Since coming back from my trip to Italy I was starting to feel unwell, some aches and pains and a slight headache, jet lag I thought. Anyway, things have been getting incrementally worse with each day and a month on, I am now in a full blown autoimmune flare up. The worst one I have experienced in the many years I have had these problems with my body. My immune system is in overdrive and giving me all kinds of grief, attacking my joints and muscles, nervous system, head, etc. I have tingling in my arms and legs, a stonking headache, pain all over the shop, I feel wobbly, my skin even hurts...this connective tissue disease caper is balls.
I had a similar flare up two years ago, around the same time of year. I think that a great deal of it comes from overworking, stress and worry and also eating the wrong things while I was away. You see I figured out last year that I couldn't eat wheat, dairy and processed sugars as they promoted inflammation in my body, but of course I ate pasta, pizza, gelato and drank a few wines...when in Rome. In my mind, I thought a little bit won't hurt and when I get back I will go back to my regular diet and all will be tickety boo, but alas, that wasn't the case.
This brings me to what I really wanted to write about, grieving for the person you once were and accepting your new reality. If you are able to accept your lot in life then you have won half the battle. It's probably the hardest thing to do, especially with health problems that become debilitating and change the way you have to function while working and socialising or stop you from participating in work and socialising all together. But, change is good right? Learn to adapt, I hear you say, just get on with it... Well not before you have the chance to grieve and let go of everything you thought you were.
If you don't give yourself the chance to grieve and let go of who you were, all that rubbish will come back each and every time you experience a set back. All the bitterness, the anger, the sadness will smack you in the face and you will be back to square one.
I have recently been watching Marie Kondo on tidying up your space to transform your life. I like how she encourages participants to thank the items they are going to let go of in order to move on. To also thank your house for keeping you safe and warm and looked after. How about thanking our old selves for getting us to this point in our lives, for bringing us joy and happiness, for introducing us to our lifelong friends, for being a sounding board to the constant chatter, for enduring pain and heartache, for pushing through...
Our old selves have set us up to be able to tackle our new version of our lives, given us the scaffolding in order to gain strength to move forward. Big change is terrifying and can be crippling without the right support, but it's what helps us grow, so yes we need to get on with it, but not before we say thank you to the person we once were and have a good old cry about it too.
Writing this wasn't easy, on the count of opening up so much about my woes and also it took me a good 4 hours to write, the perpetual fog in my brain makes it hard to string a sentence together. So, dear reader, I idle on...