This morning I woke up to two of my symptoms being worse than normal. I could feel the congestion of my allergies and I had a really sore and swollen gut from something I shouldn’t have eaten yesterday, and I felt miserable. Every day since my vaccine, I keep hoping I’ll wake up feeling a little better that I have been and that I can find a bit more functioning again and move towards what I could do before. That hope has been getting stronger as I’ve had more and more days of seeing a little improvement recently. So, when a bad day hits, the disappointment can be sharp.
One of things I’ve noticed about myself though is that when this happens, I can go into a kind of resignation mode, where I feel flat and fed up. It’s a stuck, grumpy kind of feeling. When you experience that kind of disappointment over and over again, it can almost become automatic to push it to one side. It keeps the sharp edge away, but it keeps things dull and stagnant.
Fortunately, I’ve learned that when feelings are hanging around, it’s probably because I’m not dealing with them properly. This morning I noticed that I was in that flat place again. I reminded myself to really look at how I was feeling, to acknowledge how much it sucks to have to deal with extra health challenges when you’re already, not only dealing with a chronic illness, but having to crawl back from a vaccine related crash. I faced the grief of having lost the level of functioning I had before the vaccine again, and I offered myself acceptance and compassion for feeling so fed up of it all.
Taking this time to check in with my feeling, to offer myself kindness as I allowed myself to feel them, helped them to move. Afterwards, it was much easier to face my day with renewed optimism. I reminded myself that I have supplements that really help my allergies and that my gut symptoms will pass. I was able to move from a flat sense of resignation, to a lighter sense of acceptance, that OK, today isn’t one of the best of the last few days, but all is not lost, I can still move forward. I can take things day by day, moment by moment and work with ‘what is’. I started my morning routine with a renewed lightness and optimism.
Now, a few of hours later, my supplements have done their magic on my allergies, my belly isn’t quite as sore as it was, and my energy is almost as good as it was yesterday. Good enough to write this anyway! I feel hopeful and at peace again.
My message to you is that when you wake up to a symptom flare, let yourself feel how much it sucks. Stare those feelings in the face and offer yourself kindness for feeling that way. Even if those feelings happen often, you still deserve to feel them, your pain isn’t any less significant just because it’s familiar. Don’t push your feelings to one side just because you’ve been there, done that! Once you fully acknowledge them with acceptance and compassion, it will be fine to distract yourself and go about your day, they will shift and move in their own time. I’ve found that I can’t stop these kinds of feelings from coming up when I keep facing the same challenge over and over again, but when I face them with kindness, they flow and change faster and faster every time. And once they’ve passed, I’m open to all the little joys in life again.
I hope this helps you find more joy in your life too!