The only thing I can say for getting through this is "keep on fighting." Rest between bouts; then, start moving forward again, one step at a time.
You may think that is easy for me to say. No! It is not! I know this, because I live it. I am living it right now. I am having to modify my behavior to fit my situation, and it is not easy. I start retreating into my little turtle shell, only wanting to be in situations where I feel comfortable, which is mostly at home; and, my step backwards throws me back into a loop that means I am having to regain ground on the habits I thought I had fixed.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had a relapse and ended up sitting around in your pajamas too much? Have you seen your house get a little messier (maybe a lot messier), and you have not cleaned your bathrooms and other areas as often as you normally do?
Have you ever had another member of your family become ill or had some other prolonged situation arise that sapped your strength and emotions? I bet I could name many things that may affect how you are able to handle your illness and responsibilities. However, the point I am making is not about what affects you, but what you do when you realize how far you have fallen from where you were.
I can write about the backward steps from experience, because I have lost count of how many times this has happened to me. Moreover, I am experiencing this now. I am having to climb my way up again, and it is worth it. My brain tries to get stuck in the old ruts and loop back into what used to be the chronic illness norm for me, which is quite depressing. Some of that dread I used to to feel in the morning upon awaking has tried to creep back into my life, and I am having to make behavior changes that include telling myself that the feelings will pass and it will be a good day. Praying and thinking of scripture before I even get out of the bed has helped too.
The point is not to give up, because there is still a race to run. It may be a very slow walk with one heavy foot in front of the other, but it is doable. It can be done, even when you do not immediately see large scale results. In fact, you may never see large scale results, but you can feel good whenever you take a baby step forward.
Here are my daily basic steps forward this week, and I am not limited to just these steps. In fact, I have already been able to achieve more. I am not listing obvious steps like self-grooming, eating, or taking medication and supplements; however, one certainly can do this when planning one's goals for the week.
- Get dressed in something other than pajamas.
- Do stress relieving exercises, such as slow counted breathing patterns.
- Focus on one household chore at a time, and do not think about how much more needs to be done.
- Enjoy reading my book without guilt.
- Take a short stroll outside, because it is better than sitting in the house all day.
- Do not talk negatively to yourself about all the things you have not done.
These are my goals. What are yours?