Treading Water in a Sea of Diagnoses

It’s no secret I’ve been struggling the past 6 months with my health, and it’s regrettably left me unable to write as many blog posts as I’d like. I feel like I’m treading water in the middle of the ocean without a boat in sight. So today I’m going to talk about how I’ve managed to stay afloat.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m rocking 8 mental illness diagnoses and 19 physical ones. I’m in constant pain and struggle to do things for myself. In fact, I’m working on getting in-home care like cooking and cleaning. No part of my body is untouched by illness. My joints are more like taffy than rubber bands, my stomach doesn’t work, my lungs have issues, and I have a plethora of mental health struggles day in and day out. I’m on SSI, and only work 6 hours a week. Things aren’t great, health-wise.

I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and it’s been quite the grieving process. I’ve cycled through the shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and depression at least once. My support system noticed a difference in me recently due to the heavy weight of the diagnosis and the grieving. When diabetes is paired with a stomach condition like mine, there are very little foods I can actually eat. Unless I’m eating eggs, whatever I eat will conflict with my diet of one of the two conditions. Plus the new diabetes meds are throwing off my colon, adding more trouble to my life. And I’m still dealing with passing out multiple times a day, subluxing joints, and fatigue on top of it all! I have way too many conditions…

So how am I keeping my head above water? Lemme fill you in!

Almost 3 years ago, I lived in a mental hospital that helped me grow leaps and bounds in learning how to love myself and take care of my mental health. These last 6 months that I’ve been really struggling, I’ve been participating in a lot of self-care. I’ve learned that step one to everything I do needs to be loving myself. Whether that’s listening to the same song on repeat in the car to hype me up for a doctor’s appointment or canceling plans to nap when my body isn’t holding up too well. I’ve been forcing myself to accept my limits, even if I don’t like it. I participate in self-care every single night. I put on my favorite TV shows, participate in spiritual activities, have a dance party where I just sit on my bed and bounce and flail, play with my pets, do art projects (like making slime or a vision board)… things like that. I always make sure that whatever I’m doing is truly making me happy, I don’t limit myself during this time. Most days I find myself living for the moment I get to just spend time being unapologetically me every night before bed. I actually go to be happy most nights, even if my day was bad.

Taking care of yourself through the means of self-care looks different for everybody. For some people, it’s waking up early for a fruit smoothie and a morning run in the crisp morning air. For others, it might be turning the phone off and meditating. How do you keep your head above water during difficult times?

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