“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To A Healthy New Year

I've discovered I don't do the official New Year's resolutions anymore. I don't like lists of things I "should" do. Instead, I find that I ruminate a few days, get a feel for the new year, and decide what is important to me. I've decided that my focus will be on two things.

The first area of focus -- surprise, surprise -- is my health. I think back to the beginning of last year and realize how much I took for granted. I thought I could build up a bit of energy, then blow it all on some "big" event, and then rest up and rebound right back where I was before. It worked, too, for awhile. I was lulled into a false sense of security. Then, near the end of summer, I discovered that I wasn't rebounding anymore. I was in a sustained crash, and no amount of resting was making it better. This level of functioning became my new normal.

With frightening reality, I realized that if I continued this pattern, I could easily push myself into severe CFS. I had been playing Russian roulette with my health. I had been taking one step forward, two steps back, and the next step could land me in bed for good. I have to change.

My new approach is one step back, two steps forward. First, I didn't exercise at all during the months I was crashed. I thought it would help me recover. What I discovered is that I ended up in a lot more pain than I usually am. I recognize that exercising has a price, but I also know that for me it is indispensable. So, I've added light yoga and strength exercises to my daily routine. Yes, it takes up extra energy, but I need to make room for it.

Second, I stopped cooking during my crash. Which meant I ate a bunch of crap for months -- frozen, canned, processed food. I'm sure it added to my overall poor sense of well-being. I'm back on track with preparing menus, buying healthy foods, and cooking when I'm up to it or enlisting my kids' help when I'm not.

Third, I have drastically reduced my activities. I stopped going to church completely, although it broke my heart. No more book club. No more girls night out. No more school events. I rely more heavily on carpooling. I limit shopping to one day a week.

Fourth, I've started a new protocol. I'm trying d-ribose and oxygen therapy. The d-ribose seems to have a positive but not miraculous effect. The jury is still out with the oxygen therapy. If it is doing what it is supposed to do, then I am ridding my body of detrimental viruses and bacteria, which would naturally trigger a healing crisis. In that case, I would expect to see positive results sometime around February. I'll post more information about this, if anyone is interested.

My second area of focus is going to be my writing. I have dabbled with a novel since last year, but this is the year I am going to take it seriously. My goals are to finish my first draft of my novel and to become a published author. To that end, I have created a writing blog to chronicle my journey and to get some critical feedback. You are welcome to visit my new blog at . And, when I introduce my main character in a few days, I'd love for you to tell me what you think!

I started this blog because I was tired of feeling so alone with this disease. I couldn't have imagined the friends I would discover through it. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. It surprises me that I care so much for people I've never met. I know you are all facing the same struggles I face. You are in my prayers as I wish all of you a happy, healthier new year!


Unknown said...

What great goals -- best of luck!!!! Prayers are with you

Renee said...

Wow! Your novel sounds so great...courageous! It has been my dream to expand my writing but fear has kept me from has been one of mmy "intentions" for 2010 also. One baby step at a time. I look forward to reading your new blog! How great! I also feel the same way about the people I have come to know here in our corner of the blogging world...they are all precious to me and have increased my quality of life.
I used to push and crash and push and crash and eventually I stopped being able to recoup and the crashes turned into long relapses and then months on the sofa or in bed. My CFIDS became severe and showering was a really big deal, or getting my own lunch. I think that your are very wise to do what you are doing to take care of yourself and listen to your body. I try to heed the warning my one friend says, "Feeling better is dangerous."
As usual, I come away from reading your posts with insights I can learn from...always a teachable moment.
Gentle hugs

Lori P said...

I love your goals! You've clearly put a lot of thought into this and it sounds good, ESPECIALLY the writing.

I just wish that we lived closer to one another. I would love to help you with things, meals in particular.

Take care! Now I'm off to follow your new blog. Can't wait to here more.

Toni said...

I think it's great that you've looked at the year ahead and set out concrete goals. Sometimes it's so hard for me to keep motivated but I'm going to take some time now to think about the upcoming year and what I might be able to do to improve my functionality just a little bit. Maybe I'll start with your idea of one step back, two steps forward. I really like that. Now I'm going to look at you new blog!

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

I love your insight. And I envy your determination in writing. You go girl!

Shelli said...

Lori -- you made me cry! I wish you lived closer, too, because I would ask for that delicious satay you blogged about.

Sue Jackson said...

A very thought-provoking blog, Shelli. I, too, have been overdoing lately and not recovering. I've been wondering what would happen if I took off a week (or a month?!) and just focused on resting. Then I laugh and think how impossible that would be!

I like your idea of just a few goals. I usually set goals in all areas of my life, then get frustrated when I can't do everything I want to. Maybe I'll try a more limited approach this year, like you're doing.

Great to hear about your writing goals! I have lots of writing goals, too. I'll definitely check out your new blog...