Retreating from reality is no escape

The reality of Christmas is often different from the Christmas we dream of. My dream involves family and friends, food, snow, board games, presents, reading a Christmas murder mystery in a comfy chair by a roaring fire, and carol singing. It’s a dream shared by many across the globe, I suspect. But it’s a reality for only a few.

There seems to be an ever widening discrepancy between the reality of Christmas and our desire for a perfect experience. Interestingly, the Samaritans have launched a #RealChristmas campaign. They explain: “When you’re surrounded by images of the ‘perfect Christmas’, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really going on in our own and other’s lives. By being honest about our #RealChristmas we can encourage a healthier attitude towards mental health both at Christmas and all year round”. Continue reading

Nourishing thoughts

I was told by many well meaning people, at the beginning of my illness and in the early stages of my diagnosis, to be a patient patient: that this, too, would pass. So I waited to resume my life. For months, I put my life on hold until I got better and things went back to the way they were before the virus struck.

It did not pass. Instead, my life shifted to accommodate gastroparesis or, rather, I evaluated pretty much every aspect of my life to work out how I could start moving forward and build a life I wanted to live.

I realised though that, although gastroparesis might be a constant, life does change day by day and even the specifics of illness alter too. So, in a sense, the worst did pass. I found great comfort in knowing that nothing in life is static or permanent: the only certain truth is the reality of this moment right now.

The following thoughts and ideas have nourished, inspired and helped me. I think these are crucial life-skills (regardless of whether you have chronic illness or not). Each deserve an individual post (to follow!) but here is a summary of what I’ve found most helpful to date:  Continue reading