Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Lifestyle

Go to the Bathroom

The bathroom is the room everyone goes to for relief. Sometimes to fill the quiet acoustics of the room with thought, songs or even cries. It is a place where, unless you have children or pets or a significant other, you can have some privacy as well as perspective.

E95C8F62-4CB0-488E-8ADE-A31BD5CF2602.jpegIf the klutz in me wouldn’t inevitably fumble the laptop into the water, I would have so many posts done by now. The bathroom is where inspiration hits most often and where the mind wanders toward relaxation and clarity, which is also why I don’t write posts when the inspiration hits. I don’t want to stain my free-flowing, relaxing stream of consciousness and turn it into an accomplishment. That would rob the healing that simultaneously accompanies the bathroom’s role of enlightenment.

The past couple of times that I took a nighttime bath, I had such relaxation and clarity. I was in my own little, quiet space, my own world if you will. So many wonderful blog posts came to mind! Not just blog ideas, but whole posts spilled out! Then I got out of the tub and forgot them all. Disappointed, I felt that I will never be able to write another decent post. Ugh. My mission for Life is Chronic is to relate chronic illness problems with problems not specific to people of the chronic illness lifestyle.

But, damn, who wants to spend t7A9CA1B4-C84E-4DA1-8A33-EC1A4763DFDC.jpegheir lives defining their lives by concentrating so much on their limitations, illness or not. I feel like the first half of my day is being spent just getting to the point where I can be functional. I beat myself up for being at the mercy of my own body.  I mean that I seriously dwell in blaming myself for not being able to put mind over matter and just make myself well. I know, it sounds stupid. It is stupid.

After the immediate and initial visit of day to the bathroom is relieved, I must convince my ego that I am a contributing member of society. So, I do the dishes. Then, I wonder… what other chore can I do before eating breakfast? Breakfast is a reward for proving that I am still useful. The bath following breakfast that helps the stiffness shut up a little is often an essential part of my day. My bath is my place to start my day all over again, the place to acknowledge that I am being respectful of my body, respectful of my life. I have life to give. I have life to live. The soak in the bathroom has hopefully prepped my body’s stiffness for yoga. The stiffness and pain meet yoga, giving respect to the day and, give in to the world a better chance to know the me I intend to be.

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Upon reflection: We all may benefit from using the bathroom more often.

Life, it’s chronic. Thanks for reading!

Wendy

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Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain

You are One of Life’s Mountain Goats

It’s not just about the climbing. It’s also about standing up.

Life is like a mountain and you are like a mountain goat. There are times in which you need to climb up. There are times in which you need to climb down. There are times you must stand your ground. There are times you must simply stand still.

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First of all: mountain goats aren’t goats. They are related to goats, but more closely related to gazelles and antelopes. So, you may choose to consider yourself a mountain gazelle or mountain antelope if it suits you.

You must climb up. Soon after birth, young mountain goats must dash among the mountain terrain with their mother. Ironically, it is for safety that they must climb dangerously high on intimidating slopes in order to defend themselves from predators such as cougars and wolves. We must also skillfully work our way to the high road, taking courses of action that lead us to not only the most acceptable place, but the place that would least likely get ourselves or others in harm’s way. Look where you are going, and steer clear of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

You must climb down. There are times when we must just first survive before we can thrive. In the winter, mountain goats will come down to lower ground to eat, being vulnerable to being preyed upon by the wolves. Oftentimes we need to take risks in order to develop and grow. Our challenges may make us stronger or they may make us weaker; but our challenges make us. Be mindful of the wolves in your life. Take responsibility for your own needs.

You must stand your ground. A mountain goat knows how to fight for their best life. During mating season, billies (males) will fight each other with their horns to get the right to mate with the female. Females fight females. These nannies know how to use their horns to protect their territory, their kids, and their food. It is not a stretch for me to relate to these measures. We all want to find someone to bond with. At the same time, we know how to claim our territories and resources. It’s when we get a little too obsessed in claiming these things that we compromise our relationships.

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There are times when you simply must stand still; keep your balance. Mountain goats are famous for this. They are built with the cloven hooves and toes that spread wide. Pads on the bottom of each toe are rough and make it possible for them to keep a good grip. We also need to keep a good grip on our lives. Focusing on one spot can help you balance on one foot. Focusing on the priorities and potential dangers in life can help balance your life. Mountain goats will rest under the shade of an overhang. Rest and enjoy your view.

We need to know when to move forward or take a step down.  We need to know when to stand our ground and when to stand still. Look up; look down; look out. Assess your situation. Keep your footing. Take a deep breath. Life, it’s chronic.

 

For more information on mountain goats, visit:

http://www.nationalforests.org

http://www.defenders.org

http://www.nationalgeographic.org