The past few days have not been the greatest days for me. I have been exhausted to the point of being zombie-like, weak and lethargic and my head can’t even fathom the idea of speaking words. Usually in this state after a continuous run of smooth sailing and progress, I would feel depressed and be cruel to myself. I would torture myself and criticise my past actions that have led me to this crash and feel as though I am sabotaging my own successful recovery. But as my first setback of 2017 and my first in over a month, I am feeling surprisingly happy and optimistic about things to come. Things are looking up.
What brought about this change? Well a few wonderful things actually. Firstly it came from a fantastic new book I am reading- Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to stop worrying and start living.’ This book is full of incredible life lessons, but one of the most important one’s that reading this has made me realise is that through my own self development and healing process, a lot of these wise and valuable lessons I have already learned myself. From the idea of not wasting energy on past and future worries and just living in the present to the concept of changing your thoughts to be more positive, almost every principle in this book so far I have already adapted into my life. I had in my head that I was doing every thing wrong and that I had so many more invaluable lessons to learn, and I know I probably have a lot more but in the moments of reading this book my faith in myself was affirmed. All this time I was worried about what I should be learning when all this time I was actually teaching myself unknowingly. I was practicing positive affirmations, changing my negative thoughts to positive and dealing with my worry all without being consciously aware of it. The gift of realisation is truly a magical thing.
The second thing is gratitude. Every day for the past 3 months or so I have been journaling every morning all that I am grateful for. I began doing it not for the fact that I was ungrateful for what I had, but to remind myself that in my world limited by physical and mental energy, I still had so much to be thankful for. Previously I found myself comparing my life to other’s, mine focused on counting the spoons of energy for the day, their’s dedicated to travelling or working a full time job or enjoying all of the marvellous wonders that the world had to offer. By this comparison, aided by social media, my life seemed worthless. I began to feel depressed, anxious and slowly began to close myself even more off from the world as I feared nobody would want to hear the boring tales of my mundane life. While over time I began to appreciate the things around me more- nature, the people, good food, the ocean- I still had this niggling feeling, particularly on bad days, that my life and I were just nothingness. In a plea of desperation to stop feeling worthlessness I reached out to a dear friend and a fellow sufferer who gave me some incredible yet obvious advice- stop comparing your journey to others and remind yourself every day what I you are grateful for. Deep down I had known that I needed to do both of these things all along but somehow coming from someone else it was just the kick in the teeth I needed. So from that point onward I stopped comparing and starting accepting my life for the incredible, enlightening journey it was. In the process of writing out my gratitudes every day, not only did I begin to appreciate the simplest, most beautiful things in life but I began to see how lucky I was. This once burden of Chronic Fatigue had become a blessing that was teaching me so many valuable lessons and giving me the ability to love myself and succeed on my new path in life. And I had become a more empathetic, loving and stronger as result. Now every time I am having a bad day I simply say to myself, what can I be grateful for today?
The third thing and the most wonderful of late, is being surrounded by wonderful, positive and stress-free people. When I was previously working, I found it very hard to avoid negative energy. While the majority of people I came into contact with were pleasant, there was no escaping workplace tension, disgruntled customers and in some cases, incredibly negative people. Now in other circumstances, I would have been able to shut off from this kind of thing, and most of the time I could. But after getting sick I found myself a lot more susceptible to and effected by other people’s bad energy. Despite my efforts if somebody was unhappy, stressed or anxious, I felt these rub off and impact on my entire recovery mission. While all negativity cannot be avoided, I have now found myself able to choose and be incredibly selective of those who I spend time with. Not only because my energy is limited and I cannot waste it on negativity but because I want to surround myself with people who understand what I am going through and love me regardless. And utilising law of attraction I have been able to achieve this. In addition to the already beautiful friends and family that grace my life at present, I have also recruited some incredible humans into my life. Loving people with great ideas, positive energy and a yearning for life- all qualities that I believe I harness in myself- and who will, with no effort, be there for me on my worst days. Without these people in my life and the fabulous energy that provide I would be nothing but the sad, isolated girl I was when I first got sick, feeling sorry for myself in the corner. I am grateful for these humans.
Realisation of my self-development and self-love, gratitude and wonderful people have all helped me a great deal to grow to the more grounded, more conscious human I am today. I reflect back to even just a year ago when I was in a relationship, working full time and living in my own rented place with my partner and two cats, life was very different. I was happy, but I felt as though my life and my recovery was stagnant. I was working to afford materialistic things but what I was failing to do was live. I had become so invested in the expectations of society that I neglected to see what I truly needed to do to get better. I didn’t need all of this medication, money or material things to prove my worth. I didn’t need to get all these things to make me more valuable to my partner or those around me. I thought if I lost them, life would be over. But I was so wrong. Because when I lost all of that, that is when I began to see what I needed. I needed appreciation, self-love and time out. I needed to escape the normal route of life and just do me for a while, learning who I am and what I love all over again. I just needed to step back so I could step forward with this recovery. And with the people in my life, previous and new, I have had the support and guidance to be able to do just that.
When I hit rock bottom, my life did not fall apart, it fell together. Piece by piece, everything is falling into place and without me even knowing, I am progressing, as a person and in my recovery. There are still things I am discovering, but the clarity I have for my life and the faith I have in myself and this journey are beyond anything I ever thought imaginable. When you put your life on the line, the Universe has a funny way of having your back.
So thank you to the moments, people and thoughts that have gotten me here today. It’s not where I thought I would be, it’s not a typical life and there may have been some detours, but it is my journey and I am infinitely grateful and wiser because of it.
We are put on this world for a reason, a path that leads to our purpose. Never get so busy living that you fail to stop and see what the Universe is telling you about your’s.
Here’s to living your life.
peace and love