Achieving Goals While Being Chronically Ill
Apparently, I have a new habit of chewing gum obnoxiously and blowing bubbles like I’m in junior high school in the 1980s. I don’t know how I stand it because I can get amusingly agitated if I hear others chewing — or breathing — but not to the level of having misophonia.
It’s been a while and I’ve missed you all. I have an update and then I’ll share my most recent realizations about working on goals while being chronically ill.
I’m back in school and taking American Sign Language this semester. I seem to be picking it up quickly, although the phalanges of my handsies don’t always want to move to form the proper handshapes, and it’s driving this perfectionist a little batty. I blame my scleroderma/systemic sclerosis and not my Sjögren’s syndrome for this issue.
Another thing is that it’s getting harder to put my socks on. The other day, I was so stiff I fought for about 10 minutes! What’s bothering me most, though, is my esophagus. (Heads up, mondegreen ahead.) It burns, baby burns, I need Crisco internally since food is sticking around inside my tube. Whoops, my gum just fell out of my mouth. Time to transition.
Prioritizing and staying focused
Illness takes up a lot more time than I realized, with doctor appointments, physical therapy, rest, emotional processing, and more. I’m thinking that when I want to have a good cry, I’ll need to schedule it. I only hope these raisin glands are able to produce tears during the appointment. Yes, it’s been quite eye-opening how crucial it is to learn how to better manage my time.
I’ve also been reevaluating the importance of certain things, and I’ve asked myself questions such as: What do I need to remove from my life? (No available minutes for drama and distractions.) Can I cut this out or cut back? Is there something I’ll need to sacrifice temporarily or permanently in order to thrive?
Productive and in pain
As many of you know, living with Sjögren’s or any other autoimmune disease is difficult. We have good days and bad days, and even good and bad moments.
I’m finding out that by pushing through and concentrating on attaining my personal goals, it’s distracting me from the suffering, which helps me view myself differently. I’m seeing less of my illness, which is still there, but has less power and identity. At the same time, I’m seeing more of my successes and feeling more confident about my future.
Although I may not be where I want to be, and I’m unable to do as much as I want to, it still feels good to be doing something and working toward an objective.
To the person who is unsure about taking the first step toward a goal you’ve had: Why not take it?
To someone who is looking for encouragement to keep going: You’ve got this.
Everyone, let’s live in the present, and keep pressing on, dreaming, and doing what we can. Let’s not allow illness to get in the way.
Quote of the day: “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” — Jane Marczewski, aka Nightbirde
Positive affirmation of the day: I am achieving my goals.
P.S. Tea and talk continues. And just for fun, how many differences can you spot in the mirror reflection in the illustration above? Please comment below.
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