Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What Are You Looking Forward To?

I've been feeling kind of depressed the past few days. It's not the black despair that I felt in my first couple of years with CFIDS but just a vague feeling of being dissatisfied, tired of the same old routines, yearning to do all sorts of things that I can't. It's just that old "sick of being sick" thing, you know?

My illness-expert psychologist (her grown son has CFIDS, too) was very fond of asking me, "What are you looking forward to?" whenever I got down. She felt this embodied one of the key characteristics of depression. She said that people who were clinically depressed didn't want to do anything and weren't looking forward to anything. In contrast, people who are struggling with chronic illness and just feeling "down" had long lists of stuff they wanted to do, if only they could. So, I've gotten into the habit of asking myself this question when I'm feeling low, to remind me of the good things in my life.

After a rotten morning where everything seemed to go wrong, I paged through my Joy Journal this afternoon. I started this journal several years ago, pausing at bedtime each night to jot down whatever small joys I had experienced that day. It was a wonderful exercise, helping me to focus on the good stuff and realize that there were opportunities for joy even on my worst days. I've gotten out of the habit of the journal in the past year - probably a good sign, meaning I'm able to see the joys in my life now without much effort.

Looking back through the journal, I see that many of my joys were such simple things: sunshine, being outdoors, sharing moments with my husband and kids or a friend. It's nice to remember how many joys I still have, despite my limitations. So, I'm treating myself to a cup of my favorite Orange Zinger tea and a square of dark chocolate, and I'm looking forward to watching the DVD I picked up at the library this evening. Other joys today: I saw a cluster of robins on the lawn, a sure sign of spring on its way; and my younger son, Craig, just came bouncing off the school bus, looking like his usual energetic self, after a four-day crash. Now that's something to smile about.

What were your joys today? What are you looking forward to?


Anonymous said...

Hi there, was wondering if you're still on the Valcyte, and if it's helped any. Thanks much! Suzanne

Mary Anne said...

Great post, Sue. It does help to have things to look forward to and to appreciate what we still can do, regardless of our limitations.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue,

I have seen your CFS trials and suffiring on your Blogspot. For me it is God and Prayer that keeps me going.

I would like to ask you a question.

To be specific, I am looking for a Centre or Clinic where my diagnosis can be made and where I can possibly get Montoya’s treatment.

I would prefer something on the East Coast of the US particularly in the MD/DC area.

I would also be grateful if you can give me an idea as to the probable cost.

Kind Regards