How do you balance taking care of your health with all the other stressors of life?
Balance is something that I never really learned in my childhood. Aside from the physical balance of riding a bike, which I finally did on my honeymoon, I didn’t learn to balance other things. I was, for all intents and purposes, an emotional toy for my mother.
The biggest balancing I did was trying to keep her sane. In the end, I learned that no one person can do that for another, and we had to part ways. That separation did wonders for me, though. I have learned so much more about myself since May 4, 2014, than in the previous 26 years of my life.
It also eliminated a major stressor for me – trying to fix my family. I no longer had to expose myself to racist, ableist, discriminatory comments to try to help others. I could just help people who actually wanted and needed that help. I stopped trying to stage interventions. I stopped spending precious energy on a black hole.
For the first few months, this created slightly more stress. I had fear about Mother and her husband lashing out. We moved shortly after this without giving them our address, so I feared they would find me. I feared being cornered by all of that hatred and unpredictable anger.
After my wedding, after dancing with my husband and eating cake and feeling so much love, I knew that I was in the best place of my life. My anxiety and depression are more under control today than they’ve ever been. My PTSD has had ups and downs but is manageable.
In eliminating that major stress from my life, my health issues improved dramatically.
I have no doubt that learning how much of a badass I am, how to advocate for myself, and how to stop making health care mistakes helped. I don’t think, though, that these steps would’ve been possible without standing up for myself at the core – without eliminating so much ick from my life.
All of these things led to me finding a rheumatologist who ‘gets’ me. She’s hip on research, patient advocacy, and patient data.
And she put me on Kineret which has completely changed my life.
I have to balance my stress, stay physically active, and be right on top of my medication schedule and the like.
If I don’t, I wind up hugging a foam roller, crying, and generally feeling like death.