Having A Grateful Outlook During Dark Days

Every month has shocked me! It seems as though the year is flying by and it’s been filled with bad news. 2020 has certainly been a year that seems like a nightmare that just won’t end. A Chronic Voice continues to bring us prompts to get us writing on our blogs. I am grateful that she does this, because some days are pretty dark.

As August begins, I have new hope for a better day. This first day has been pretty awful. I’ve had a small amount of improvement in my pain levels, but the nausea has been much worse. So, I’ll get started looking at the prompt words, and try to get my mind off of my body.

Having a Grateful Outlook During Dark Days

Unlocking

When we hear the word Lock, I think we’ll forever think of lockdown. 2020 has definitely made it’s mark on our psyche. I’ve been in lockdown since the first week of March. Our state is in stage 3 of re-opening, but I have only left the house for two doctor’s appointments. I’ve had three zoom appointments.

While many are out living their lives, with no restrictions, I am not. Because I’m barely able to deal with my poor health, I don’t think that I could survive Covid 19. So, I have made the choice to stay in lockdown. I don’t know when that will change. I miss being able to travel and see my family. But, as an introvert, I don’t mind staying away from other things.

Limiting

The lockdown has been limiting, but it is not as limiting as my diseases. Because my health is suffering from Sjogren’s, I know that this is what is limiting to me. My fatigue is limiting me because it is not regular tiredness. It is ugly fatigue. Waking up every morning to severe fatigue and enduring it everyday is the worse thing.

My pain is limiting. Having Sciatica makes it hard to walk or even sit up, sometimes. My back pain limits me, so that I can only cook for about 5 minutes. I certainly can’t cook much in 5 minutes. It really gets old! But, I can’t change it. Thankfully, my mind isn’t limited (too much).

I’m thankful that I am not limited in the amount of love I can receive. I’m also not limited in the amount of blogging I can do. I really enjoy writing and sharing with others online.

Studying

My days of studying hard has been over since I finished my master’s degree. I enjoy watching my youngest child studying hard in his doctoral program. I admire the diligence it takes to study hard.

During the pandemic, I find myself studying others. It’s interesting to see how people react and over-react to the pandemic. It’s amazing how people fall into different categories and how they let themselves be defined. I personally don’t think that a global pandemic is political.

My outlook has been to study the facts and do my best to protect myself and my family. And, of course, as a Christian, I want to love my neighbor as myself. This outlook makes it easy to be full of grace, share grace, and care about the needs of others.

grateful

Watching

I’m just watching the year go by. With chronic illness, I’ve definitely become more introspective and serious. When chronic illness stops all your plans for the future, it becomes inevitable that one starts to look inward. It forces me to realize how short life really is.

We never know how long we will live. Before my sickness, I never dreamed that i would end up disabled. One day you can function and the next day you can’t. Now, I watch the world go by. The world isn’t passing me by, though. I have my place in it and my purpose.

Healing

I pray for healing. I try new treatments to experience healing. The only healing I’ve experienced so far is the healing of some of my character. Because I can’t function in a physical way, there has been healing of my ability to care. Before I was sick, my lack of patience caused me to be uptight.

Learning to loosen up and not freak out over all the little things has been a very healing thing for me. This only occurred because I had no choice. I could just live freaked out all the time, or I could just get over it. The little things that used to bother me, are now little things.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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16 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    Thank you for sharing what so many of us feel. The prompt words are a terrific tool for working through what we’re feeling. What you said about the little things being “little things” really resonated with me. Chronic illness definitely has a way of putting things in perspective.

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks, Sandy. Yes, I always love writing from the prompts. It’s a very different way to blog, but refreshing 🙂

  3. great outlook, Lisa! thanks for sharing your positivity. you’re lucky you finished your MA – sadly I did not get to because of my pain.

    • Lisa says:

      I’m sorry that you weren’t able to finish your degree. That’s so disappointing when you start a program and can’t finish it. Pain seems to stop everything.

  4. Claire says:

    I feel the same about lockdown. I have only been out once to a doctor’s appointment since March, although I have another one next month which is going to mean a 3 hour drive each way. It’s worrying how people aren’t always being responsible isn’t it. Makes me wonder how long some of us are going to stay ‘locked up’ for.

    • Lisa says:

      It’s hard to know. I’ve been to a few more doctor’s appointments, but the office feels very safe (they are limiting the number of patients at a time). Our college son starts classes and lives at home, so we won’t be as safe. It’s so hard!

  5. Such a lovely message, thank you! My mantra during lockdown has become: “Choose your battles” while I was home alone with 2 children for three months solid. They did not respond well to homeschooling, they missed their friends and their playground activities, they missed their after school clubs, and they were upset that previous planned excursions had to be cancelled. It has been a tough time but we are coming through it now.

    • Lisa says:

      Choose Your Battles is a great mantra for all the times. I learned this as a parent, and it’s a good thing to remember in all areas of life. 🙂

  6. Cynthia says:

    Hugs, I totally relate with the fatigue factor. I thought I knew fatigue until I experienced a whole new level this year with my abdominal issues. Thankfully it hasn’t affected my writing either, but it has limited the energy I have to socialize online. Praying that you experience some relief!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Cynthia. The rollercoaster of pain doesn’t compare with the steady fatigue! Since I wrote this, I have been getting some relief of fatigue with 8mg LDN. I’m so sorry to hear about abdominal problems. I wish that you didn’t have to get a new problem. It’s hard enough to fight the old problems, isn’t it. God bless.

  7. Rhiann says:

    Another lovely blog post, Lisa. I absolutely resonated with your line “The lockdown has been limiting, but it is not as limiting as my diseases.” I could not agree with this more as my condition too in so many ways; ways that sometimes I’m not even aware of until I really sit and think about it. Thank you for sharing your positivity and perspective with us all. Take care x

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Rhiann! I think it’s good that many days we don’t sit down and think about all of our losses, otherwise we would really get down.

  8. Carolina says:

    Thank you for sharing these very personal thoughts. When you described your fatigue as not regular tiredness, but ugly fatigue, I felt that in my being. And then I was truly inspired by your commitment throughout the post to finding positivity, and maintaining your outlook focused on loving your neighbor as yourself.

    • Lisa says:

      I appreciate the encouragement, Carolina. It’s always helpful to me when we seem to all be feeling the same emotions, as well as pains. I certainly hope that this next week brings you less pain.

  9. What a beautiful post, Lisa. I found myself nodding along to all your thoughts here. It truly is interesting to watch humans reacting to the same news, all based on our perspectives, outlooks, personalities, experiences and so much more. And couldn’t agree more – pain does get old, doesn’t it?!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Sheryl! I really appreciate all you do with this linky and groups. It would be nice if the pain would be gone tomorrow, because it’s a new month. But, pain doesn’t care about the calendar. It’s always with us.

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