The year started off well. I felt positive, ready to tackle my health challenges, ready to finish my novel, ready to start eating right and losing weight. I put several reminders into my phone: to pray, to stay focused on my eating/exercise, to offer encouragement. They've helped tremendously.
But life with a chronic illness is a constant stop and start rollercoaster. During the good days, I exercise, have little pain or fatigue, am in a terrific mood, and feel accomplished. During the bad days, I lay in bed, fight depression, keep myself occupied so I don't focus on pain/discomfort, and literally try to make it through the hours until I can go to sleep.
It's all so disappointing and frustrating.
But when you add marriage and job problems on top of all that, well, it just makes everything worse.
Marriage is hard. But adding chronic illness to the mix makes it harder. Your spouse is forced to make adjustments in his own life and can often feel helpless (as does my husband) because they cannot fix you. Plans are often canceled, romantic interludes postponed, and the spouse becomes not only a partner in life, but a partner in battling illness. So far, my husband has been doing splendid in supporting me. But that doesn't mean he is free from his own battles. And when you put all that together, well....Let's just say you're suddenly faced with what looks like an insurmountable challenge. Before you know it, the tiny space between you becomes a large distance. Minor nuisances become major fights. Communication flies out the window. And when the dust settles, you begin to wonder if it was all worth it.
We're having our own struggles right now. It adds to the stress of living with this stupid disease (rheumatoid arthritis) and I'll be honest: I feel completely worn out and unable to tackle much of anything right now. I have to fall back on my mantra: One day at a time.
I'm trying to stay positive, trying not to despair. But it's hard.
So right now I'm going to list what I'm thankful for.
I'm thankful for a community (online) of those battling chronic illness. It helps me to understand that I'm not alone.
I'm thankful for this cozy house I live in.
I'm thankful for my friends and family who are understanding and supportive.
I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter.
I'm thankful for the gift of writing.
I'm thankful for my fur babies - three cats and one dog.
I'm thankful for chocolate.
But most of all, I'm thankful for my Lord who carries me, loves me, and will never leave me.