of me!!! I support me!!! I encourage myself!!! I pray for myself!!! I praise myself and I will win this battle!!!!!

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Love the skin you’re in and be proud of your story!!! You are a Hero!!!!!

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