“You can’t change the wind but you can adjust the sails.”
I just love this quote. I feel like it fits nearly every conceivable adversity one could face. In my case, I can’t change the fact that I have Fibromyalgia, but I can change how I approach dealing with it! For me, that was a game changer!
As much as it may not appear that way to some, I am constantly striving for new ideas, new avenues to explore to find a “better” way of dealing with it that fits me, my symptoms and my circumstances. Because that’s the thing, there is no ‘one size fits all’ with this monster, there is no magic pill or treatment, just a series of management techniques which either work or don’t. It is as individual a beast as we are ourselves. The nature of this beast is so multifaceted, that the approach has to be multimodal. The endless list of symptoms which go way beyond pain, are a constant assault on your body, senses, emotional and mental well being. Hence you can’t attack this thing with one weapon, you need a whole bloody arsenal, and knowing which tools are best for which job is a minefield!! It gets even more complicated. When you consider that treatment A for fatigue let’s say, will only work if you’ve already found a management technique for restful sleep. So you may try treatment A and think, “this doesn’t work for me” but in fact, the timing just isn’t right.
Simply; It’s a jigsaw puzzle.
You may pick up and put down four pieces before you find even one that starts to slowly build that bigger picture. And just like a jigsaw, we need lots of those little pieces in place, before we can even begin to see the end result. Trust me, I’ve picked up and put down a ridiculous amount of pieces, some I think were even mixed up with mine from another puzzle. Sorting my pieces from foreign pieces has taken me a long time. Thankfully I finally feel like I’m left with all my own pieces, albeit, still in disarray. But at least now I know that each piece, even if it doesn’t fit in place right now, it’s my piece none the less and I can put it aside knowing that one day, it will slot in just nicely, building up that bigger picture, when it’s needed.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t struggled with my mindset or that I haven’t spent ridiculous amounts of time feeling “lost”! It took me a while to realize this and get here…
I cant recall the day, the week or the month that everything just seemed to float away but I found myself in a sea of “what if’s” with too many unanswered questions to move forward.
I like organisation, I like busy. I am at my best when I am run off my feet. I haven’t been run off my feet for longer than I care to remember. Everything slipped through my fingers and before I could take stock and appreciate the life I was leading, I no longer was. Seemingly, in the blink of an eye.
I’ve always been of the mindset that missed opportunities create regrets, not to say I haven’t missed opportunities, there’s been plenty, followed by regret. But for a long time I took opportunities in front of me, using the information I had at that time to make the best decision I could with the knowledge I had. This lessened the regrets, because they were conscious choices I was making.
Do I wish I had traveled, ofcourse. Do I regret that job in the east, no, because it taught me wisely about the institutions I wanted to work for and give my all to. The same of relationships, yes I’ve experienced toxic relationships, hurtful, self esteem beating encounters which have left my soul in distress. I’ve been taken advantage of, made a fool of yet I’ve still dared to dream. All to be left here single.
But this is something I cannot regret. It’s not even something I necessarily want to change. These challenges taught me so much, I met so many people, stored a lot of stories, some painful but mostly amusing. I’ve never craved to keep up with the jones, that’s one thing I am truly thankful for. I don’t feel the race of marriage, family and mortgages. I wont settle. It has to be right, I guess to my own detriment but hey, a conscious choice remember. I would rather be single than in an unhappy marriage, be a single parent or just feel envious of the grass next door. I’ve always pictured an unconventional life for myself. Never a clear indication of how it would differ, but imagining a ‘normal’ life in my future never quite fit for me.
So I found myself at an impasse. Too sick to go back. Too sick to move forward. I feel like I have spent the last year traveling down numerous lanes of self healing, to which I have felt little or no benefit. Not enough to even begin to function normally, let alone get back to work and back to living again!!
I wasn’t able shake the “fuck it” attitude?! Stuck in a perpetual existing cycle rather than even a shadow of living. Then, I had the “jigsaw” epiphany.
And so I’m trying to…
“Shed the shame, be bold, be true and most of all, be brave!”
I won’t get there overnight. I know I will stumble more often than successful steps forward. But all these little things that in my dark hours I feel amount to nothing, are just the first pieces of the puzzle. As time goes by, the picture will build and things will become that bit clearer.